Custom Wasteboard Showcase

This topic may seem oddly specific, but it looks like there has been a lot of discussion on DIY wasteboards. I thought it might be nice to have a central location for everyone to show off their solutions!

Being in Canada the wasteboard was prohibitively expensive to ship. I haven’t received my X-Carve yet, but I’m planning on making my wasteboard out of this. I’ll probably buy a half sheet and see how that goes.

I’m excited to see what everyone comes up with!

P.S. I’m not sure if this is the appropriate sub-category, so admins please move if necessary.

Thought I’d add @TravisLucia new tutorial on making a wasteboard here,

His forum post is HERE



I looked at the material you are thinking of. The difficulty I see is that MDF material is designed for hanging on a wall and having attachments that hang vertically. I think if you try and use it as T slots that you will see the wings of the T lifting and causing your spoil board to no longer be flat.

Here in the US Rockler sell an aluminium extrusion that has a T slot profile. If you were to route slots and epoxy those into the slots you would have strong T slots to work with.

Because spoil boards or waste boards are a big expense I plan on using 1/4" MDF spacer boards between my table board and my work.

I was at a plastics supply house yesterday and they had a sample of expanded PVC board sitting on the counter. I ask what a 4’ X 8’ sheet would cost in 25mm thickness. I had to hold on to the counter so I did not fall over when the salesman said $275.00

I have to admit that I like the material and I need to check if they would cut to size for my soon to be 1000 X 1800 X-Carve.


Ya the more I think about it, I’ll probably steer away from the slot board. One of my bigger concerns is the slot board it pretty floppy, even with the support extrusions on the 1000mm X-Carve I think there will be some good deflection.

I’ve been liking the “side” clamps that I’ve seen being use, and I think I’ll go along the lines of some threaded inserts.

well here is a picture of mine but might be hard to see

the mdf is 36" wide along the X axis and i think 37 3/4" along the Y. its centered on the machine and i used 3 screws on each support extrusion to hold it down (9 total). more or less eyeballed the insert holes. not sure if ill use them or not. hard to find M5 screws longer than 35mm which isnt very useful

Looks great! Has anyone secured their X-Carve to the table as well? I don’t think this is entirely necessary, but I ordered extra insertion nuts and screws that once my wasteboard is secured I would use the extras to attach the machine to the table.

I have a plan to be able to remove the wasteboard and have a hole in the table to be able to cut thicker material. I haven’t seen anyone do this yet, but I thought it would be easy enough to implement.


Hey everyone,
I’m finally getting to this point and this seemed like the right spot to post my progress.
I ordered early but have had to wait to assemble my machine so I ordered the 1800 makerslides and a pair of 1800 20X40s plus various hardware. I modified the work area framing to use the pieces I had and ended up with only 2-1000 makerslides left over. I found a part from MiSumi for a mid rail support and spread the base rails to the correct gap for them to work right. This required 4 extra M5 x 8mm screws that I found at HD and 4 t slot nuts.

I did not want to wrestle with the 37" X 70.75" waste board so I made it in 2 pieces using a dado lap joint in the middle. I made a simple router guide and set up 2 routers, this was really quick and my wife ran one of the routers too. The smallest Forstner bit I have is .625" so I drilled holes 5mm deep mid field.

The MiSumi part helped a bunch with the dry fitting and setting up the frame.
The part has the same working dimensions as the Maker slide end plates and they would work here but were not yet available for sale so I was referred to MiSumi by Inventables.

Thanks to the Inventables team and this community for all the help.



Well done, Scott!

If it wasn’t for shop space limitations, I’d go with the 1800mm MakerSlides too. Thanks for showing us how you did it. My dream is to someday cut boat kit parts out of 4’x8’ sheets, so this is a huge step in the right direction.

BTW, can someone send me the wasteboard dimensions on the 1000mm x 1000mm kit so I can start designing my own?



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HERE is the drawing for the 1000mm wasteboard (found on Inventables store page for their wasteboard). The dimensions are in millimetre (contrary to what the drawing says, it would be HUGE!), and the second in from the right top hole should be 600mm to the centre, it looks like it’s getting dimensioned to the side unlike the other holes.

When I built mine, I followed this drawing and it came out great! I didn’t do the slotted holes on the sides, just regular counter bored holes 9mm in from the edge.

Thanks Rusty!

I forgot that those drawings are available. It’s a good thing that I’m not afraid of the metric system. As a Mechanical Engineer, it’s far superior for fabrication. I wish the US had stuck with going Metric when I was in 4th grade, so everybody would be over it by now…


No problem, and I totally agree with the metric thing. I’m in Canada and I’m a CAD manager for a mechanical engineering company, the problem is even though the majority of the country is metric, a large majority of the construction/fabrication industry is behind the times!

I think it’s probably because most of these companies are owned by more “seasoned” individuals who were raised in the imperial system and can’t manage to make the switch.

I honestly think it’s way easier to use the metric system, no having to deal with fraction! It seems crazy that I know off the top of my head that 7/16" is 0.4375"! USELESS!

Sorry for the mini rant! All I can say is the majority of my personnel projects are in metric now as I attempt to convert myself! I’m getting pretty close to being able to visualize metric measurement, but weights are a whole other ball game!

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I’m a sailboat rigger and half of our rope for racing is in metric, so I’m constantly dealing with 7/16" is 11mm.

Preaching to the choir, brother…



I find one of the main differences is the use of fraction in ‘standard’ with a finer scale of mm in metric. Being that .5 inch is still 12.7 mm, the metric mm is clearly on a finer scale of greater resolution. But, decimalized ‘standard’ from scratch can be as simplified. Example: .01 inch = 2.54 mm. The problem is working with other parts and modularity that do not base off a simplified decimalized, but instead the fractional ‘standard’ such as 1/8" which = .125 in decimal, or 1/16" = .0625.

I don’t really mind but can see how someone looking to use decimalized or mm equiv. versions of the standard fractions could find the .125 's and .0625 's less desirable in comparison to 1 mm, .1 mm, or .01 mm, etc.

Thanks Chris,
After many years of using strictly the Imperial system in woodworking, I ended up teaching field engineering and blueprint reading where we constantly go back and forth through a few different scales of measuring. Engineering rulers are in tenths and the converting feet and inches to tenths becomes the rule used most by carpenters.

We had a Canadian company come down and specify their project using our people would be done using the metric system. They asked me how much would it cost to run a class on metric measuring.
I kept my poker face and said only as much as buying a case of metric tape measures. We held a class with all the crew and I asked my boss to attend. He was resistant saying he would never use it so why… I started with a dollar bill and broke it down to pennies. The dollar represented a meter and the pennies centimeters, then I explained the pennies broke down to millimeters, like at the gas pump. They all got it.

The rest of the class was them just measuring everything around and converting it to dollars and cents lol. but the fear was gone.

I miss my teaching job…


We are getting way off topic of Wasteboard designs and construction, but IMO people get hung up on the differences between an inch and a mm and seem to think that is why the metric system is easier to calculate with. In reality, it is the decimal basis that makes it easier to calculate on paper with our base 10 numeral system. If I made plans in yards with a precision of 0.001 it would be just as easy to calculate differences in your head as if I used mm, and in actuality slightly more accurate.

However, what if you need to physically subdivide a distance into exactly equal parts. Here the decimal system is a real pain, whereas (base 2) fractions are much easier. Euclidean geometry trains that using only a compass and straight edge, I can divide the distance to 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 very easy. Yeah, going finer gets tedious, but the same process applies.

Likewise, performing math on a computer is more difficult using decimal math and gets into rounding issues. The entire floating point co processor was designed to address this issue. If however, we simply used a resolution of 1/128 units, then even the simple arduino processors we use in the controllers can easily manage a high computational load.

Now… back to the original topic! :smile:
I’m in process of finishing up my x-carve table, and will begin assembling the xcarve, hopefully early this afternoon. I’ll be making my first wasteboard out of standard 3/4" MDF, probably won’t put any grid or anything like that on it. Once I get all the electrical issues sorted out, I’d like to fit a flow through vacuum hold down so I can avoid clamps. I’ve even made provisions in the torsion box table to allow air to flow through the cross members (i.e. drilled 1" holes in them). I’m taking photos as I go and will make a post with details when I finish.

Hey @RickSchmalzried

Good points. I fondly remember doing my homework in college using the three-sided engineering ruler. I might actually order one…

I know you’re already knee-deep into your build, but I too am in the design phase of my torsion box table. I included vacuum as an option. I’ll be posting at least the design part soon. I’m looking forward to your build. Good luck!



I have to ask. You are making a wasteboard for a CNC. Why not put a drill bit in your spindle and let the CNC cut all those holes in the waste board? You just need a long enough bit to get Z down to the bottom of the waste board. For that matter, if you want the grid like the Inventables waste board has you could mount a sharpie to the unit and have it draw that also.

You may not be able to get the holes you want around the outside of the board, but it would keep you from having to hand drill the dozens of holes in the body of the board.

You could for sure do that. You probably would have to use a different program other that Easel since it doesn’t have a drilling operation, but for sure!

I should probably upload a picture of mine, I ended up just cutting a piece of 3/4" MDF as per the drawings Inventables provides. I didn’t put any holes in it other than the mounting ones and just did that by hand. It works great but I am getting tired of the double sided tape that I use to hold down my project getting stuck on my bits. I think I’m leaning towards mounting some embedded aluminium t-slot in the wasteboard and using that with some clamps.

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This is exactly what I did. I just used a 1/4" end mill to drill proper size holes for my inserts for 1/4" bolts. I did use vCarve to generate the hole pattern. The just released replicator tool in Easel wasn’t available then. I might have decided to use it if it were available.

Photos here:

As you said, you can only mill the holes inside the cutting area of the machine, which was almost 30 holes.

As far as the grid, I found out the sharpies wear out fast on MDF. I went through 3 of them drawing the lines on my board. There is a lot more line length that what you first think… right at 300 feet worth.


Maybe instead of drawing it, you could use an 1/8th inch or 1/16th inch mill and carve it. Or just do a 1 inch grid instead of whatever the default is. I like the idea from the video to screw down a board to give you a square backstop for your material as well as the rotating clamps. I also like the idea of a few t-rails embedded in the waste board. I’ll have to think about this.

I’m ordering my x-carve tomorrow. I started filling my shopping cart today and was surprised the cost was higher until I realized they finally ditched the default spindle and are instead including the DeWalt 611. Now if they’d include a stiffener for the X-axis and options for 1500 and longer rails that would be fantastic.

I was wondering if you got a piece of 8020 if you could just bolt the makerslide to it for added stiffness to a longer Y-axis. I wonder how the rails would line up or if you’d need to find someone with a TIG welder to weld the rails together if you added a 1500mm rail to the existing 1000mm rail.

So many ideas. I’ll just get the default 1000mm unit and figure out expansion later. I wish it didn’t take 3-4 weeks to ship…