Carving uneven stock/material

I made a few carpenter’s mallets this past Sat/Mon. The sides are sloped and I wanted to carve a design into it. I mounted it to another hold down board and clamped that one in place. Getting the top/carving surface level was very difficult since there was no way to ‘surface’ the mallet head, since it was already in it’s finished state.

Has anyone built a jig or something to hold down uneven material? I’m thinking of one that has screws/knobs on each corner that can be manually fine-tuned to level the stock.

Your thoughts?

you could use a cnc program with an auto-level function. I have used Bcnc which works wonderful “used on AR-15 mag-well to engrave family crest” and also tested chilipepr which has an auto-level that works.

What you do is map out the area you want carved then place some aluminum tape on it and let the probe touch off like a grid “specified distance” and it will map the unleveled area change the G-code to match that surface and done.

I was very happy with the results as it was near impossible to mount the AR level and I only had one chance to get it right. I tested it on an unlevel scrap piece of aluminum until I got the hang of it, but it was really easy and most was measuring the size of the engraving to match the area to be engraved.

And this works with the X-Controller? I would guess so since it’s grbl-based.

yes it will work with the X-Controller. that is what I have. I personally liked Bcnc as the program runs from the local machine and although chilipeppr works nice it is browser based and I never liked some of the limitations of the browser, i.e. larger file support.

when I did the AR which is aluminum I did not need to use the tape method. but I did see a video in which a person used the aluminum tape to touch off of. just ground the tape with one wire and hook the other to the bit “same as with zero touch plate” and let it do it’s thing.

here is a picture of the program in auto-level

notice the grid that you specified in yellow that is where the bit will touch off to determine the height.
also here is a link to the video on youtube that explains it all.

These are the types of features that would put Easel above the competition. Thanks for the info. I’ll see if I can get it to run my my Mac Mini and give it a go.

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