Wasteboard

Last Update: 11 November 2019

The LongMill is designed to be mounted to a wasteboard provided by the user. This is a sheet of material on which the LongMill mounts to, and what the material you will cut will sit on. The wasteboard is designed to be cut into and replaced when needed.

We do not ship LongMills with a wasteboard because:

  1. It saves the cost for shipping. For example, a 4ftx4ft piece of 3/4″ MDF shipped often costs over a hundred dollars in shipping and is very easy to damage during transit. You can usually find a full 4ftx8ft sheet of 3/4″ MDF for under $60 at your local lumber or hardware store.
  2. Users can choose the size and material of the wasteboard to match their needs.

Suitable wasteboard materials

We recommend a flat, clean piece of 3/4″ MDF as your wasteboard. However, any thick, flat piece of material that you are able to screw into will work.

The size of your wasteboard

  • LongMill 12×12: Fits on a 2ft x 2ft surface
  • LongMill 12×30: Fits on a 2ft x 4ft surface
  • LongMill 30×30: Fits on a 4ft x 4ft surface

You can ask your local lumber or hardware store to cut it down to size if needed.

Area Name Configuration Width [mm] Length [mm] Width [in] Length [in]
Foot Base 12×12 610 525 24 20 11/16″
Foot Base 12×30 1100 525 43 5/16″ 20 11/16″
Foot Base 30×30 1100 1024 43 5/16″ 40 5/16″
Total outline All 250 +88 +1 5/8″ +3 1/2
Control box All 250 204 4″ 8″

 

Some things to be mindful of:

  1. As mentioned previously, these measurements are not exact until we finalize the machine
  2. The total machine outline is a constant amount, no matter which machine configuration you have. For example, the 30 x 30 with the added stickout of certain components will be:
    – Width = 1100 + 40 = 1140mm
    – Length = 1024 + 88 = 1112mm
    *This can be applied in imperial units too.
  3. The control box has buttons on the top which can Play, Pause, and Stop the machine’s motion so it’s a good idea to keep it mounted near your CNC. It also will have a USB input on the left side, motor and other outputs on the right side, and the power input on the back side, so make sure to keep some space around it for cable management.

Mounting your LongMill to your wasteboard

To ensure that your machine is mounted securely and accurately, we’ve created a series of steps to help you do so. We highly recommend following these steps exactly, as the order of these steps matter. You’ll need a computer to be connected to the machine in order to align it properly.

We will start by checking the tension of the Delrin v-wheels. As we did in the previous steps, we want to make sure that the wheels barely turn with our fingers by adjusting the eccentric nuts.

We will also properly tension the Delrin anti-backlash nuts. Turn the tensioning screw a little bit at a time. Check for play by moving the gantry back and forth and seeing if there is any excess movement. Do not over tighten, usually a half turn is more than enough.

Gently put your LongMill on the wasteboard. Shuffle it over roughly where you want it. We typically like to leave room on the left side for the electronics box to sit. In this case, we actually had to get the MDF cut to 42 inches to be able to fit it into the car. So we’ll just be mounting it in the middle as there is not enough room for the electronics box to sit on the side.

Move the machine onto your wasteboard. Position it to where you want it.

Once positioned, start by moving the machine all the way to the rearmost position by jogging in the y-axis on your control software. Keep moving backwards until you hear a grinding coming from the motors on both sides; this is to confirm that your machine is all the way back and it aligns the left-side feet to the right-side feet.

Move the machine to the very back until it stalls.

We’ll start by mounting the right side of the machine. Using a drill with a long Robertson driver or a short one on a bit extender works best for driving in the screws so that you have the necessary reach. You can use the particle board screws provided, or use your own mounting hardware depending on your material or its thickness, but please ensure that you don’t use counter-sunk wood screws to attach the feet as this will crack them.

The screws included are 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″, and 2″ size #8 particle board screws. Each foot has two holes for mounting where the shortest screws are meant for the inside and the longer one are for the outside. Please note that the 2″ screws WILL go through 3/4″ MDF, but were still included since they can hold the LongMill feet down better. If you choose to use them, make sure that the surface under the wasteboard will not be damaged if you have screws coming out the bottom.

Alright, begin by moving the machine a couple of inches forward and mount the inside of the top and bottom feet using two wood screws (1-1/4″).

Next, we’ll put screws in the other two spots on the same side, this time on the middle feet.

Now fasten the diagonal mounting points of all the right-side feet using the longer screws.

At this point, one side of your machine will be fully secure. The technique to make sure the other side is mounted parallel to the first side is by running the gantry between its limits and mounting the other side as you move it along the length. Start by mounting the top left foot on the inside:

Move the machine down so that it is roughly in the middle of it’s length, then secure the insides of the next two feet:

Finally, move it to the front and secure the inside of the front left foot:

Now move the machine again to the middle spot and use the longer screws to finish mounting the feet using their diagonal mounting holes.

Your machine should now be fully secure to the wasteboard. From this point, you should be ready to get cutting your first jobs! If you’ve got the touch plate or the dust shoe add-ons alongside your machine, you can see our pages on how to get those assembled and set up:

You can also move on to the next page if you’d like to try out one of our easy starter projects ->