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  • spoilboard

    Has anyone created a spoilboard pattern for the Piranha? Something with drill holes and counterbores for using nylon bolts up from the table to secure a piece of MDF?

    It occurs to be someone might have already done this, as I'm re-inventing the wheel... measuring the track dimensions...

    Anyone have a vcarve file they'd care to share? Or advice on what does or doesn't work?

    I'm planning on using some 3/4" MDF and a couple of 1/4"-20 nylon bolts and nuts to secure it. The machine the top flat with a spoil board cutter.

    I also plan on a keyhole bit to give me a few hold downs, possibly as t-tracks in the material.

    That and to give me a template for making some jigs that could likewise be held down onto the board with bolts.

  • #2
    Why would you want a spoilboard for v-carve? I can understand for cutting through. If I was using a spoilboard I would use 1/2 in. We don't have a lot of z axis as it is. If you want v-carve files, try making a paradise box. I have made several, a great project on the Piranha. I cut parts to size or a little over and trim if I need clamping area.


    • #3
      Here is a file that I made. You can use it to do a combination of engraving and laser etching. It is set up for facing with a one inch bit and has a half inch overhang on each boarder. Within the movable range there are lines at the quarter, half and full inch intervals and graduations at the 1/10 intervals. This will help you line up your work and let you know where in the work space the piece is located.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        The best thing that I have come up with is. I use a piece of 220 acrylic that spans at least 2 inches long than the piece I'm carving into. I put masking tape on top of the acrylic and masking tape on the bottom side of my piece Wethersfield it be wood or acrylic and the super glue them together wherever I need it usually in the lower part of the corner of the machine bed. Once that is done I take my clamps and hold down the acrylic and I machine my part. I've never had any issues since


        • #5
          Thanks! I've since discovered there's a slight tilt on the router. Such that using a 1.25" wide spoilboard bit can't produce an even surface when running left-to-right. There's about a 0.14 variance. Not good, and NWA has been silent in responding to my inquiries about how to correct it. The Bosch router isn't ideal, given the curved aspect of the collar on it.

          Meanwhile, if I sweep the bit front-to-back it doesn't have the problem. Basically because the 0.14 is being swept off as the bit moves backward.

          As to "why use a spoilboard" when cutting things I'd prefer to avoid wrecking my bit and the bed. Sure, for something where I needed height I'd have a problem. But for a lot of what I'm doing at the moment that's not an issue. At a certain point, given time and experience, I'll likely have less use for it. Right now, however, it's helpful to me.

          I've tried using 3/4" MDF and running some T-slots into it. The slots work but MDF doesn't afford much resistance to anything pulling upward against the carved T-slot. I cut the slots using the touchscreen control. I just manually found the point I wanted to cut them and used a keyhole bit to plow straight back. Made a helluva lot of dust but it did the job.

          I've found using nylon bolts and nuts to be a good way to secure the board to the bed. They machine through just fine and I don't risk wrecking the bit. The trick is using a wide enough diameter for the pocket on the top to allow a socket to fit around the nut.

          In looking elsewhere online I've seen folks do things like use material that covers 2 slots of the bed, leaving a 3rd uncovered. Running front-to-back. This allows for running a clamp down into the bed metal. This leaves gaps where material could sag, but then any sort of slot (bed or spoilboard) would do that. Not really an issue for the projects I'm considering. I may try this.

          I've also found that if you remove the spoilboard there's enough flex that it will no longer be level and has to be re-skimmed. Not sure if the flex is from the bed or the MDF. This is perhaps a reason to use strips of material instead of a whole piece. At least then any excessively worn material could be replaced potentially without requiring the whole board to be redone.


          • #6
            A nice way to save your spoil board is to save your junk mail fliers, such as the political ones we get so many of every day now, that are a single page of heavy duty card stock and put them between your work and spoil board. Then if you're off on your depth setting you don't mark your board you just move on to a new flier. I also change the speed to 1 for the touch plate so it gets a more accurate depth and doesn't mark the touch plate as bad.


            • #7
              I use 3/4" plywood and #6 wood screws just screw my work piece to the plywood that I clamp to the Piranha FX table. I countersink the screws to I won't hit them have defined my work area in V Carve so feel confident after 20x's that I will stay in my defined work area. I get about 10 or more carves from my 3/4" plywood waste board and screws will not strip out like MDF. I have used a couple pieces of Baltic birch plywood I had and they are much flatter then regular carpenter grade plywood. I usually face off my work piece using 1/4" end mill before I carve to insure that it is flat relative to the router and the table on the Piranha I have found this works best but takes a tittle longer.


              • #8
                Here's a file I created for my FX XL 12 X 24 x .75 MDF. I cut in slots for 5/8 bolt heads and did an horizontal profile cut at both ends and one a bit off center on y to allow the slot bit to enter and exit the piece while cutting as well as easier clamp placement if only using the front 1/3 of my 24" cutting area. I cleared out 10 areas for nylon bolts to go into the existing track to hold the spoilboard down. It works GREAT!!
                Hope it helps.
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  I usually use a piece of MDF the length of the table and flatten-level it using a straight bit pocket cut with a 75% overlap. I recently needed to make a smaller one for my PCBs and instead of using buying a larger sheet of MDF and cutting it down, I found at a big box home improvement store selling flooring samples, they are about 9" square and are sealed on both the top and bottom. Just find one with printed pattern on the top if you want then use a leveling pocket to flatten it parallel to the cutter head. The samples only cost $0.50...

                  Here is the jig for my PCBs that I used. A few holes for holddown bolts & knobs and your in business... beat having a bunch of left over MDF that I otherwise can't stand using anyway ;-)

                  btw - if you use brass screws, they are soft enough to not really hurt your cutter if you accidentally hit one with the setup, but they are strong enough for hold down, and stronger than nylon.

                  If I am am doing wood on the cnc - I usually just use the larger MDF and good ol carpet tape. - its not fancy but cheap and easy...
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by ninetomorrows; 07-25-2017, 12:36 AM.