Cutting a hole in the waste board for greater clearance?

I’m about the carve a piece that is well over 50mm in height. I don’t need it to cut to the base of the stock just the surface. Is there any major issue with me cutting a hole in the waste board and mounting the shapeoko on wedges to lift it up, to allow the clearance required?

I appreciate you need to keep the baseboard as rigid as possible but we are only talking a 250x250mm hole. I could, of course, replace the waste board afterwards?

Thanks for any advice.

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Folks have done this, and it works well — at least one person who have really liked working thus have replaced their wasteboard with a threaded metal one with integrated vise.

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That’s great appreciate the fast reply.

Note that if the part is narrow you can just clamp it to the front of the machine:

and cut in the overhang area.


Thanks, I considered that, but yes it’s too deep.

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To update: worked without major issue.

I cut a hole out of the MDF waste board. Then added straight brackets on the underside to allow me to fix the hole back. So now I can quickly open the hole and lift the height with wedges when required.


Is there a specific amount of space (ie. cutting area) that the overhang offers?

Don’t have my machine yet… so I can’t measure.

Yes, but it varies based on which Z drive system one has, and possibly by the spindle mount used.

Mine will be a XL or XXL with Z+ and CCR or Makita router. Knowing that figure would help in designing the table/enclosure, and/or in deciding to cut a hole in the base wasteboard before assembly.

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