Why is the wastboard size usually set to the cutting dimensions of the machine

I’ll start by saying I am a two month CNC newbie. I bought a used Journeyman system, complete with a bench, dust extraction system, 220 VAC Water cooled spindle and VFD, a few too many bits to use at this point. The wastboard needs replacing.
My idea is to make a wasteboard as large as the area inside the legs/feet of my onefinity machine. I am thinking this extra inches outside the cutting area will be used for hold downs. This may have come in handy in my recent carve for growth charts for the grandchildren.
Everyone recommends buying the largest machine you can afford and/or fit in your shop. Then they set their wasteboard/work area to exactly the size of the cutting area, eliminating the ability to hold pieces in those edges. I understand that the large size of a Journeyman will not always be needed, but when it is, a little extra space for clamps will go a long way.
Or am I dreaming too much?

Just be aware that you will not be able to use the machine to flatten the wasteboard oversized parts. This could be a problem in the future if you have work pieces that need to extend in to those areas.

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Yes the idea of a spoil board is that is is flattened by the machine itself (by a surfacing bit) very important . If you want to squeeze every last bit of cutting area out of your machine is cut the spoil board in to the biggest square possible, with the machine for nice right angles that will match the machine. then make fences also on the machine that’s but up against it and you can make them offset with a bit of a bezel to make the perimeter a big as possible.

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It was important to me to be able to tile through on y. Thus my spoil board is exactly same as the cut area of my software.

What do you mean by make a fence that butts up against it with an offset and a bit of a bezel. Do you have a picture of what you mean?

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Hey Gene, hey all,

I think it’s logical to make the wasteboard just as large that it can be trued by the CNC itself, but I’ve had similar thoughts about providing the remaining space outside of workarea with attachment options for clamps. For me it makes sense.

But if these fastening options or fences protrude higher than the wasteboard, you should know beforehand which bit diameter you will use for trueing wasteboard and subtract that, otherwise you’ll shave something off :slight_smile:.

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My current plan is to use a piece of 3/4" ply and cut Microjig Matchfit Dovetails into it. If I fit the ply exactly between the rails, I could put a dovetail down each side approximately an 1.5 inch from the edge. Thus holddowns would be out of the cutting area. And I could make a fence to slide in each or either side. With Dovetails cut in the plywood “base”, 8 -10 inches O. C. I will attach 3/4 inch MDF to the top leaving space for the 10-32 screws used by the Microjig track nuts. I’m probably going to go as far as using machine screw inserts in the ply to secure the MDF. For that I could use the Journeyman/Carveco Maker to fit it all together for then and the future.
With that, if the sides are proud by a 0.01 or so,I should not matter. The front and rear I could sand and the cutting area would still be true.

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I will take a photo when I get home

OK, so you are no longer extending the wasteboard beyond the cutting area. Just one caution, you are eating up a lot of your Z room. May not matter, depends on what you plan on cutting.

Not really a bezel just imagine an L shaped fence. That’s my spoil board at the top I don’t actually work like this it’s for an example

gotcha, thank you for sending that to illustrate the idea.

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