Carvey Hacks - Advanced Users Only - Breaking Bad

Disclaimer: You should be familiar with your machine and comfortable with these ‘hacks’ before attempting them. There’s no replacement for common sense.

After having the Carvey for some time now (my first CNC) I wanted to see if I could expand my capabilities and use this machine in certain ways that were unintended by Inventables, but wouldn’t cause any damage to my CNC. I’ll get right to it and show you some pictures!
[Forgive me if this post is in poor format.]

Alright, now to explain some of my ‘hacks’.

First, using the full potential cutting area of Carvey. In the second picture you can see that I screwed some scrap into the MDF to allow me to place clamps anywhere along the scrap wood and not just where there were embedded in the MDF. I created a back stop along the top 8 inch line but the scrap wood is short enough so that it doesn’t reach the back end of the MDF. Anything that extends passed this and your CNC won’t be able to home correctly.

Second, I made a few other short clamp areas. If you are using a stock like this where it is not aligned with the bottom then when the bit travels it could collide with a regular clamp. So I made these low profile clamps to ensure that wouldn’t happen and the bit could travel safely. The small scrap in the middle actually has a slot in the center under the washer so it can slide up against the stock and keep it snug to the back.

Whenever I’m trying to trick the smart clamp by having a separate piece of wood under there, I always verify that the two are within 0.005 - 0.01 of each other, though this depends on how deep you plan on cutting. Try and use a piece off the end of your lumber, that’s the easiest way to get as close as possible. Don’t skip on checking with your calipers.

As you can see my stock wood is about 15 inches long, you actually have about 16 inches to play with. The Carvey tray only moves front to back and not side to side so as long as it clears between the black walls of the Carvey you should be in the clear. Always check and slide your tray when the Carvey is powered off to ensure you won’t have any issues. This allows you to fully use the 11.5 inches of carving without the smart clamp being in the way.

Lastly, if you plan on using this ‘hack’ you’ll need to mark a line down your MDF at 5.75 inches from the left. (11.5 inches divided by 2). This will line up the center of your work piece with the center of the 11.5 inch carving area. So whether you have a 12 inch piece or a 16 inch you can line this up with the line so there’s even space on each side. (See third pic, fainted pencil line and black sharpie mark)

This post is way longer than I intended and if I wasn’t clear, I’m more than happy to answer questions on this tread.

“I am the danger Skylar”

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what you did is called tiling…

“Hack” is such an over used word… Great write-up though, can’t say I’ve seen many posts of users trying to trick the smart-clamp so that they could locate the work piece elsewhere on the work surface.

hence the ’ ’ around the word hack… Thanks.

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I have a Carvey coming in on Tuesday so I haven’t had a chance to play around yet. How are you sending the gcode to the machine without using easel?

Easel is generating the Gcode, I’m just creating my vector file on illustrator.