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.

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