Can the X-Carve drill it's own waste board?

you can do it to drill the holes but youll want to install the inserts from the bottom

Yeah, for some reason a LOT of people who own a CNC router still make their boards with a handheld drill. Check out Winston Moy on Youtube. This guy does a lot of GREAT videos, and one of them is on drilling and countersinking your wasteboard. His video is a lot more conservative than what I would do (I think he does small groups of 4 or so), but you will get the idea. I plan to do a very light trial run with some thick cardboard over the MDF to make sure it doesn’t do anything crazy and the spacing is correct, but I plan to mill one side with countersink, rotate 180, realign, and mill the other side as well.I am also hoping I can mill out the edges where it needs to mount to the frame, which will all probably have to be done at the end where the spindle can hang over a bit. Even if I can only get 2 sides this way, it will be better than routing it by hand. Once I get a bed mounted that I can work with, I can do a 2.0 version later. The realignment is not that hard, you just have to know your middlepoint and make sure you realign the board the same way, or as was stated earlier, it is just a wasteboard, and not critical that they are all 100% exactly the same.

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im going to put my clamp holes in the shape of a smiley face. that way i have an excuse not to do it by hand.

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i think in this case this is just easier to do by hand. you dont have to be perfect. its a waste board!
i originally drilled a bunch of holes and then after getting the machine up and running discovered i needed more so out came the drill and eyeball layout tool

Anything repetitive is not for me. This is where automation comes in! We have a CNC tool hovering right over it for crying out loud. :slight_smile:


Agreed, it’s like owning a chainsaw and grabbing an axe, lol. I know I will have to do some of the cutting and routing on my wasteboard by hand to get it sized and mounted, but everything else is going to be CNC milled. It’s the principle of the matter. I am also trying to figure out a way to have the X-carve brush my teeth in the morning, and make me breakfast. Maybe a laser attachment for the toast, a whisk bit for the scrambled eggs. I will post my results as soon as it arrives and I have some time to figure it all out. :wink:


it takes like 20 minutes to drill, countersink and install all the inserts you need. you can install the inserts with a drill and a torx bit.

i guess other than the neatness factor i dont see the point of using the cnc to do it. you still have to install the inserts by hand and since you are already doing that you can countersink all the holes at the same time. nobody is even going to see the countersinks anyways

but hey if you want to do it go ahead im sure the wasteboard will look nice. at least until you make your first through cut!

Well in the case on one waste board it was over 650 holes and a full grid - the board looked awesome, but no way I am doing all that by hand - lol

Part of it is principle. Not doing repetitive tasks by had is what I am getting the x-carve for. :wink:
Plus at the very least a simple file will engrave a very nice grid faster and better than I could ever do my hand. Might as well have it do some of the holes as well. Again faster and more accurately than I would do by hand.

I am reminded by a joke I heard Gallagher tell about how men vacuum…

You are vacuuming and there is a paperclip.
You vacuum the paper clip and it is still there. Still there. Still there.
You reach down pick up the paper clip, look at it, toss it back on the floor and vacuum over it again.
‘I’m not picking it up, that the vacuum’s job!’

Yep, that sounds about right! :smile:

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The other benefit of having the X-Carve drill the grid of holes is you can then rely on them for attaching location points down to you board. This means you can do multiple parts at the exact same location.



I didn’t feel like drilling 144 holes, countersinking then installing 144 inserts. So I used the carver to run 30 inch slots for T Slots. I spaced them four inches apart. What do I need 144 holes for. These T Slots work great.


David did you use V-carve? Can you post the files?

Hello everyone did anyone manage to make their own 144 holes with the X Carve? I am in Argentina I didn´t bring the waste board with me, already cut a 998 x 940 as suggested on the forum, it fits nice on the bed of the machine now I was thinking of using the 1/4 inch mill bit to make the places for the inserts, anyone know the original position where they should be? thanks!!

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Really, the position of the holes is more of a personal preference. You use them for clamps; put them where you want the clamps to go. The XCarve itself doesn’t care where the holes are.

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[quote=“ElReactor, post:16, topic:9017”]
did anyone manage to make their own 144 holes with the X Carve? [/quote]

I drilled some of the holes. Only those that are within the XC work area.

I drilled and countersunk the mounting holes for the board by hand.
I then made a easel file with a grid of holes and had it carve them itself.
Afterwards I took the board back off, did the countersink by hand and installed the thread inserts.

Areas that need work:

  1. I forgot to order the tread inserts, mounting screws and t-bots for making my own board. It took a couple of more orders (I ordered the wrong size) and a few trips to the hardware store to get them all. I wish I had thought of it when I initially ordered the XC.

  2. My board was not level so some of the holes the XC carved did not go all the way through. This was not a big deal as using the countersink bit fixed this. It also showed me where the low spot on my work area was.

  3. I was only able to drill holes inside the work area. So at some point I may need to add a few holes on the edge. So far it has not been a problem as I have been working on smaller stock.

  4. Using easel I had to use the smallest bit an mill out the hole. This was slow. Ideally I should have used a program that supports drill operations and used an actual drill bit with a “peck drill” operation. At the time I had not figured out how to do this and just wanted to get something working.

A question related to using drill bits on XC, I understand that most people might be using Dewalt 611 or similar spindle, which has 1/4" collet. For drilling operation, the ideal ways is to use a drill chuck which can hold different size of drill bits. But here we don’t really have drill chuck as a spindle that can hold drill bits. What is the best way to go about drilling different size of holes?

drilling different size holes in what and how thick? for small holes you might want to think about an 1/8 collet adapter for your dewalt spindle. now as for easel you would need to set your self up with a bit smaller than the hole your drilling then make the hole in easel and then run it

Why not use the X-carve to drill partial holes then use a countersink bit to finish it off. This way you can have a guide to work from.
Unless your going to replace the existing wasteboard then it will not matter.

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Its simple to create, just look at it as a learning project. Why are people always looking for the easy way out…

fwiw Just posted about a Peck Drilling app. Runs in your browser and generates
a gcode drilling program. Drills from one to many holes. Can read hole locations from a DXF file.
With a little calculating for depth, should be able to use a chamfer tool or v-bit to countersink holes.

Forum post here

PDG App home page

This is exactly what I was thinking. Let the x-carve do the hard work and then finish it by hand.