Wastboard Question

I tried to post this on the Shapeoko Wiki Forum, but it got munged… So here goes.

Hey all,

My store is has some unused merchandising displays that are laminated 5/8" thick mdf with t-slots (for hooks) about every 3" apart. They are about 5’x2’. I was thinking I could chop them up to fit my shapeoko XL. I would drill lines of counter-bored 1/4-20 threaded insert holes too, between the t-slots. Lot’s of clamping facility!

Question is; Any special trick to cut the laminate without chipping? I was thinking about using blue tape, but maybe someone knows a better way.

Cheers & TIA,


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What are the dimensions of those slots?
To reduce tear-out, use a backer board, same theory as the tape, but instead of tape, its another sheet of MDF.

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Hi Apollo,

So I should cut from the non-laminate side? (It’s actually a double sided display, so there are 2 or more potential wasteboards) - They are attached to a square tube steel frames.

Slots are about 7/8 |-- 3/8. Thats with the extrusion removed, which i’ll probably be doing…


you can clamp it to a sacrificial board face down like Apollo said. Cutting laminate, you always get better results cutting from the back UNLESS you are using a table saw. With table saw just feed it normally.


Great! Makes a lot of sense actually. I had done one laminate test before, cutting from the top, but that was v-carving with a 60° bit (see My first attempt at making a sign) and it came out pretty good, but I figure the angle of of the bit and nature of the cut kept the edges clean…

Good info! Thanks!

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It has to do with the way the saw blade teeth come through on the cut. Routing it is completely different.