Keeping the Spoilboard Down

Plastic screws work, and surfacing both sides might help. March 17, 2005

I need a way to keep my spoil board I down. I've read about these plastic screws that you screw on at the corners of the board right down on to the table. Can I get some more info on that?

Forum Responses
From contributor A:
Are you using a vacuum table? If so, edgeband the edges of the spoilboard. I hear that helps. If not, what thickness spoilboard are you using? How much has it been used? Have you surfaced it lately?

From contributor M:
I get my nylon screws from McMaster-Carr. They have both metric and inch treads available.

From the original questioner:
It still warps with edgebanding. I'm using an 18 mm. I need it held down all the time and yes, it's a vacuum hold down.

From contributor S:

I use 3/4" spoil board, and countersink screws about .250 below surface. I do 6 rows of 4 screws to make sure middle stays down. Haven't had any problems unless someone accidentally sets Z too low. Even when I shave it down, I go around and check and set a few, a bit lower so they are clear of cutter. I don't use plastic screws, just what we have on hand. By the way, I don't have a vacuum table. I pin nail everything down, then brake them off after. Seems to work.

From contributor G:
If you are using a vacuum table, I suggest that you surface the spoilboard, then flip it over and surface what is now the top side. When the bottom side is not surfaced and you begin cutting on the top, you inevitably remove surface stress on the top of the board and the potential energy on the reverse side is released, causing the spoilboard to warp.