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