Trying to engrave grid on spoilboard

Hey all, first post! Just got my machine built last week and fired it up for the first time last night! Everything worked great and my first two cuts went flawlessly! I have some prior cnc experience from my last job so it made getting everything going easy peasy! Now I just need to learn more with Carbide Create so I can really get creative!

Now! Onto my ask.
Looking to engrave a grid on the working area of my spoilboard for lining up my work pieces.

Would I just need to model the grid size of my choosing onto a 33x33 square (ProXXL). Then create the engraving toolpaths, then do my bitzero touchoff on the surface of the spoilboard?

Thanks for any help!

The 33" x 33" working area includes some overhang cutting area at the front of the machine, so you’ll need to do the layout taking that into account.


A lot of beginners like to put a grid on the spoil board. For me it is a waste of time. Over time your grid will be exploded by cutting through projects and depending on your hold down methods the grid will not be very visible.

Depending on what you are going to cut making a large L bracket and anchoring it down and making sure it is square is more practical than a big grid that most of it will never be used. My $.02 worth.


I agree with @gdon_2003, but my basic operation is a little different. I use plastic corners and “fences” from PwnCNC (Shapeoko Pro), and I leave them attached in fixed regions of my spoilboard. (My spoilboard is the original MDF, and I added threaded inserts on a 2" grid.)

Occasionally, I do have to move one fence because a cut will exit the part at that point. So, when I’m through getting my zeroing for that region set, I’ll run a laser line up and down the X and Y axis to mark them. That way I can easily get the fences realigned as needed.

Otherwise, my grid is my 2" threaded inserts. These allow me to build fixtures for smaller parts that I can attach anywhere. I’ll leave one of these fixtures attached in the back 40 for a long job, so I’ll be able to use another place on the spoilboard for something that comes up.

Another bit of advice, (remember that no one can give you advice, but you can take it) don’t make irreversible, complicated, expensive and/or permanent decisions until you’ve done a bunch of inches/millimeters per minute.

Even if you have to use baling wire and chewing gum to hold your parts down for a while!

I used my shapeoko to cut the same hole pattern as my spoilboard into stock and then affixed it to the board and then used the shapeoko to cut a corner jig and straight-edge relative to those holes. Both work like a charm and are nearly perfectly relocatable around the board…just a quick check (love the laser idea, @CrookedWoodTex !


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