Spoilboard and holddowns

Newbie here: since CA +accelerator seems popular, do I still need either tracks or screw holes/clamps for holddowns? If depends on size of project, what is the max size for CA/accelerator?

How would you set up your spoilboard?


Welcome to the forum @loracjesor! Good folks with good support. There is an amazing table thread, more designs than what you can ever need.

I have t-tracks and hold downs, although there are folks who use glue with acceleration. I do plaques, typically 8x11 or so and find that my hold downs do well. Be careful with cheap t tracks, as they do bend if over tightening. Once again, welcome CJ. Grab a cup of coffee and explore the forum!

Something about the tape and glue method just seems wrong to me although it worked great the couple of times that I’ve done it. I guess I just trust clamps more, “I know it’s tight because my fingers still hurt from tightening it” :grinning:

I don’t think I’d want tape and glue to be my only option. I have T-Tracks with 4" strips of 3/4" MDF for my spoil board.

EDIT: I wanted to give an example of a job that I wouldn’t want to use tape and glue for. I have found that on occasion I use my CNC for things that I had no intention of doing when I bought it.

So I live up north and we heat the house with wood pellets. We get them by the ton, literally, and I usually stack them from where the fork lift drops them off to where we store them. So I decided to take three of the old pallets and put casters on them, hoping that the fork lift can drop the new pallet on top of one with casters and then I can push a pallet into place instead of stacking.

Because I have a LongMill I decided to use it when mounting the casters. I decided to bolt the casters onto 2x6’s and then use deck screws to attach the 2x6’s to the pallets. I used the mill to pocket out four hexagons for the nuts with through holes for the bolts. Took less than five minutes in Vectric and made a six minute tool path that I had to run on twelve 2x6 ends. The pallets are 40" wide so had to do two jobs per board on my 30x30.

Long story short is I think I would have spent more time messing with tape and glue then clamps. I ran the tool path twelve times and cleaned up at the end. I think with tape and glue I would have had to clean twelve times maybe?

I guess what I’m saying is the LongMill is a pretty versatile machine and I wouldn’t want your setup to limit your options. I have still been able to use tape and glue with my T-Tracks.

My main spoil board has threaded tee nuts for clamps but it, itself, is held to the CNC main base with tape and CA glue.
I have a mini spoil board (420mm x 200mm) that is screwed down to the main spoil board so it can be removed when machining very thick timber. Its used for small jobs. All my jobs on this board are held in place with tape and CA glue.
I rarely use clamps for my wood and acrylic jobs unless I need to do very long jobs using tiling, but always use clamps to hold down aluminium.

@loracjesor I use both clamps and CA/tape for most of my projects. I clamp down the material using the t-tracks. However, for those projects where I am cutting all the way through the material (as opposed to pocketing it) the clamps do nothing to hold down the small parts that I will be cutting out of the material. To keep them from flying around, I use CA/tape. In some cases, especially when cutting MDF, using a downcut mill packs enough dust into the cut that the part holds itself in place. Finally, for signs and plaques, I frequently clamp the material then cut the perimeter of the sign or plaque, leaving an onion skin to keep it in place. I have the luxury of a router table. So I can remove the onion skin easily with a pattern bit.

I started off using only CA glue, then CA glue and T-track clamps and now I mostly use MDF T-track clamps and tabs. CA glue can get expensive for larger projects, but it works great. I still use it for small things though. My spoilboard is made from MDF strips that are secured to a base with T-track between them.

I use t-tracks with 3.25" MDF in between and a fence in my lower left corner. This allows me to use cam-type wood clamps to hold the wood. I also use wood hold down clamps if I am cutting all the way through.