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Beginner T-slot Clamping Wasteboard On Dead Flat Worktop.

  • Machine Type:
    OpenBuilds LEAD Machine
    OpenBuilds BlackBox
    MDF and T-rails
    After following the usual instructions to mount an MDF wasteboard with threaded inserts, I found the following:
    • inserts were rubbish and pulled out
    • after facing the wasteboard this scooped out a lower area so worksurface was not flat
    • wasteboard attached by screw from bottom, requiring lifting of machine.
    So now I have a better clamping solution, and I no longer have to lift the machine to replace the wasteboard and all done from the top.
    IMG_0589.png IMG_0590.png
    IMG_0591.png IMG_0592.png IMG_0593.png IMG_0594.png
    What you don't see in the pictures is I built a torsion box (search YouTube on how woodworkers create a dead flat worktop) between under the larger MDF surface and my worktop, by placing the 3 usually vertical 40x20 extrusion that supports the wasteboard into a H arrangement by cutting one short, and then using 40mm x18mm MDF beams to form ribs in between, all glued and screwed down.

    The t-rails are glued and screwed down and lastly the strips of MDF wasteboard were routed with channels to hug down the t-rails. So now I never have to lift the machine above my head, its hard when the machine is in an enclosure!.

    Now the wasteboard area is 100% within the work area so can be completed and evenly faced if necessary plus section of wasteboard can be replaced individually which is more economical.

    The wasteboard strips are shifted up a little so the touch-probe and perform x,y,z probing without z-stop interference and get a repeatable x,y,z=0 on the bottom left corner of the leftmost wasteboard strip.

    I used the machine itself to give me a square reference line engraved on x and y then started with the central rail, glued and screwed and left overnight to dry before coming back and fitting the rest either side.

    I must say its pretty flat and more rigid with the whole machine screwed down.
    IMG_0589.png IMG_0590.png IMG_0591.png IMG_0592.png IMG_0593.png IMG_0594.png

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  1. Coleman Martin
    It's a year in with your post now. Any thoughts on how it's holding up or changes you would make?
  2. RoosterTX
    By essentially having two, .75" pieces of MDF between the actual machine bottom and the material being cut, aren't you removing 1.5" of Z axis space? The Lead 1010 is already fairly limited, get yourself a thick workpiece and a long bit and you're screwed, right?
  3. Tony Lavalle
    would you be willing to share the files to cut the slats. and measurements. I have the t rails and clamps.
    1. Stephan Kent Brumbaugh
      Upgrading the z-axis is super easy and cheep. If you want to extend the travel of the z that is more expensive, but to extend the base height, all you need to do is grab a piece of 20x80 V-Slot, cut it to size, and replace the ones that came with the machine.
      Stephan Kent Brumbaugh, Mar 31, 2022
  4. FutureBillionaire
    Wow amazing!

    How much $ are you into this whole thing for?
    1. John Wylie
      Umm that's really hard to say as I have several machines, but in the pix there's a standard Lead1010 with DeWalt, dust shoe, plus few hundred in extras plus £500 for Festool Vac.
      John Wylie, Jun 23, 2021
  5. Robert Drisaldi
      John Wylie likes this.
  6. Mark Carew
      John Wylie likes this.
  7. Batcrave
    One other question (completely unrelated to the spoilboard/worktop issue - sorry)... Is that vacuum hose running to a shopvac, or do you have a real dust collector? If it's the former, where did you get that hose? It looks infinitely more flexible than the stiff hoses I've got on mine, which always feel like they're trying to torque the axis into misalignment.
      John Wylie likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. John Wylie
      apparently air going through a plastic hose can build up a static charge which may eventually dump into EMF or a endstop
      John Wylie, May 22, 2021
    3. John Wylie
      So to answer your question, I don't have a shop vac as too noisy in my house, and gone for a quiet solution, but did the work to use an earth-able hose from amazon, I think its 60mm
      John Wylie, May 22, 2021
    4. John Wylie
      I still need to build a better "curtain rail" type support above to hold the hose above support the hose for the dust collection shoe so it can reach everywhere but keep up and out the way
      John Wylie, May 22, 2021
  8. Batcrave
    Thanks for posting this. I'm in the middle of plotting out a design for a new bench for my LEAD (designed to roll into place over a big metal box holding the house's geothermal compressor - what otherwise would've been dead space) and was briefly toying with a torsion box. At this point I think I'm probably going to cheat and let gravity do all the flattening work with a poured epoxy top, but I hadn't thought of trying the torsion box with extrusion - never mind an extrusion/MDF hybrid.

    I've always liked the idea of the T-tracks a lot too. The reasons I've been hesitant to go that route (aside from the fact that, until the new bench is done, I'm stuck with the machine in a half-width configuration) are that, a) I don't have a convenient table saw (read: in the garage, blocked in by two cars and a snowblower) to cut (straight) replacement slats when needed, and b) I'm reluctant to give up the Z height to the doubled-up sheets of MDF. Maybe once I get around to going high-Z. Some day.

    I'd also be curious to hear how you feel over time about the differences between working with the T-slot arrangement vs a grid of inserts. On my first machine I used a 1" grid of threaded holes for clamps, but so far on the LEAD I've been getting by with painter's tape & CA glue for workholding (which has worked out nicely enough, except that I can't force cupped wood flat like I could with clamps... which generally turned out to be a bad idea anyhow).
      John Wylie and ADClark like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. John Wylie
      If you ask the hardware store to cut a piece of MDF that fits your machine work are then you can cut even strips on that.
      John Wylie, May 14, 2021
    3. John Wylie
      I tried threaded inserts, didn't work out for me, first I make mistake and put wrong side and they pull out easy, then I have to lift machine and put other side, they still pull out. I have no help and I got the machine jacked up with timber trying to replace the board, super scared it fall on my head!!!.
      John Wylie, May 22, 2021
    4. John Wylie
      The solution I have I am happy with, its flat and don't need to lift the machine again, even if I do a project where sticking down makes more sense, add another sheet of spoil mdf onto and secure the piece with double sided or bonded tape is still an option, where it depends on the job. At least I know that any up-force created by tightening clamps is kind-of negated by the overlaps which hold the slots down, equal and opposite=0 was the idea
      John Wylie, May 22, 2021
  9. John Wylie
    Here is the layout of the Torsion arrangement under the bed:
    The the middle rail was cut using a chop saw with metal cutting blade (this brand https://www.amazon.co.uk/Evolution-...ds=evolution+table+saw&qid=1620518473&sr=8-23) and fitted across the middle, the brown beams in the diagram are 18mm thick MDF cut into 40mm strips, wood glued down and using 90 degree aluminium corner fixing to grip to the base surface and aluminium profile here and there. I marked on the aluminium frame around in pencil where all the support beams where then screwed the base 18mm MDF layer into the MDF ribs.
      JPX2000 likes this.
  10. Dthomas27
    Can you post a sketch of how you configured your torsion box using the beams provided
      John Wylie likes this.
    1. John Wylie
      Just uploaded for you
      John Wylie, May 8, 2021
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