DIY Waste Board question

I’m about ready to buy an XC. I’ve been reading and watching and today decided that I’ll make my own waste board. I found this and it seemed like an easy and good solution - any opinions on this approach?

(summary: he uses a specific Rockler bit to route out the t-slots pretty easily)

I saw another post that used alum t-slot but that stuff is pricey and I can’t bear the thought of crashing into it.

A search here on ‘wasteboard’ will turn up lots of options.
This one from @DavidWestley Wasteboard hell: is what I based mine on. My version is also in this thread.
There are a lot of DIY versions of the original Inventables spoil board too.

Hi, thanks. I have read several threads about waste boards, including Phil’s. Most seem to be trying to replicate the Inventables version which means lots of drilling and added expense for the inserts and screws. Others are using alum t-slot which is expensive…

My question remains: any thoughts or advice against the approach in the video?


didn’t wath the whole video, but it seems he has MDF T-slots, which will give way in no time. If you go T-slots,use alu rails!

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I went with the T track from Orange Aluminum ($6.92 per 3 foot length, free shipping on US orders > $100) and fastened the T track directly to my table (a torsion box). Between lengths of T track, I have 3/4" MDF fastened to my table which acts as my waste board, so the T track sits approx 1/4" below the surface of the waste board. This still leaves me room to skim the top of the waste board with a larger diameter cutter to level it off.

This also gives me a bit more Z-axis clearance (about 3/4" more) to carve thicker pieces. If I need less clearance, I can always go with an extra waste board …

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Do you want the t-slots? I made mine similar to the original one in an afternoon with a simple electric drill :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the way that Phil has it set up is the best of both worlds. Each wood section is separate, so if one section gets trashed you simply flip it over or replace that section. T-Slots aren’t that expensive if you get them from Orange Aluminum. I plan to use nylon nuts and bolts to fasten everything so that if a bit accidentally hits one, the bold gets trashed instead of the bit.

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I spent all kinds of time laying out a sectional with t track and over last couple of months I have just used painters tape and ca glue to hold down… as long as your waste board is flat I have no issues. No longer need tabs on my work either. I just recently changed the base frame from 20mmx20mm extrusions to 40mmx20mm extrusions and I am going back to a solid MDF waste board with sacrificial hardboard top I do not know if I am going to spend the effort putting in the tracks on this one. If it is absolutely a big piece and long carve time I will secure with screws right thru the waste board.

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I’ve just started using my machine every day this week, so I lack the experience that others have on the forum, but that won’t stop me. :slight_smile: While I was reassembling my machine, I needed to make some stuff before I had the nice Inventables wasteboard installed. I attached a blank piece of MDF to the frame and made a bunch of stuff by attaching project material directly to the MDF with drywall screws. It was brilliant. Seriously, I’ve been using the Inventables wasteboard with the supplied clamps this week and it’s nice, but I’m wasting way more time figuring out where there’s a hole I can use and worrying about placing shims so I don’t rout into my wasteboard (I’ve decided today I don’t care anymore). I’m with PWAC on this one and will do the same thing he describes once my Inventables board is trashed.

There’s only one thing I’ve found beneficial about using the built in screw holes. When making repeated pieces, it’s handy to leave the clamps attached to the board between jobs and makes it fast to swap a finished piece out for a blank one. Then again, my 35mm M5 bolts never seem long enough for me to clamp with either.

It’s becoming clear to me that fixturing is a real art and science.

For small orders, Orange also sells the t slot tracks on Amazon. Essentially it was $7 shipping from Amazon (they’re charging $15 for the 48" length), and $20 shipping straight from Orange.