Flattening bit doesn't touch waste board

FYI, the same issue was discussed here.

Kinda hard to see if the minimum (original)wasteboard-to-collet distance is the same, you may want to get in touch @haluski or @annmeganm so that they measure it on their machine, to confirm this is just the “expected” Z-travel situation.

1 Like

I just signed up to post on this exact question/issue. I thought I did something wrong, but apparently there isn’t as much downward travel with the Z+?

I have the Whiteside 6210 and and it can BARELY touch the supplemental wasteboard (3/4" MDF, on top of the provided main base), with hardly any of the shank in the collet. Definitely doesn’t scream “This is secure, go ahead and run it!”.

What are the options here? I don’t really feel like replacing my supplemental wasteboard ALREADY with a piece of 1" MDF – not even sure where I can find that. I’m not that familiar with 1/4" bits, let alone 1/8" bits, so if they are typically even shorter, am I going to have no other option than to get a thicker wasteboard, or possibly double up?

Can anyone confirm if the Dewalt or Makita have a longer “reach” to them than the Carbide router, or is this just a Z+ issue, period? I have 2" from the original waste/base board, to the bottom of the tightened collet nut.

1 Like

Nope, nothing installed upside down. Z axis doesn’t travel down far enough.
I went ahead and cut another piece of 3/4 MDF and sandwiched it between my stock board and spoil board. I was able to finally flatten my spoil board with the Whiteside 6210.
All is good now. I’m sure in the future when I want to work on taller items, I will have to remove the sandwiched board . So I can have the clearance.
Thanks to everyone who chimmed in and provided guidance…


I am in the same boat.

Wish I knew this before drilled and installed 150 threaded inserts…

Guess I will go get a 1/2 piece of MDF to sandwich between.

The carbide router is dropped all the way.
I am at 1.25" with a 0.76" MDF supplemental wasteboard.
I cant flatten my wasteboard with the whiteside 6210.

1 Like

Ouch. I’m brand new to CNC, but I went the t-track route. Seemed a LOT easier, cheaper, and less time consuming to just drill/countersink 8-10 holes in (5) pcs of MDF and screw those to the original wasteboard, sandwiching some t-tracks in between them.

1 Like

The big question is does the new z plus travel as low as the standard one? I’m planing on making the purchase when available am I going to have to add another waste board in order to us it.

I built my shapeoko 2 weeks ago…these are the pictures of the 201 bit and where it reached on carbide mdf. My post on z axis and wasteboard After I put a temporary spoilboard down the bit reaches fine. I will say that I like the fact that you’re required to have an additional spoilboard fitted on to your machine (as a noob) as I would have ruined the factory boards. The only thing I can suggest is that Carbide advertise this fact a little bit more. It’s not huge thing but it’s an easy fix.

1 Like

Yes indeed, you should make a spoilboard to go on top of the factory supplied baseboard. And yes, a 1/4” shanked bit like the #201 should reach it.

It seems with the z-plus that it does not come low enough to use a spoilboard surfacing bit because the 1/4 shank is shorter.

More importantly it seems that any bit with an 1/8” shank will not reach the additional spoilboard at all. This means you cannot cut full depth pockets or profile cutouts at all with just one additional spoilboard.

The only solution seems to be is to have TWO additional spoilboards on top of the factory board to bring the height up so you can surface the top spoilboard and use 1/8” bits successfully… like when cutting through 1/4” stock which often is needed.

So it seems you need to add around an extra 1 1/2” height to use successfully in those circumstances. This also means that it will reduce the maximum thickness of stock that can be put in the machine by some amount that can’t really be worked out without seeing it.

I hope that Carbide3D will make this clear. Obviously they know all these dimensions and limitations… and should publish on the website to help guide the buyer to the right purchasing decision.

I would like a definitive answer to this from them (@Luke) as I was hoping to buy a z-plus when they become available… but this additional height required has been a surprise and may now adversely affect my buying decision.

I think this issue is only just being noticed because the z-plus is at the moment only going on new machines to typically new users who have not yet realized this shortcoming like the OP and some others.


May I suggest putting in a 800W G-Penny spindle in instead of a router. You’ll have plenty of additional length to reach the spoil board and enjoy the quiet in the shop too. It fits in the stock mount with the Makita adapter.

You might have to wait a while for it to ship from China at the moment.

1 Like

The more of these “surprises” that eke out, I’m not so sure about that.

No z plus does not travel as low as my XL with a dewalt router standard z. I surfaced my wasteboard multiple times with the same set up.

I am in the process of selling my Large CNC router 48x48 with Mach4 and 2.2 kW spindle driven by VFD. Been doing this for 20 years or so. Looking to get the XL for move to retirement residence. Oh I am new here.
My guess is #1 a design flaw or can the router mount be remounted to a another set of holes in the back plate.

Thought on ball screw mounting, why can’t you just remount the Z motor and add your own ball screw and nut?? Like the last two machines I owned had?

added another 1/2 sheet of mdf between stock and supplemental wasteboard. everything seems to fit now. currrently flatting with whiteside 6210.

1 Like

Well THAT Is one solution. I think this z plus is a z minus… glad I went on and bought a hdz


So does the HDZ have the same issues? Adding another 3/4 waste board to me doesn’t seem to be a good solution. Customers purchase the CNC expecting to use it when they get it. If they don’t want to add an extra waste board they shouldn’t have to. Now they have to add two with the Z plus. Seems there should be a fix for it. That’s more weight to cause an uneven base. Customers have issues now with having to brace the bed because of uneven cuts.

I have no problem adding an additional wasteboard to the stock machine. I actually prefer that. Lots of options of what you might want.

I just wish it was posted somewhere that you might want to consider an 1in or more wasteboard. I would have grabbed a 1 1/8 piece of mdf and been done with it.

I would have thought Carbide would have weighed in by now.

1 Like

In my particular situation, adding a second waste board would HELP the bed – mine bows UP in the middle, not down. I put the entire machine on a 4" thick torsion box top, removed the (imho) useless leveling feet, and supported underneath the straps with 3/4" MDF. It’s almost perfectly flat, WHEN I push down in the middle. My only other thought was running a screw down through the waste/spoil boards and into the torsion box top to suck it down flat, but, then I can’t slide the machine forwards/backwards in it’s enclosure, which I need to do if I ever want to do something on the front edge of a board (dovetails) with the board clamped vertically.

Obviously adding that second waste board does cause an issue with limiting the stock thickness too.

Not sure what possible solutions there are to this. Somehow the mounting plate for the router needs to be lower, I guess?

The HDZ has 150mm of travel — one can pretty much touch the collet nut to the wasteboard.

The additional layers, once secure and trammed should make the machine more stable if anything.

I was going to get the bit setter. Am i going to have any issues with the height being up an extra 1/2 in?

1 Like

No. I have the bit setter and it’s tall enough to clear the spoil board and the sandwiched board.

1 Like