So I didn’t spot any other posts using this particular method so I figured I’d post it. Probably 10 examples of it over on the wiki but these forums come up when you search so can’t hurt.
I added 1/4-20 threaded inserts (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00207NF6W/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) to my MDF wasteboard back in August, letting the Shapeoko route out the holes for me on 3 inch centers. Sanded the table flat again and it’s a decent setup. Then I just couldn’t deal with the mess the shapeoko was making and lacked an appropriate workspace, and it kind of sat unused for a few months until recently when I was able to build a workbench sturdy enough to let me use it.
Now that I have a Suckit dust boot on order I wanted to get the rest of the machine in shape, adding spiral wire wrap and such, and I wanted a sacrificial wasteboard so I wouldn’t risk cutting into my MDF board. I know lots of people do, or leave material when cutting they remove later, but since the MDF board is part of the machine’s structure I just have trouble with the idea of cutting into it. Problem was I had all those holes nicely cut and threaded and didn’t want to redo that or waste it. So I was going to cut holes in a 1/4" piece of plywood to give me access to the holes below when I realized I was basically making pegboard…
I’m actually pretty happy with this, the dust from pegboard is unpleasant but of course the goal is to only ever cut into the spoil board a tiny bit if ever, and with the dust boot coming even less of an issue. Because the shapeoko drilled the holes in the original board I know they’re square to the machine’s axes which should help with lining things up. Added bonus is by shifting the board around a little I can easily locate additional holes for manual drilling outside the workarea of the machine, since those 4 bolts are within it and I lose some cutting area. Hardboard as an engineered material is pretty consistent in thickness, at least for my needs, and dirt cheap. When it’s a bit too ‘spoiled’ I can make another in 10 minutes, including the time to pull my table saw out of my shed. Home depot or Lowes could cut it to size for people without other woodworking tools.