New Baseboard - MDF?!? No. Aluminum?!? No

I know, I know… it’s just a baseboard. I don’t even know why I did it. I wanted a fancy aluminum one with threads for days, but I got this 48”x24”x1” sheet of acetal for cheap and decided, “what the hay”!

I also took the feet off the frame; I heard that was a thing?



I used an MDF spoilboard with threaded inserts early one and found it to be slippery — have you found this to be a problem?

As a matter of fact it, I was thinking if things don’t work out I can put on some hospital booties and skate on it; it’s quite slippery. Time will tell whether it causes any adverse effects.


Looks great! I can’t find acetal less than $1200/sheet in Australia!

Is acetal hard like phenolic/Bakelite? I saw a guy using phenolic as wasteboard on CNCZone and he tapped threaded holes in it - the threads were very strong.

Thanks for the inspiration, I gave up my search for a new wasteboard about a year ago, you’ve got me started again!

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Ouch! $1200/ sheet is rough. Phenolic and Bakelite are harder than acetal. I’ve been presented case studies of molded threads in Bakelite that had impressive results. I’ll most likely put inserts into the acetal.

Happy hunting!


I was considering a wall slat system as intended for garages — it was a composite, so should have been durable — wouldn’t have been willing to trust the slats for workholding, but they would have been a good point of registration and installation.

I think there are several important factors that the stock MDF alone doesn’t really address.
Deformation over time / stability
Useful work surface (i.e. Can be trammed, threaded etc)
Aluminium tolling plate is a good option but it’s way too expensive in Australia, phenolic sheet seems pretty well priced.

A steel frame with acetal or phenolic would be a good way to go I reckon

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About to do my xxl upgrade, what’s the disadvantage of the leveling feet?

I saw your post on those wall slats… that’s a very interesting option. If I recall correctly, it was something like two 2x8ft sections for $100? Baseboard for days. I often time travel on this forum and by reading a mix of old and new posts, are you still using a t-track system with PVC in-between?

@stutaylo - I got quotes from a few companies in the US, and to have a 1/2”-23”x41” plate of cast tool aluminum it ranged from about $200 to $400 delivered. I looked up what that sheet of acetal I used from a retailer and it was $500 prior to delivery albeit the acetal is a full 24”x48”x1”. What kind of pricing do you see for aluminum and phenolic in Australia? I can’t imagine phenolic being too cheap in the sizes we need either.

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The leveling feet give 4 points of contact for the machine. If you get rid of them, the machine sits on the metal crossbars that are your machine base. It sits flat on your table (you do have a torsion-box table, don’t you? :smiley: ) If it sits flat, then there isn’t nearly any flex.

PS. Watch for protruding screws on the bottom contact area.


Ah very good point, I think my plan is to machine new extrusion end plates and build a frame out of 4040 aluminium extrusion but will leave the feet off until I get around to that! Thanks!

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Yes. I did make one slight update:

If I could just find a source for PVC dowels I’d be all set.