About To Buy... Need Info On Router Time / File

Hi All,

First… Thanks for taking the time to help me figure this out! Appreciated.

I am ready and wanting to buy an X-Carve but I also need the actual router time to be practical for the signs we make. I have received estimates from 15 mins all the way to 7 hours. So now I am really confused. lol

Attached are a couple different file types that represent our main sign formats / template.

Sign Details…
23" x 23" x 3/8"
Soft Cedar
Approx. 1/8" Deep
1/16" bit

Can someone out there give me a firm time estimate on the machining time needed using an X-Carve to complete this type of design?



You can mock this up in Easel. Accounts are free and the time estimates are fairly accurate.

Just import a SVG and set the depths and bit sizes.



I tried that but I can’t seem to get the correct paths and such… At least the preview doesn’t show it that way (?). Also I am not sure of the speed per inch. Any suggestions for soft cedar?

Using a 1/16" bit can it router a little less then an 1/8" deep in one pass?

Thanks again for the help!

The hard part is your sizing just a simple bitmap trace in Vcarve and it does not look good with a 1/8" bit not sure on the estimation on this either it is an with clearing and final it goes to under 6 hours. This is gonna be a hard sign to make look good on an Xcarve. No way anyone can do that sign in 15 min, mainly because if you try and go fast it will rip those letters and star points off

Leaving the letters proud means you are removing a lot of material and it will need to be removed with a roughing pass and then a detail pass with a small diameter tool and very low step over percentage. Plus you are making a really large sign. All of this adds lots of time to the production. Without loading your design and creating a simulation I would guess it would take between 3 and 6 hours. Absolutely no way you are getting done in under an hour.

Thanks Guys. Very, very appreciated!

That was what I was afraid of. The amount of material that needs to be machined away and the smaller details add up to a lot of time per piece. Along with the large size of the signs. I was really hoping that it could be done in under and hour.

Would a different CNC router make any difference (more commercial) or is it just the design and detail that is the main factor in the completion time?

Thanks again for all your help!


A commercial/production machine would be able to have higher feed rates and would be able to perform a deeper depth of cut each pass. But it would still need to use a small tool with a small step over to get the needed detail and finish.

I created a quick and dirty simulation with a .25 clearing tool and ,0625 detail tool using 100 ipm and 20% stepover for the detail tool, With those values it would take about 3 hours.

With the same tools running at 60ipm and taking 2 passes (a speed the X-Carve can handle) the simulation says it will take about 5 hours,

ooooooo 5 hours??? yeah thats a long time

On easel given your dimensions and cutting with a 1/4" bit for roughing and a 1/8" bit for detail it looks like it should take me 1h 20min for the rough pass and 1h 43min for the detail pass with the standard feeds and speeds that I use for soft wood.

Thank You So Much Guys!

You have been extremely helpful and it’s very appreciated!

Sketch42… Did you create all the tool paths in Easel? I have tried and tried to get the same results however when I set a “fill” it wants to fill the entire design from 2nd boarder in and it is filling over the rest of the design elements. Any idea what I am doing wrong? Is there a certain order I need to follow?

Thanks Again All!!!

I would not use a 1/16" bit at all. I would clear at full depth with .25" bit and use a 60 degree v-bit for the finishing pass. I bet it would be way under two hours. You would need v-carve software and would need to modify your machine for rigidity.

Why exactly? I’ve used both 1/4" bit and v-bits and I’m still running stock (500x500). I’m sure the mods help, but I wouldn’t call them required unless you were cutting very fast or something very hard.

I assume he is running a 1000mm and you cannot cut fast at 1/8" deep in a single pass on an unmodified machine. Plus the chatter using your v-bit at full depth will ruin your sign. He wants to go fast and not .001" passes. That’s why. Exactly.

I tried his design using a 60 deg vbit as the detail tool and the results were not very good. The only way I could get the small raised text was with a .0626 detail end mill. I would change the design to allow a vbit because it would make the cut much faster, but the question was how long to cut this design.

Yep, after the import of the SVG the rest is done in Easel. You’ll need access to two stage cuts, but once you do that you should be good. I set the depth of the design to 0mm and then created a circle at the same size and set the depth to 3mm and then sent it to the back and aligned it with the design. I also copied that circle and aligned it to the rest and set it to cut outside the line with tabs.

Yes, with modifications and other software like V-Carve Desktop you can decrease the time taken to do the task, but for a one off Easel would carve the design just fine with the two bits I mentioned. The 1/4" bit is set to make two passes. The first is 2.4mm deep and the second is a clean up pass to cut to the final depth. It could have cut it one pass but it will be cleaner with 2.

If I had the original vectors (or the time to duplicate them), I could show you what I am talking about. (PSST: Send vectors).

The SVG is at the top post on the very last line… Just drag and drop to your desktop.

Getting a production machine with a 4x8 working area would allow you to layout 8 at a time. Then carving time is not as important since you can be doing other things while the machine makes 8 of the signs. Then you spend the next day finishing those 8 while the machines makes 8 more.

If “A” this is a gig that is legal and the logo is authorized for manufacturing and “B” This is a thing where they will be getting massive amounts made from the guy getting a machine… perhaps the cost can justify a production machine otherwise if it is a few for friends family personal use time is more of a concern. Anyone of us mass producing a copy written logo (especially sports teams) can not expect to afford licensing let alone hope for mass profit making a production unit worth the up front cost.

Found the SVG. Here is an example of choosing to V-Carve the pocket. Set the flat depth to .2" and choose a .25" end mill for clearing and a 60 degree bit for the v-carving. At 100 ipm and DOC of .2" this is one hour twenty minutes.