XXL waste board upgrade

I’ve been thinking of upgrading my waste board for awhile now. Aluminum is not in my budget. Has anyone done poured epoxy/something similar for a waste board?

This video gave me some ideas:

3 Likes

I have quartz countertops - if I understand it right it is made very similar to epoxy granite. Anyone know if the flatness of standard quartz would be sufficient for my SO3?

Interesting idea. I have seen a few posts here with people daydreaming about using epoxy granite, but no actual example of anyone doing it on their Shapeoko (I may have missed it). And that was for filling the extrusions, not for a wasteboard. So I guess that would be a first.

I was wondering whether epoxy would actually be cheaper than aluminium, and sure enough it would be (XXL wasteboard = 40"x44"x3/4" = around 22 liters, so probably around 300$ worth of epoxy resin, but probably much less than that considering it’s mostly sand/gravel)

Flatness should not matter too much I think, since you will have to use a supplementary wasteboard on top, and you would surface that anyway. An epoxy granite bed would hardly qualify as a "waste"board :slight_smile:

The tricky part I guess would be to hold threaded inserts (or something similar) at the right places before pouring the granite/epoxy mix, to be able to later attach the wasteboard to the frame, and the secondary wasteboard on top.

Reusing a quartz countertop: another interesting idea if you have a way to cut it to the right size, and if the thickness is right ? Countertops tend to be quite thick ?

Anyway, if you proceed down that road let us know how it goes !

1 Like

I think the weight and stability of a single slab would be a big improvement over the 2 pieces of mdf. You’re right about the flatness - I currently have a piece of 3/4 mdf attached to the top of the factory bed as a sacrificial waste board thats held down with 4 bolts. I use tape for work holding so that won’t be an issue.

So now my question is would this be a worth while upgrade? Would the epoxy or quartz sag over time like mdf?

1 Like

If sagging is the concern, I think you could first (if not already done) just install a reinforcment point under the middle of the MDF bed, that’s a common issue and apparently many XL/XXL owners have solved it with a simple nut and bolt placed there.

There is also the option of losing the feet and resting the bed directly on a flat surface (which I did on my SO3 back when I still had an MDF wasteboard, it was definitely an improvement)

These 2 steps are basically free, so worth trying anyway?

There’s still the problem that MDF absorbs humidity, which can lead to subtle geometry changes over the year, while epoxy/quartz/aluminium don’t have this problem.

The question of whether it is worthwhile really depends on what you are trying to achieve. Unless you want to mill high-precision metal pieces, I think a properly supported MDF bed goes a long way. I have literally no idea what rigidity you could expect from an epoxy bed, but it would make for a fun project :slight_smile:

1 Like

Can’t beat granite for flat and stable! :wink:

1 Like