Comparing Materials for CNC Spoilboard

MDF, LDF, and even expanded PVC all have their good points for use as spoilboards. November 25, 2005

What are you having the best results with for spoilboards on nested machines? I have heard LDF, MDF, 1/4" thick to 2" thick and everything in between.

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor M:
I use 3/4" MDF to start. It is easy to get and I can order in any quantity at short notice. I have used LDF as well, but it is difficult to find and I have to order in quantity to get a good deal. LDF bleeds too much as it gets thinner and parts start to move around. Also, thicker spoilboards reduce the z stroke, if you care about those sorts of things.

From contributor D:
We use 18mm MDF as well. We just buy in a pack and get the apprentice to paint the edges while the sheets are in the pack with any sort of paint. Two coats works great. These work well - we use them down to about 6mm thick. Cheap, easy, no problems.

From contributor J:
I also find 3/4" MDF to work the best. Once it gets below 1/4", we replace with new one. Once the board gets below 3/16", we had a hard time keeping them flat. The only advantage I see in using 1/4" board is if you want to unload machined parts with the board to speed up start of next nest cycle. An operator can easily unload 4x8 or 5x8 melamine parts with thinner boards. If you don't mind frequent replacement of the boards, you can reduce machine idle time due to unloading cycle.

From contributor B:
Just get the cheap 3/4" MDF Home Depot carries. It works the best.

From contributor S:
I have had the best luck with 1/2 inch ultra-lite LDF or 3/8 thunderboard. These two materials breathe better than anything else I've tried. The ultra-lite also surfaces nicely so you can get more life out of a sheet.

From contributor G:
If you can dedicate spoilboard to applications, try expanded PVC for your spoil (Sintra, Komotex, Celtec). It is all closed cell, so you will have 0% leakage. It's what we use 90% of the time and it works for us. Give it a try.