Spoilboard Tips

      Advice on how deep to cut into the spoil board, and when to discard the sheet. August 17, 2006

Question
How far should you be cutting into the spoilboard and how thin do you fly cut to before you discard the MDF sheet?

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor A:
Different CNC manufacture recombined different dimensions. We run a Cosmec 510 and we cut throw 0.01 below the material when route cutting or .02 for throw drilling. On our fly cuts we take off 0.02 at a time, usually depending on the spoil board after we get down to a 0.25 thick. To get the most out of your spoil board, seal all four edges well and flip every few fly cuts. But I recommend that you contact your CNC manufacturer and see what they recommend. It also depends on the type of bits you are using and what you are cutting. The dimensions I enclosed are for mostly plywood, melamine and particleboard.



From contributor B:
I cut MDF and I've found that all sheet goods have a variance. I usually cut .03 through. Sometimes this will not through cut Ė even though itís the same bundle, cutting one sheet after another. I've also found that some sheets vary between areas in the same sheet. I'll through cut sheet A. Sheet B gets put on right next and it will through cut the panel except in the upper corner. Then the next sheet cuts clean again. I've tried measuring the sheets with a caliper. It's just differences in sheets. I'm in Florida with a lot of humidity. I use .25 MDF for a spoilboard and flycut .03 when I need to. At .125 I put a new spoilboard on. I know one guy who uses .75 MDF. He cuts large panels.


From contributor C:
You will notice that you will get as many answers here as there are vacuum configurations. Horsepower, table size, type of pump, part size, touching off top of part or top of spoilboard, etc. - all of these factor into how deep people cut for production. Find someone who is successful with a similar configuration as yours and then adjust for your specific needs.


From contributor D:
I can't say that what we do is right but we attempt to hold our thru cuts to .003 - .005 with excellent results. When we dress the spoilboard we attempt to take .005. I only change spoilboards about once a year which is 3/4 double refined MDF.

I should add that on my first machine this was not possible. It had a phenolic table 5 x 12 machine that weighed in at approx 8,000 lbs. The table had flex in it that I could not get around. I changed machines and now have as SCM Routech 220. This machine weighs in at over 22,000 lbs. with a 4 x 10 aluminum table that is as solid as a rock. I am now in the camp that thinks weight has a lot to do with machine capabilities.



From contributor E:
We touch off on the spoilboard, 3/4" MDF, cut through .004 and surface both sides before we start using a new spoilboard and then whenever it gets really chewed, .004 using a 4" diameter inserted bit. When the board gets to 1/4", itís time for a new one. Thru bore bits need the 1/4". We are running a 40hp vacuum on a 5x10.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization

  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization: CNC Machinery and Techniques


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article