A Pre-Purchase Question about working with 3/4" HDPE

The initial use I have (what will pay for the machine) will be putting a bullnose edge on Starboard (HDPE) trays that measure 16x22" Seems like the X-Carve would do this pretty easily but I haven’t seen any post specifically dealing with this type of operation. If there is even a bit with such a thin shaft that would accomplish this how long would it take a X-Carve to route this? I’m guess it would be slow since the material is so thick. Any ideas?



is this what you mean by bullnose edge?

wouldnt this be easier on a router table?

the x carve can to it if you do one side and then flip the material or put a shaped router bit in the x carve and run along the edges maybe i am not understanding lol take a look at the pic

This is exactly what I’m aiming for! I am using a router table now with a template attached to it. This is a multi step operation and I’m looking for a way to speed up the process. If the X-Carve could route that edge while I’m working on the other steps it would speed up the process. I have not used one of these machines before but I’m imagining if you take small enough passes you could achieve a chatter free edge. Is the biggest shank size you can use 1/4" or is it 1/8"?


no you can go up to a 1/4" on the dewalt router and there are other routers out there that you could use with the X-carve that will allow you to go all the way up to a 1/2" collet

Now what you are going to want to do to achieve the cut your looking for is create some 3d tool paths for cutting that kinda contour on the edge

I would love to help with this project if possible pm me some contact info and I can get a better idea of what your processes are and we can see if there is a more productive solution

You would probably have best luck with a corner rounding endmill instead of 3d tool paths much quicker

Here is a link to a .375" corner rounding endmill so all you would have to do it carve flip then carve

So it seems that possibly the X-Carve is not suited to this operation if it needs to be done without flipping the material. Currently I use a bullnose router bit with a bearing in a router table with a template. I was looking for a way to do this step in one setup step while working on other parts of the process. I can raise the top off the surface easy enough for clearence but am not finding a similar style bit which would fit in that Dewalt router.

That corner rounding endmill will do it in one step along with a custom made router bit or shaper on your router table


Fabricating marine parts from Starboard is also one of my reasons to get an XC1000. A couple challenges are finding the proper feed rates because it’s easy to get chatter on the edges. The other another is to find the right offset to cut outside for the mill to leave the proper profile and sized end result. Please post your progress if you follow through because I’ll need to be able to make cup holders, iPhone, etc. I’ll obviously do the same once I get to that stage. Good luck!

So it looks like this bit might work, though a little close to the 3/4" thickness of the material. But it would cover the entire span of the edge with around edge.

this one is more the traditional bullnose


And yes, @MidnightMaker, I am sure the feed rate would have to be slow to avoid chatter. I’ve had good results with the router table but am looking for a way to make this process more efficient, time-wise. Sanding and buffing screw-ups is no fun!

In order to get the full bullnose profile on both top and bottom with the same pass using one of the bits shown, you’re looking at two challenges at least. First, the bits will dig deep into the waste board and second, you’ll have a clamping challenge since you’ll be cutting the entire perimeter in one pass. Therefore, you’ll probably need to screw down through the board somewhere. The good news is that you won’t need to flip and rezero.


Hey michael those bits would work and here is what you need to do you set your x-carve up for this type of operation you need to make a raised platform jig for your work piece and then create gcode so the bit will go around the edges all in one pass

will look something like this and you just use double sided tape to hold your work piece in place being hdpe you might need a special type of tape I am not sure but I dont think that your piece can be screwed down but i might be wrong i would need to see your finished piece

Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention that you’d have to write you own g-code for the lead in or find some software much fancier than Easel.

it would be pretty simple to do in fusion 360 and maybe v-carve never used v carve though just basically the outline of the box I could write gcode for something like that

Your picture is what I was thinking. I drill 6 holes with inserts into the starboard so clamping it down shouldn’t be an issue. So about Easel, you think it is too basic to be able to handle this simple ‘lap’ about the outside of the piece?


no I think easel could do it just fine but the only thing with easel is that you cant change the finer deatils of the gcode so you might have to test this to see if it works and do some tuning on the feeds and speeds lead in lead out etc.

As much as I love my X-Carve, I think I would use a router table for this operation.

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but there are free cad programs out there that could do this just fine as well but no easel may work for you just fine I think it should in my opinion

I would use a router table as well but if he is drilling holes in them also you can combine both of those steps on the x-carve I think we really need to know what you are making and the steps that you take to make it and then we can give you the best opinion on wither the x-carve is the machine for you

Remember, Easel doesn’t drill but it can make pockets 0.001" larger than the bit. Also, the bullnose and drilling operations require a tool change and zeroing. If he’s making a rectangular boards, then woodworking techniques may be more practical, but if he’s making complex shapes like fishing rod holders, then the XC is probably the way to go.