How critical are waste board dimensions?

How critical are the dimensions of the waste board, specifically for the 1000mm X-Carve?

I cheaped out and didn’t pay for the waste board when I ordered (saved nearly $200, $128 alone in S&H!) and plan to cut my own, but now I’m getting paranoid. It doesn’t look it should be that big of a deal if it’s a couple of mm shy in any given direction, at least not from watching the videos, but has anyone had problems if it wasn’t cut just perfectly?

Also, how important is the 3/4" thickness? My local lumber yard only has 1/2" MDF in stock. I supposed I could stack two pieces and use a facing bit to cut it down to 3/4" thickness if necessary…

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I would guess 1/2 inch MDF would be prone to sagging pretty easily. Perhaps place 2 1/2" pieces glued together and maybe just leave it 1" thick. You would loose 1/4 of depth but you would have a flatter surface. 1 or two mm should still fit the extrusions but the board would not come all the way out to the edge flush. (but it would likely not be significant. if it’s only a couple mm.) If you opt to take your chances with 1/2 inch, Minwax makes a wood hardener you might apply to make it stiffer. Good luck!

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I got 3/4" mdf cut a little oversize at Lowe’s, then ran it through my table saw to final dimensions I needed. I simply used the length of my long rails and the internal distance between them. The actual work area will be less than that due to the space needed by the spindle mount and other components. Now that I’ve used this arrangement for a while, I’m planning to get two pieces of 1/2" mdf cut to fit. For much of what I’ve been cutting, I’ve placed another piece of scrap on top of my “waste board” to prolong it’s life, so two thicknesses of 1/2" mdf won’t affect me.

Edit:
When I built my SO2, I added four pieces of 20mm by 20mm extrusion the full length of my long rails, so I have support for 1/2" mdf.

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Thanks for the feedback. My primary concern was that being off 1-2 mm here or there may cause the machine to go out of square, but it looks like it shouldn’t be an issue.

No your good, the rails keep it primarily square, I would however slot the mounting holes for your wasteboard so that you can adjust the frame where needed. Then once you have it assembled, you go back and loosen the board, square all the rails and tighten the screws on the board to help hold it square. Does that make sense?

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Hey Bill what was the ending dimensions for your waste board. …I’m about to go to lowes and do the same thing

It’s 60" by 23". I made sure it was cut square, so that made squaring the machine easy.

60"?..I see on the pdf it’s 940x998mm…which is roughly 37x29.3

I built my SO2 to my specifications.

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I think that should be 37"x39.3, I got scared because I used the dimensions in the PDF and I thought I was wrong

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You are right…I just got mine cut at lowes and my xcarve should be here Tuesday

Te real dimension is 940mm large by 998mm deep and in inch its 37inch by 39.291 or 39 9/32 or if you want to be shorter a little bit go with 39 1/4 like that it fit between he mounting plate of the Y carriage.

Today everyting is fix and if you want to go and buy a 3/4 inch thick MDF yourself and save money, go somewhere to buy it and cut it there (its very heavy) mine is cut 39 1/4 by 37 1/4 and I use a forstner bit to drill half way to screw the retainer to the rail.
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU DONT ORDER THE WASTE BOARD YOU WILL HAVE TO ORDER 2 BAGS OF 10 CLIP THAT GO IN THE RAIL AND 2 BAGS OF SCREW TO FIX IT (of find a another way to fix it…bad idea)

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Can anyone tell me the distance off the board I need to drill/route for the countersinks for the base? Just eyeballing it I am guessing about an 1/2" or so?

I think you are asking about the distance from the edge to where the mounting bolts go on the rail right? I believe its 10mm to center of hole.

i had picked up what was supposed to be 3/4" mdf and it ended up being about 1/8 thinner. I ended up grinding the screws down a bit shorter s they would secure the board down. Once I start building a new workbench, i’ll be using some left over 3/4 to redo the spoilboard since the z is going to a pretty low extreme.