6 months and still love it! Curbfeeler's upgraded x-carve

Hi guys. Six months in, I decided to go ahead and say a few words about my experience with my X-carve. I bought myself this thing for my b-day back in Jan. Spent a few weeks building it. One of the best builds for a project ever. Amazing instructions and support. The only thing that makes it complicated is the vast array of upgrades. When you’re just starting out, it can be overwhelming.

I decided out of the box to ditch the ardunio and go for LinuxCNC, which without any real evidence to support this, I think to be a big upgrade :slight_smile:

I bought cheap drivers and a breakout board off of ebay, and this is one slight regret. I’ve actually been able to keep these drivers going so far with good results, but I’ve read several threads about how horrible these things actually are.

I’ve got a set of half-built James Newton drivers that will one day replace these, so will post about these once the day comes.

On my machine, I decided to cut corners on things I felt were overpriced. I removed the router and end switches and waste board and tool kit. This was kind of a case of my not taking enough time to read what you get for your money. Once I realized the router included the mount, it came out to the same price as amazon. Duh. I was lucky that I was able to add it back before my kit shipped.

The waste board, I also didn’t realize that price included the inserts. Ooops. I had to buy those later and pay separate shipping.

In the end, I’ve got a great unit that makes great cuts, albeit after considerable time invested and much tweaking. Luckily i enjoy working on it.

X-Axis with the 30 minute stiffening mod (machine screws). Seems very solid IMHO.

L brackets under the Y supports (there are in process, actually).

All eccentric nuts modded to eccentric nuts a la mike and phil.


LinuxCNC dedicated computer

Savebase china breakout board and drivers, cooled with pc fans and an arcade power supply.

End mills from M&M Carbide in Ohio, made in USA and great end mills.

Precision collet with spring 1/8 and 1/4 inserts to replace stock collet.

Homemade MDF spoil board. Leveled with a 3/4 craftsman straight bit. Lines cut with a 30 degree bit and holes cut with the CNC itself. A coat of polyurethane, as once the MDF is planed it’s pretty dusty.

Dust collection is a big-■■■ shop vac hidden under the table, a HEPA-rated filter, a swimming pool vac hose, a dust deputy, all venting outside the basement. The boot is similar to various found on this site, drawn by me in inkscape.

Many thanks to Zach and team inventables for making this all possible. I really wanted to learn about CNC, and building this kit kind of forced me to follow through.

Next steps:
I’m currently about to start building walnut boxes using a demo of a product called fingermaker. It’s at tailmaker.net, written by a very bright guy named Gerald, who has so far been very patient with my questions.

Thanks for looking!


Awesome set up! Can’t wait to see what you make with it

Upgrading my z axis. More to come!


Been there done that and have no regrets! Looks just like mine.

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Designing an adapter similar to yours in openscad. Did some test cuts last night and thinking it will work. Need to get actual measurements for countersunk standard hardware and adjust, then will try one out of walnut. Countersinking was a new skill to learn in cambam, so that was last night’s challenge.


Can you link to the Eccentric “mike and phil” upgrade…i’m having some trouble finding anything other than this thread in search.


Or is it this thread?

^ Yes!

Awesome, thanks guys!

When I tear it apart to do the upgrade on the gantry, I may just do this mod too…pending what they have to say about how to upgrade to the new eccentric spacer mentioned in the upgrade stuff.

Agree about it working great. I will say that when I take mine apart and put it back together for the Z axis, I may switch over to M5 threaded rods and the bigger and meatier eccentric spacers from openbuilds. Like most of these mods, I have no way to quantify what improvement this will gain me, and really part of it is probably just that the idea “clicks” with my sensibilites (such as they are).


Yes, I am thinking aluminum, but nervous as it will be my first cut of anything other than wood. May install the walnut version and run it while I get up my courage.

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Just go for it :slight_smile: You will be pleased at how well the X-Carve cuts aluminum.

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Will try to cut this walnut scrap today. I don’t have a drill press, and when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail :slight_smile:

I’m excited about my preliminary cuts of the countersink screw holes using a 30 degree v bit. This is also my first attempt using the cam clamps I made last weekend.


So I just didn’t feel like getting the z axis going thus weekend. Instead I pulled my hf dust collector out of storage (hasn’t been connected since I moved 3 years ago ) and set her up.