3D carve using a tapered bit

I was getting the machine setup (after a bit of a break) for a projected and needed a quick carve to test it out. I decided to do a skull in a piece of scrap pine I had. I have had problems with this model before because the teeth detail is so fine So I decided to give my new tapered bit a try.

I had previously downloaded a skull .stl file from thingverse and “flattened” it when I imported it into my vcarve software.

The carve went well, about 40 min total.

I decided to finish it with some Minwax Sodona Red I had picked up for a different project. I really like how the color turned out.


That’s awesome!


What size tapered bit do you have? I picked up a 0.5mm version but not tried it yet.

That came out really nice.

Looks great

I find them very useful for a high detail finish pass. The micro vbits are also much cheaper than a tapered ball end mill. I mostly use a 20deg. 1/8 .1mm point @125ipm for a finish pass or 50ipm for a full depth cut.

Here is a link to the bit I used

I did another quick carve. Again in pine using the tapered bit.
It is a wolf (dog) skull seen from up above.
I got the model off of thingverse and flattened it to carve in 3/4" stock.

It is the symbol used in a role playing game that is starting up and I want to use it to make some props.

I am really glad I did a test carve as the complex couture of the skull makes for some convoluted paths during the finish 3D carve in VCarve Pro. I think if I surround it with a oval, and have that as the object boundary instead of the object itself, it should do the carve as a simple spiral. It will be carving a larger area but it will have a lot less start and stops and moves as it carves different section. Plus I don’t risk any kind of “seam” when 2 carved areas meet. There was a barely noticeable one, but a quick pass with a sanding sponge fixed it.

I am thinking of using this as a body of a prop ukulele. It wont have to actual play, we would just hide a blue tooth speaker in it. If that works out who knows, I may try to make a real ukulele too. :wink:


A new carve using a scan of a bob cat skull I downloaded from thingverse.

Here I tried out the feature where VCarve will map a curve onto a 3d object.
Adding the sigil as a 2D curve to the surface of the skull.
I was pretty happy with how this turned out.

3D carved in pine, stain “gunstock”, sealed with tung oil finish.

I used a old plank of pine I have had in the garage for years. It really soaked up the oil.

I am not as happy with how the stain color turned out on this one. The plan is to make a few of these a props for a game. So I may try some other stains and finishes. I have some lighter colored “pecan” stain, as well as plain (just the tung oil finish).

1 Like

I carved a few more bobcat skulls. (I needed to make 6 for our game)
I played around with different materials and finishes. (I figured making each one different would work to “personalize” them. Plus I was having fun.)

I did one in plain pine, sealed with tung oil:

I stained one with the Sedona red I like so much, sealed with tung oil:

I decided to exsperiment and mix some of the “So Strong” smooth-on pigment with the toung oil and see what would happen. I was worried the pigment would not blend, but it just melted into the tung oil finish. I loved the results!
Up until now if I wanted any kind of color, my only option was the water based minwax pastel base. But I really don’t like working with water based stain. I may try the so strong pigments in some pre stain conditioner and see how that works too. :slight_smile:

I did blue:

And green:

I applied additional layers of regular tung oil over it. The color did come off a bit when I did that. But after the finish dried completely it seemed to be well sealed in.

Later I added some paste wax over the green and it seemed to react with the pigment? Making it darken. I sunlight it is still green but in lower light it looks almost blue / black. I have noticed this past wax changing the color of other stains before so I assume it is a quark of the wax.

I also tried out some other woods. I has a small bit of teak and gave that a try:

I also tried mahogany for the first time. I love how well it carved!
Plain mahogany with tung oil finish:

To make a really dark one I stained the mahogany with with some Minwax Jacbean:

The plain Mahogany and Teak with the Tung oil finish are my favorites :slight_smile:


I tried some pre stain conditioner with a bit of purple so strong pigment in it.
It worked great! The color soaked right in.

However the blue is starting to darken a bit. becoming more purple /black looking in low light. I only used tung oil finish on it so far.
I am thinking it is the pigment reacting with the wood?
I wonder how the purple will look in a couple days. Right now it looks exactly like “mimeograph purple” :slight_smile:

I may try adding some white pigment to the next one, make a really bright pastel version of the color and see how it darkens up over time.


Lol, yeah. Skulls & Halloween are kind of my thing. Plus you can get the models off of thingverse easily :wink:


So encouraged by how well the last few turned out I decided to make a tiki out of the last of the teak scrap. I was able to lay out the carve on the remaining bit and it turned out really well.

Finished carving:

Sealed with some tung oil finish:

I am really happy with the tapered bit for 3D carves. I have been using it for the final profile cut as well without any issue. Mainly because I am too lazy to do a 3rd bit change :wink:

This was carved at my basic “default” settings (80ich/min). With my original XC I had difficulty carving teak even with conservative settings. Which is why I had the scrap to begin with, from failed / staled carves.

So this really showcases how well the upgrades are performing. :slight_smile: