Understanding spoilboards

I’m new (just bought and assembled my Shapeoko 5) and trying to understand the spoilboard. It seems to me that the spoilboard will get spoiled over time (hence the name) and that when I reach that point I can resurface it with my CNC. Presumably I can only do this a few times and then I will need new boards? Presumable I can make my own replacement spoilboards with my CNC machine? Is there a design for this already that I can download?

You are correct. Someone will send you the file. There is a lot of help here for every question you have.
Myself, since im new and the machine is new, i keep putting scrap wood under each project, especially the ones that i require the cut to go all the way through my stock.
Issues with that so far for me, have been clamping, and making sure everything is perfectly level. The more you add the more you have to check, if that makes sence.

Issue is, its new and i like the new look, once i make my first cut into a spoil board im sure ill be fine with more, but for now i dont want mistakes to carve the rails.

Maybe someone will post their secondary spoil boards that they have made which eliminate my issues with clamping and being level but maintain your boards.

Have fun and stay safe


Get used to zeroing at the bottom of your project and on the top of the spoilboard and you will cut into it way less. Probably only when a mistake happens.

Making the slats on a tablesaw and drill press is way faster than trying to make them on the CNC. If you have those that is the way to go. They don’t need to be super precise width but the hole placement is important. The other day one of the guys suggested a head slapping simple idea of using an old slat and center punch to mark the holes for new slats.

And yes, you can surface it with the CNC to get it flat. I think the 5 can cover the whole area without having to juggle slats around like you have to do on the 4 and Pro.

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