Today I finally made what I have wanted to make since I began using my x-carve: a full size sacrificial board. Because nearly every cut I make is a through-cut I didn’t want to destroy my waste board in a few weeks and then have to go through the work and expense of replacing it, so I have always used scraps underneath but this complicated setting up my cuts because they have to fit the work piece pretty close without leaving empty spaces or being too large where I can’t access the holes for clamping. No more of that.
The best part of having the sacrificial board is being able to screw down your work. Not having to worry about clamps is a real joy!
You can also skim the top of the new board to make it really level base for your work to sit on.
There’s my photo Allen. Sounds like we’re taking about two different things, maybe I used the wrong term. To me, sacrificial board, is what is put underneath a cut to save the waste board.
Sounds like we are talking about the same thing. I used a half inch thick piece of MDF sized to the actual usable area of the X-Carve. Then counter sunk 8 screws a quarter inch deep into the primary wasteboard so I have a quarter inch of board I could skim down as it got torn up.
What makes this sound different than your new top? (other than you covered the entire surface)
Oh, I see. Because your piece is 1/2" you’re actually screwing right to it. I hadn’t thought of using sacrificial boards in that way. It makes perfect sense now.
My piece is only 1/4" and as you can see I’ve had the x-carve cut the holes so that they line up with the holes in the waste board, so I’m still clamping; but I have seen people screwing their work pieces down and that may be more ideal for some of my projects. I’ll be thinking about that.
How are you lining up your work piece? Using a bumper board?
When I leveled it (cut it down about 1/8 inch) I left about a quarter inch edge around the left, right and back side. This had the benefit of giving me a straight edge that was guaranteed to be square with the machine.
Leaving the front side open lets me cut larger pieces if I need to.
Yeah, it is, but I would destroy it so quickly I would have to be changing it out every few weeks. I run my machine daily and nearly everything I cut is full material depth so it wouldn’t take long to waste the waste board.
Can you upload that as a project? I have thinking about doing just this maybe a little thicker so I can plan the top to make everything flat.
I did the same but used 3/4" MDF. I have always screwed my work down and never used clamps. My wasteboard covers the entire base and Allan is right, the ridge line from planing it down make ideal work piece guidelines.
1.5 drywall screws hold down my work.
When carving into log slices, I use a brad nailer. Pop, pop, work is secure and you can pull it free by lifting straight up.
After years of doing it this way, I can’t imaging using clamps (or how may times I would have destroyed bits on clamps).
I used to have a large CNC router (my X-Carve is on order), and clamped in two different ways:
1.) Built a vacuum hold down system from UHMW with a grid, capped by skinned MDF (yes, the suction goes right through).
2.) Used 15 guage Raptor Plastic Nails in an Omer nail gun
I don’t recommend using drywall screws - your expensive bits will die upon meeting them. Recommend using brass screws instead. They’re reusable and won’t destroy a carbide or HSS cutter…
The 3/4 MDF idea is ideal - and you can resurface the table with a fly cutter.
Brass strips too easily and are way more expensive. Plus drywall screws have a thinner shank, and can penetrate without predrill. Oh, and I have a big ole box of em. That helps. But I use Mach 3 so I can jog around the piece prior to cutting and place the screws in the right spots. Not sure if you can do that with the stock machine.
Yeah, I will share the project. It’s pretty easy, the holes are 75mm apart so you just lay it out, but it did take some time.
That depends on where your homing switches are - if you have them. So hard to say…
Maybe this is of help: ?