Strenthen Wasteboard with a coating or something? Minwax Wood Hardener?

I am looking to strengthen the surface of the wasteboard? I’d like to apply a coating or “wood hardener” to to the surface but something that won’t impact the holes/screws? Looking to apply it before I get install the screws/bolts, but hopefully it doesn’t impact the flush mount of the screws. Just trying to extend the life of the wasteboard. Thanks!

I sprayed mine with several coats of spar urethane.

That was my plan, but then I found this product and thought it might be better.

I thought the clear coat would help limit the dust sticking to stuff. This hardener might do that and harden the surface.

Minwax Wood Hardener

I agree…All of the wood hardener/urethane in the world isn’t going to do a thing when that bit takes a bite out of it at 12,000 rpm.


I took a couple pictures of my “Phil’s wasteboard” after I finished it. Because I knew that was as pretty as it would ever look lol. Then I skimmed the perfect right off of it.

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This is a waste of time and money imo the first thing you should do is skim the “pretty” off so it’s perpendicular to the X Axis. Remember it’s MDF. Looks perfectly flat. But I promise its not.

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If it is a waste of time, then why do people make their wasteboards out of metal? Not trying to be a smarta**, I’m just getting started and trying to avoid headaches down the road by things I do now. Thanks!

I think you may be misunderstanding the purpose of a WASTEboard. Emphasis on waste. Your going to cut through your project material into whatever is underneath. Many People have added an aluminum base under their wasteboard (myself included). But to spend any real amount of money to strengthen something that is intended to be replaced is IMO a waste of time and money. Spend that money to strengthen your frame or something more permanent.

After installing my first wasteboard of mdf, I skimmed the surface to make it parralell to the x at axis’s of the machine. Since I live in a climate that has drastic humidity swings from winter to summer, I reskim at least once a year, sometimes twice as the surface tends to swell and shrink with the seasons.
As others have said, it’s only gonna be pretty till you go through it the first time. And after a few missed calculations, and they will happen, it will look pretty in a different way.

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If you are not going to cut into the waste board then would recommend something like alumilite. You will need to add some sort of waste board in between the coated surface and the project piece as to not damage the surface. Alumilite is rather spendy and can be purchased here

The Minwax Wood hardener works great. Just make sure you apply it outdoors.

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