Carving Whiskey Barrel Staves

Do you think there is a way to carve whiskey barrel staves. Being curved maybe making a jig or carving the file as individual pieces on a flat plane. ??? a question just looking for advice.

I would use Bcnc and auto-level feature use aluminum tape to program the profile and then remove tape and carve.

use the metal tape as a conductor for the probe (or aluminum foil)

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Hello, I just starting messing around with carving on bourbon barrel staves and its turning out very well. I’m setting up the exact center of the stave as X 0 and Y 0, example the stave is 35 inches long so X is at the 17 1//2 inch mark and the 4 inch wide stave the Y is at the 2 inch mark.
The Z is the highest part of the stave at the X 0 and Y 0 point.
Next, I measure in millimetres, the difference in the stave at each point I want to carve.
Example, I carved my last name in the stave and set the G in DOUGLAS is carved at the X 0 and Y 0 point. After that you have to measure the difference in the stave going down hill for each letter on each side of the center point. The depth of cut is how deep you want to cut plus the difference in the curve of the stave from the center letter. The router does alot of phantom cuts until it reached the wood. The D and S in DOUGLAS takes the longest timne to cut because it has to phanton cut the furthest until it reaches the wood. I did have to raise the complete inventables frame because the staves I have are really curved.
Hope this helps you.


barrel stave cut with orange bit

FYI, I used the orange engraving bit.

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Came out nice! I have done something similar in the past on a warped piece of wood. carved three different sections of stars on an old piece of barn wood

Have you used bCNC on un-level material?
I have downloaded the program but for the life of me I cannot figure out the settings and work flow for height map probing.

Yes of course I have, or I would not have recommended it.

basically you use bCNC as a sender so you would design your cut in a program like easel and export the gcode. then import that gcode into bCNC and send it just like any other sender program.

but because your work surface is unlevel before you send the gcode you would “map” the surface of where you want to cut.

input the “grid area” size of where you want to scan and the distance of the touch off points. the machine will then start a pattern of moving up-down touch the surface and move over and repeat until the area is mapped with all the different heights stored into memory. then it will take that info and place your cut over and start carving as expected.

the tape or tin foil is needed as a z height probe plate. in the video the user has a self contained probe that senses when the needle touches (moves) and uses that to map with. with the X-Carve we use a metal plate (puck) which we measure the thickness and touch off of, with one wire on the bit and the other on the plate (puck) just replace the stiff metal plate with the metal tape and it will work just the same. I do not even input a thickness for the tape as it is so thin that you will not even notice on most jobs but you could if you feel the need.

here is a video of a different program that gave me the ideal for the tape method

I would not recommend this program as requires flashing your controller but this is a great ideal and use of the aluminum tape.

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also notice how the numbers show up as the probe touches as shown in this part of the video around the 1 minute mark.

this is the heights that are being mapped.

hope this is making sense to you.