Adding a Grid to the Spoilboard

Yesterday, I finished my spoilboard and surfaced it. All it needed was to have a grid carved into it to assist in the alignment of workpieces.

I found a few files for grids on the Onefinity forums and elsewhere on the interwebs. They were nice. But I decided I wanted to create my own file. So I went into Carbide Create and created a new file sized at 816×816 mm, the size of my spoilboard. I wanted a grid of sqaures 2 inches in size. So I switched over to imperial units and created a 2 by 2 inch rectangle. I then copied this and moved it exactly 2 inches to the right. Then I copied the 2 rectangles to ther right again. Once more, I copied the 4 rectangles to the right. Now I had eight 2 inch square rectangles. One more copy and paste and they now reached the far right side of the spoilboard.

I repeated this process to copy these rows of square rectangles along the Y-axis and the whole 32×32 inch spoilboard was filled with 2 inch squares. Next I added numbers along each axis and then I drew a circle with a 2 inch radius in the exact centre of the board. I wanted to personalise the board somehow so I added my initials within the circle.

Next toolpaths were created to carve the grid, the circle, the numbers and letters with a 90 Degree V-bit at a very shallow depth, 0.05 inches or 1.27 mm. I set a feedrate of 2540 mm/min or 100 ipm.

The finished grid pattern

X & Y zero were set at the machine’s Home position in the lower left corner, my V-bit was inserted into the collet and I probed for Z zero. The Makita was set at speed setting #2, which is about 12,000 RPM. The whole carve took just over a half hour, which I find pretty amazing being used to the much slower feeds and speeds of my 3018. My new dust collection system collected better than 99% of the dust produced from cutting the MDF. This isn’t going to be hard to get used to, lol.

The X-Axis labels

Now that the spoilboard is complete, it’s time to “make some chips” with some actual projects.

Dust collection & Spoilboard

In the last couple of days I re-configured the dust collection system in my shop and made a spoilboard for my new Onefinity Woodworker.

Up until now, I had been using an old shop vac connected to a cyclone separator to provide suction for my dust collection system. It worked OK, but being right beside the CNC machine in the workshop it was loud. And being old, I think it also drew a lot of power. I would sometimes trip a breaker when running it and another power tool at the same time.

We have a central vacuum system in the house and it is on it’s own circuit. And it’s in another room so it’s much quieter in the shop when it’s running. So I tied my dust collection system into the central vac and solved both problems.

Dust shoe

I bought a dust shoe from a seller on Etsy (link). I had never bought anything on Etsy before but I was very happy with this. It shipped really fast and fit on the router like a glove. The brush on the bottom of the shoe is held in place by magnets and it simply pulls off when needed to change bits, etc. I bought some vacuum hose with adapters from Canadian Tire and as you can see in the photo, one of the adapters fit perfectly into the dust shoe. It has a quick connect coupling so I can remove and replace the hose easily.

T-track was ordered from Amazon for my spoilboard. The track arrived yesterday so I able to start building the spoilboard. I made it from 2 layers of 3/4 inch MDF. The bottom layer is approx 36×42 inches and fits nicely within the footprint of the Onefinity. I scribed an outline of the Onefinity’s work area on the bottom layer, along with lines to show where the t-track would go.

Work area outline and t-tracks positions

I cut 5 equal sized pieces of MDF for the top layer and aligned them with the t-tracks using the outline I scribed in the bottom layer. The t-track was screwed down with #6 x 1 inch screws and the MDF with #8 x 1 1/4 inch screws.

After everything was fastened down, I surfaced the wasteboard with a 22 mm surfacing bit in the CNC. I made 2 passes taking just 0.4 mm per pass. After the 2nd pass the whole wasteboard was perfectly flat.

After surfacing the spoilboard

I plan to add a grid pattern to the spoilboard to help align projects but I’m still looking at a couple of patterns I found on the interwebs. I also made one of my own in Carbide Create.

Clamps

Amazon had some nice looking clamps made by O’Skool and I bought a couple. I also made some out of wood scraps. These wooden clamps were carved on my 3018 CNC machine.

Onefinity

My Onefinity Woodworker X-35 arrived today. I spent the afternoon getting it assembled and set up in my shop, which is almost ready for it. The 1F got here sooner than I expected, so I’m not quite ready yet. But I did make a table for it. I still need to make and surface a spoilboard and connect my dust collection.

This first picture was taken while I was assembling it and checking to make sure everything was square.

During assembly

Onefinity (a Canadian company) provides excellent assembly instructions via a video on their website. The machine itself is well designed and goes together relatively easy if you follow the instructions and make sure everything is square.

Here is the machine after I completed the assembly, did a few tests and a bit of cable management (under the table).

Fully assembled and tested

I’m looking forward to making projects on my Onefinity. My old 3018 did a great job for what it was capable of. But this machine is much bigger, sturdier and faster. Here’s the Onefinity going through a homing cycle.

Makita compact router

My new CNC machine – Onefinity Woodworker X35 – is on order and requires a router. The Onefinity is designed to work with the Makita RT0701C compact router so I ordered one and it arrived today. It has a 1.25 HP 6.5 amp motor with variable speeds from 9,000 to 30,000 RPM and comes with a 1/4 inch collet. I have a small number of 1/4 inch bits but I will also be getting a 1/8 inch collet so I can use the 1/8 inch shank bits I already have.

Makita RT0701C

I plugged it in and gave it a spin. It seems to work just fine. I’m getting close to being ready for that Onefinity Woodworker to arrive.

New table for CNC

I built a new table for my CNC machine. It’s 2×4 construction with a surface area of 49 inches by 60 inches (4ft x 5 ft). I found some plans on the interwwebs from this guy and made only very slight modifications to raise the table height by 1.5 inches so it aligns with my extension table on my saw.

Table frame

I put casters under the feet so I can roll the table away from the wall when necessary for cleaning or whatever. Each caster is rated for 88 lbs of weight, so the 4 of them should handle the job nicely.

Table with top

The top is made from a single piece of 3/4 inch baltic birch plywood that I bought some time ago without any particular purpose in mind. I guess I found a good use for it. The sheet was 5 ft square when purchased so I cut a strip 11 inches off one side and it fit perfectly on my new table frame.

Table with my Genmitsu 3018 PROVer and laptop

Here is the new table with my CNC machine and laptop on it. Hmmm. I think this table could hold a bigger CNC machine… (to be continued).