Question about wasteboard dimensions

I’m finally getting around to configuring my Shapeoko 3. It is fully assembled and I ran the test drawing. My next step is to make the wasteboard.

I have a question about the wasteboard dimensions. I cut a piece of 3/4" MDF and I made it large enough to cover the baseboard, leaving just enough room on the side for the gantry to move. Is this too large? After doing this I realized that if I make a leveling cut that the side will be a shade higher than the part that was leveled. Will this be a problem? I’ve seen some pictures of others’ wasteboards that are considerably smaller than the baseboard.

I’ve set mine up so that I can either leave a lip at the back to use to register against (sometimes using a set or parallels) — other times I’ll machine that off in a surfacing pass so that I can tile things from front–back for larger projects.

I would recommend manually jogging to the left/right/front/back limits of your machine, making a note of the coordinates there to determine the actual max reachable area, and limit your wasteboard to a bit less than that, otherwise (as you figured out) you’ll end up with a recessed work area. It may or may not be a problem (or can even be an advantage for registration as Will mentioned) , but I have the SO3 and a few times I have found myself needing to use stock slightly larger than the work area (e.g. to cut a part that was as large as the work area), and I couldn’t have done that if I had had a recessed area in the middle.


Thanks for everyone’s replies. To mark the wasteboard limits I put a 1/4 mill into the router and drilled a spot at the limit points.

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