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Question #: 14399

Question: Will MDF slat wall make a good spoil board, or should I cut my own T slots in a solid MDF panel?

Current Solution

MDF makes an excellent spoilboard, but I like to use regular old plywood. MDF may have some nasty constituents so I try to stay away from this material. Depending on your method of fixturing and clamping, you may not need t-slots at all, but that is up to you and your application. I just screw my workpiece down and I also simply screw my spoilboard down into my table (using a regulas hole pattern.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • WILL IT BE HARMFUL TO USE MY MOBILE PHONE DURING PREGNANCY? IF HARMFUL, SHOULD I DISCONTINUE USING OR MODERATELY?

    Thank you for your inquiry about the risk to your embryo by using a cellular phone during pregnancy. Sometimes it is not made clear to the public that there are different kinds of radiation. The electrical fields from a cellular phone are nothing like x ray. The energy is so low in the electrical waves of cellular phones that it does not represent a risk to the developing embryo. If you use the cellular phone conventionally by placing it to your ear, you further reduce the exposure to the embryo, which is already extremely low because of the distance of the phone from your ear to your uterus. There are no studies dealing with the risks of cellular phones on the outcome of pregnancy in humans, but numerous animal studies indicate that the exposures from the phones do not represent a risk for birth defects or miscarriage. Of course you must realize that every healthy pregnant woman begins her pregnancy with a 3% risk for birth defects and a 15% risk for miscarriage. Good luck with your pregnancy.

    Robert Brent MD, PhD, DSc(Hon)

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    WILL IT BE HARMFUL TO USE MY MOBILE PHONE DURING PREGNANCY? IF HARMFUL, SHOULD I DISCONTINUE USING OR MODERATELY?

  • Good morning, we purchased the vfd with 220v but here in south america the standard is 110v, will it work? or should I adapt one power outlet to 220v

    If you purchased a 220 volt VFD (Variable Frequency Drive), you will need to use a 220 volt outlet. A VFD that has an input voltage rating of 220 volts will not work with 110 volts being applied to the VFD. We do sell 110 volt VFDs but you will also need a spindle that pairs with the 110 volt VFD.

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    Good morning, we purchased the vfd with 220v but here in south america the standard is 110v, will it work? or should I adapt one power outlet to 220v

  • CAN JUST USE PARTICLE BOAD FOR THE SPOIL BOARD OR SHOULD MDX SOMETHING ELSE?

    Well, I've never tried particle board. I would stay away from MDF since it is pretty terrible to breathe. You can use standard ply.

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    CAN JUST USE PARTICLE BOAD FOR THE SPOIL BOARD OR SHOULD MDX SOMETHING ELSE?

  • Provided they will fit and I install a ventilation/cooling fan, is there any reason why I should NOT mount the electronics (breakout board, stepper drivers and power supply) inside the gantry box in my BlackToe 2x4?

    First, see Jack's build: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/JackRehak.aspx

    The difference between mounting the electronics in the gantry is that the connection from the computer (signal level) is long. The alternative, where the electronics is near the computer, the motor cables are long (to reach from the drivers to the motors).

    Mounting the breakout board, drivers and power supply within the gantry will cause you to have a long signal connection from the computer to the breakout board. That is fine as long as the cable is long enough, possibly shielded, and can carry the signal at long cable lengths. Make sure to have the cable well away from the motor cables as these will cause quite a bit of interference.

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    Provided they will fit and I install a ventilation/cooling fan, is there any reason why I should NOT mount the electronics (breakout board, stepper drivers and power supply) inside the gantry box in my BlackToe 2x4?

  • When Blacktooth is powered on the motors get power but will not turn. What should I do?

    The motors could be wired incorrectly causing them to lock up. Make sure to check the wiring to make sure the X and Y are connected to the correct terminals.

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    When Blacktooth is powered on the motors get power but will not turn. What should I do?

  • Which spindle should I use for PVC and Trespa (Hardwood)? Max diameter of cutter = 16mm Max thickness plate = 20mm
  • do you offer just the patterns/blueprints for the Blackfoot, whereby I can make my own MDF parts for the unit, while purchasing the electronics hardware etc from you?

    I am the fellow who asked the question (#866) I just read your answer to the fellow in South Africa. I am an experienced woodworker with a very well equipped shop, and would not take your valuable time, as I understand your problem regarding the time issue. It's just that I like the aesthetics of the Blackfoot, and would like it made out of phenolic faced Baltic Birch. With your prints, I could do that and by the purchase of all the ancillary products from you, we would both win.
    thanks
    David Clark

    Additional Information:
    Hi David, Selling these very inexpensive machine kits is our bread and butter and selling, or allowing the design files/prints would undermine this idea, unfortunately. We tried this for a while and found that our sales dropped considerably. For this, and other reasons, we established a policy to keep the design files/prints to be used in-house only.

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    do you offer just the patterns/blueprints for the Blackfoot, whereby I can make my own MDF parts for the unit, while purchasing the electronics hardware etc from you?

  • How should I control a plasma torch, spindle and a laser on my CNC machine?

    It will depend on how you configure the machine to use the Laser and plasma. Is the laser on a separate gantry? That will determine the way you will connect the laser control system or if you use a typical CNC controller. The plasma will need inputs of THC on, THC up, THC down and outputs to trigger the plasma torch. I recommend the Pokeys57CNC for the plasma and you can also fire the laser with it, but you will not be able to do engraving with the laser unless you use a laser controller. If you use a laser controller, you will need to either build circuitry to switch the digital signals from which controller you will be using, or if you have the laser on a separate gantry, you can use a traditional laser controller connected to the stepper motor drivers on that gantry.

    Users response:
    I was planing on using same gantry, and installing plasma and laser module on z axis along the side with current router. Perhaps if it’s needed installing another z axis on current z axis. So that when I use plasma, router z will be homed and plasma z axis will be able to utilize thc.

    When you say “If you use a laser controller, you will need to either build circuitry to switch the digital signals from which controller you will be using,”
    If i install laser controller, pokeys and router motion card, do you mean all ( axis and router/laser/plasma) signals or just the one that controls router/laser/plasma?
    I was wondering if I could jump (parallel connect) axis signals from card to card without ?
    Also do you prefer ethernet card or usb?
    I really do appreciate your help :) thanx again.

    Buildyourcnc response:
    Not a problem at all.

    Remember that with all of that weight on the z-axis, you will not be able to do efficient raster style engraving.

    By putting the laser on another gantry, say at the far end of the table, then you would be able to use a laser controller that controls its own stepper motors and the nozzle can have fast swing motion for engraving. With the laser on the z-axis of the spindle (like see on the greenBull), you will only be able to do vector motions for the laser.

    You can also have a CNC interface and laser controller controlling the same stepper motor drivers, but you will need a few tri-state buffer chips where you can use a toggle switch for which controller has control of the drivers.

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    How should I control a plasma torch, spindle and a laser on my CNC machine?

  • I am in Houston. I will use this to make cabinets. Do you have a location I could see one in use cutting similar products?

    Sure, come on by! You can come and see some of our machines in action; pose difficult questions and hopefully we can answer them; and even have some tests done with stuff you bring.

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    I am in Houston. I will use this to make cabinets. Do you have a location I could see one in use cutting similar products?

  • With the Mach3 USB board, my stepper motors are moving or spinning slowly.

    If your motors turn very slowly using your Mach3 USB board, then either the pulse from the board is being output at a slow rate or the motor drivers are set to a higher than expected microstepping:

    The Mach3 USB board outputs the pulse rather than the computer, but Mach3 controls this pulse frequency within the motor tuning section. First, determine if the travel distance is correct with the computer and the physical travel of the machine.

    If the travel is different, then your stepper motor driver's microstepping is incorrect, or the steps per inch/mm in the motor tuning within Mach3 is incorrect.

    If the travel is correct, then simply change the velocity and acceleration parameters to your desired level. If Mach3 will not achieve the velocity you desire, then decrease your stepper motor driver's microstepping setting, readjust the step per inch/mm in mach3 and readjust the acceleration and velocity to your desired levels.

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    With the Mach3 USB board, my stepper motors are moving or spinning slowly.

  • Mach3 USB Interface Board, My switch inputs are def wired active-LOW but I need to set them as active-HI (red x) in ports & pins to make them work correctly, why would this be?

    The inputs on the Mach3 USB board require that you complete the circuit with the V-, so that means that the inputs will fire on a high signal, hence the "Active High". That is simply how the Mach3 USB board is designed. The inputs, output and spindle connections on that side of the board require the V+ and V- to be connected to a 24V supply (most spindle VFDs have an available 24V output terminal for this use).

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    Mach3 USB Interface Board, My switch inputs are def wired active-LOW but I need to set them as active-HI (red x) in ports & pins to make them work correctly, why would this be?

  • DO NEED TO GET THE BIG PLANING BIT OR SURFACING AND GO OVER SPOIL BOARD MAKE SURE THAT IT IS PERFECTLY LEVEL IN RELATION ROUTER?

    Yes, that is highly recommended for all the reasons you can imagine. Say you were doing engraving, not surfacing the spoilboard will either exhibit some areas that have no engraving at all, or areas that have engraving that is too deep. If you are cutting completely through the material, then one end may be cut all the way through but the other end will not have a complete cut, or produce onion skinning on the bottom of the workpiece.

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    DO NEED TO GET THE BIG PLANING BIT OR SURFACING AND GO OVER SPOIL BOARD MAKE SURE THAT IT IS PERFECTLY LEVEL IN RELATION ROUTER?

  • when cutting patterns with my cnc router there is significant chatter in the cut-I've replaced the router-what else should I try?

    Do you use the same bit?? If so, check if it is not dull or worn. Maybe it is time for a new bit. Additionally, I would check if the z axis mounts are tightened correctly and the router has no wiggle room. If that doesn't help, check all of the play that may be in the structure and where the bearings run along the rails and tighten all loose connections that may be present.

    Additional Information:
    So confused....is backlash and chatter the same thing or are they completely unrelated?

    Additional Information:
    Chatter and backlash are different. Backlash is a condition where there is play in the mechanical parts (i.e. a nut not tight against the treads, or two gears not meshing together tightly). Chatter is a phenomenon caused by many possible conditions including vibration, resonance, springiness and flexibility in the system and certain types of end kill and machine movement scenarios.

    Additional Information:
    Meant to say end “mill” at the end there.

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    when cutting patterns with my cnc router there is significant chatter in the cut-I've replaced the router-what else should I try?

  • I would like to make my own custom length XL belt and would like to know what to use to join ends?

    There is no current solution to bond the ends of a timing belt as this would cause a weak link in the belt. If you know that the part of the belt that is held together will not be pass around the pulley, then you can mechanically bond this part of the belt. Otherwise, it would be best to design the axis of your machine's mechanical system so that the timing belt is pinned at both ends.

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    I would like to make my own custom length XL belt and would like to know what to use to join ends?

  • Hello, will the 5x10, 40w laser cutting table cut nylon fabric like 1000D Cordura?

    1000D Cordura is a woven fabric made with nylon. CO2 Lasers can cut nylon but nylon melts poorly, so the finish may not be acceptable.

    Additional Information:
    Thats what i was worried about. Is there any way i could get someone to run a quick test to see how the finish is? Im trying to decide to buy it or not. Most of our edges end up getting bound, so it may not be a big deal if they are a little rough

    Additional Information:
    If you send me a sample of the fabric, I have no problem putting it on my Vertical Laser XL and running a few passes at different speeds and intensities. Sounds like a good opportunity for a test on video.

    Additional Information:
    Also, please send me a MSDS if you can for the specific material that you have. I want to make sure there are no harmful gasses from other constituents of the fabric.

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    Hello, will the 5x10, 40w laser cutting table cut nylon fabric like 1000D Cordura?

  • When we simulate cutting a part, the part is 40% larger than it should be. Why?

    What software are you using to simulate the CAM machining operations?

    Additional Information:
    I drew my part in ViaCad, opened part in CamBam to produce GCode, then Mach3 to simulate cutting part. Everything worked as it should but part was too large.

    Additional Information:
    It sounds like steps per unit is not calibrated properly. Use the Mach3 to calibrate the axes. In the settings tab, there will be axis calibration labeled just above the reset button. There is a button just just below axis calibration called set steps per unit. When the button is clicked, mach3 will present you with a dialog box asking for a measurement of how far to move the specific axis you need to calibrate (use a number that will not make the machine over run the axis). The machine will move to a certain length. Measure that length and enter it into the next dialog box that Mach3 presents to you. Do this for each axis.

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    When we simulate cutting a part, the part is 40% larger than it should be. Why?

  • MOTOR GOING TWO DIRECTION WHEN JUST PUSH UP. IT WILL GO DOWN AND THEN GOES AGAIN UP WITH THE SAME BUTTON.

    Try slowing your feedrate down and increasing spindle RPMs. End-mills will leave a poor finish if you go too fast. Make sure your cutting depth isn't too much. Maybe the endmill or cutter is blunt? Could it be the feed direction of the cutter? Some materials need to be fed in a certain direction.

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    MOTOR GOING TWO DIRECTION WHEN JUST PUSH UP. IT WILL GO DOWN AND THEN GOES AGAIN UP WITH THE SAME BUTTON.

  • MOTOR GOING TWO DIRECTION WHEN JUST PUSH UP. IT WILL GO DOWN AND THEN GOES AGAIN UP WITH THE SAME BUTTON.

    The wire coming from the CW from the driver. Move it to another pin on the breakout board and set the new pin in software.

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    MOTOR GOING TWO DIRECTION WHEN JUST PUSH UP. IT WILL GO DOWN AND THEN GOES AGAIN UP WITH THE SAME BUTTON.

  • I have the AVR programmer USBasp. Should I download and use the sparkfun driver as your tutorial states?

    I created videos that explain how to setup and install the USBasp here:

    &index=3&list=PLE72E4CFE73BD1DE1

    Do not use the video that show the setup of the USBTiny.

    Also, use this video that continues the USBasp installation.

    &index=4&list=PLE72E4CFE73BD1DE1

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    I have the AVR programmer USBasp. Should I download and use the sparkfun driver as your tutorial states?