Surfacing supplementary wasteboard with standard supplied end mill

My new S3 came with a #201 Square .250 diameter end mill (Nomad tools). From all that I’ve read, surfacing the wasteboard should be done with a downcut end mill. I’m assuming the #201 isn’t downcut??

You are assuming right. But it is quite fine to surface your wasteboard with it, I would even argue that it is better since an upcut is better at giving nice flat pocket bottom surfaces. For my own info where did you read about favoring a downcut endmill for surfacing? I maybe wrong and happy to learn otherwise !

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Thanks Julien, great, then I don’t need to purchase another end mill! I watched Winston Moys’ Youtube videos and he’s very precise in his explanations, so I picked up the downcut tip from him and also from general searches on the Shapeoko 3 surfacing operation.

Well I’ll definitely go and check Winston’s wisdom, but don’t overthink it, an upcut will be just fine.

Haha, it’s hard not to overthink it when watching Winston’s videos :slight_smile: He really goes into depth about everything!

I use that same 1/4” end mill to surface my XXL. Yes it takes awhile, but any oh so slightly out of tram issues are mitigated compared to using the bigger 1” surfacing bits I see others use. Never tried a down cut bit for that, and don’t really understand why I would, they cut slower and the idea behind down cutting from my understanding is to avoid pulling top plys loose on plywood, not a flat bottom pocket. I’m always trying to learn though, so I’m interested to see what the reason is.



I re-watched @wmoy video where he surfaces his supplementary wasteboard, and he mentions using a downcut endmill to “minimize MDF fuzz”. Quite possibly so, I’ll try next time…at least to know better.

Kinda makes sense I guess, but I usually just grab a nice flat block and some fine sandpaper after surfacing, a few quick swipes and it’s really smooth. Just enough sanding to fuel my perfectionist side, haha!!!


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