Danners Project Log

Having a lot of fun with the X-Carve. Figured I’d start a project log to keep separate from my build log.

First real project was a small v-carve project. A wedding gift for some friends. A collab of the wife and I. We did another carve in some scrap to test out colors and resin. I preferred the resin look but she wanted some depth so we just went with some acrylic paint and sealed. Tested out some keyholes that turned out nicely as well on the back which turned out really nice.

The final design was done in VCarve because I could just fit trace the font and convert to Bezier Curves to drastically drop the node count. I think it turned out pretty good for a first project! I appreciate the paint/epoxy tests @PhillipLunsford. We replicated that essentially when testing out the colors/epoxy mix.

More to come, currently testing out a 3d design that I’ll post later! Working out feeds etc atm.


Nice job!

Thanks! About to take a few shots of the 3d test project that’s running right now.

I like that font. Nicely done!

It worked well for this. The wife found it. The name of the font is Princess Sofia.

Just had a good bit of fun with these guys.

I’ve always been a fan of Stargate and chose to make one as my first test with 3D carving. I just laminated some scrap pieces of plywood I had to get the thickness I needed so that if things went south I wouldn’t be out a bit of hardwood.

Here’s what I ended up at for feeds/speeds(My machine is modded, please calculate your own FS)
Rough was done with a .25 2F Endmill at 150ipm .125DoC 40% step
Finish was done with a 3.9deg 1mm Tapered Ballnose at 160ipm 10% step
Profile was same as Rough

I knew there would be a lot of the fibers/tear with this plywood but it was merely to test how it did.

I had it at 160-200ipm just playing around but this didn’t have many straight edges so it never really get to achieve that.

After cleanup. Spent like 15 minutes with some small hand files cleaning up the stray fibers. It is kind of hard to see the detail because of the fibers but its definitely there. I definitely like this test run!

I will eventually do a hardwood version of this but I want to practice with inlays first. I have all the models for the symbols and the chevrons so in my head right now I think it would be awesome to do one out of like… wenge or walnut (One the gate, the other the symbols) with some padauk for the chevrons. (I see it in my head, the wood used is still up for discussion lol).

Rough time was about 2.5 hours (partially because it took away .5in of excess materials but I knew that going in)
Finish pass took a little like 4 hours, maybe 5 since I paused it a few times to do other things.
Profile pass took like 2 minutes.

Any Stargate fans have thoughts on species used for a hardwood version? :grin:


Yea I knew the ply would turn out iffy. It was more about learning the process, making sure I had setup the toolpaths right and working through a complex ish long carve with multiple bit changes. Which all went very smoothly I might add!

It just got me more excited about the hardwood version lol.

I learned a few things as well.
-The profile path I need to figure out. It did the right profile but it did it as if it was a solid block. I think while adjusting the size I may have calculated that toolpath first before by accident so it calculated the full depth. No big. Just an extra few minutes of air cutting lol.
-the machine is rigid enough to do 150 ipm roughing with a .25 2F UC at .125doc 40%step. It actually did fine when I bumped it up to 200 but it’s also ply so in hardwoood I’d start back between 100-150.
-i had about half inch left in my z height so I see some riser plate in my future.
-run through material setup and toolpaths one last time before going to carve. I had used a smaller material and never changed the size when doing the pathing so I had to stop and recalc. Fortunately the top .5 in of material was waste so I just had to load the new path and hit go.

It’s fun. I’ll say that much :grin:

I need to start writing down feeds/speeds data rather than just remembering it :expressionless:


Few new projects recently.

Grandparents are visiting soon and the wife wanted to do something for them for the kids. I think it turned out pretty good. For the real fine letters I had to set to bold to get the width for it not to vanish after painting and sanding. Thin sections just wouldn’t allow the 60 deep enough.

I know everyone is doing the cool Aztec calendars. Did these because well… they are cool fun and quick and also allow for tests that don’t just get tossed in the trash. It was cool to see how intricate it could get.

Sealed then painted with acrylic paint. We tried paint and wipe method but it didn’t really work that well so I hit the top lightly with the orbital. Then sealed with poly.

My son is a a huge fan of both marvel and dc. The Marvel disk is for him.

Brother being a huge Star Wars fan, this disk is for him.

Had a friend visit who loves Zelda. Found a decent image to image trace. Turned out really well. I’ll upload some pics after she gets it all painted.

These are some tests in pink foam. My sons half of the office is his little creative build zone so we are giving it a name “Creations by Carson”. I’ll add some photos when I get the rest carved out but here’s after a few test runs. The bottom was 30ipm plunge, 200ipm, full depth climb cut with 2 flute carbide foam bit. The top was 60ipm plunge, 100ipm, full depth conventional cut with the same bit.

I think switching to conventional cut is what got me the smooth finish. The bottom looks fine after some sanding but… who loves sanding…

Have quite a few projects on the list. Been down with the flu so just working on designing things. The boy wants to design a robot, the wife has a couple more signs, and my brother is pretty big into cosplay so I am going to try my hand at some 3d carving in the pink foam and maybe see how well things work on some EVA foam as well.

For any Stargate fans, I’m working with the friend mentioned above who is a phenomenal painter. I am getting it sanded(so much sanding) and sealed well so she can paint it. We are going to turn it into a clock. I was thinking about edge lighting some blue acrylic for the opening (also so I can get the clock mechanism in there) with some etching but haven’t completely decided yet. Cut it out slightly bigger and in mdf. I will eventually do it in hardwood :slight_smile:


Really terrific stuff, and such vartiety! You are on your way and well ahead of me. What was your source for the disk art, if you don’t mind sharing?

The Batman disk was found somewhere searching on the forums here or the FB group files area. The Marvel disk is from here.

When testing new things like new bits or trying to find feeds/speeds for a material, I try to do it on something that if it works out, can be a finished piece rather than trying it out on scrap etc. Also gives you more info on how the machine will perform at that feed/speed/bit/material when it does something other than a straight line or a circle.

I want to keep it fun, I don’t want to get sucked into doing the same stuff over an over so just saying yes to whatever is thought of and figuring it out usually works for me. I try not to say no to a project unless I’ve given it a good shot regardless of how crazy some may seem. :thinking:

Right now I am playing around with 3d carving in Pink Foam. I’ll post some pics tonight of the progress.

So pink foam carves pretty good. Switching to conventional definitely helps.These are some pieces for my brothers cosplay Braum setup.

Done with a 1/4 Ballnose Foam bit. 60ipm plunge at 160ipm seemed to be a good spot to keep a good finish.

The bottom one here was done with the same bit and settings and the top I tried it out with my 1mm tapered ball to get the detail. With the tapered ball I slowed it down to about 120ipm. I just adjusted the speed every few minutes or so until the finish was nice and that turned out the best. Just need to try it out with the 1/8th ball, it would likely do better and be sufficient enough detail.

Called it a night on the carving though so it will have to wait. Huge storm rolling in atm.

Anyone else have much experience with feeds/bits and pink foam? I have the foam bits but they look like just really long 2 flute up cuts so I’m not sure what’s so special about them. They don’t seem to have any special reliefs that I can see, just… long.


Some fun with aluminium now. Wanting to do some riser plates so I was playing with some 6061-T6. I have this .125 sheet from inventables and 4 24x24 sheets of .25 from when I was doing the bigger printer in my build log. Cut a couple of gears out to give it a test. Figured the boy would like some to play with(he did, and he does lol).

I was conservative I think with the feeds/speeds, There’s so much info for aluminium on a semi rigid machine that I felt it was best to just go for it and try and hope I don’t break a $30 bit. Here are the results. Finish was good, minus the adhesive it brought up from the blue tape. I didn’t want to use tabs or clamps. (I’ll take any good tips on cleaning bits btw). I used a 1/8 spiral 0-flute aluminium bit from Amana. Feeds/speeds: .004 DoC, 10ipm P, 30ipm F. I feel like there’s quite a few ways to set feeds here if anyone has much experience with aluminium, I’d love to have some conversation around it.

Edit: I post my feeds/speeds for a few purposes, for those that choose to use any feeds/speeds I post, please know my machine is modified with cnc4newbie Z, 9mm belts, and 270oz motors.

Aside from the adhesive that was brought up by the tape, the finish on the cut was smooth and clean.


Went ahead and skimmed the new waste board. I should of done it first thing but… fun…

I am happy that I spent as much time as I did tramming this in the beginning while building. Makes for a smooth skim.

Went ahead and started cutting on these sheets of 6061I have. Figured there was no point in waiting to do the riser plates.

I liked the design by @LukeWilson so I drew up some very similar. I have some extra 20x40 that Ill be placing about 50mm below where the slide is(to clear the vwheels).

It will also allow me to square my sideboard that I had to angle because of the shaft on these 270oz steppers! This pleases the ocd inside.

I have it running at 33ipm. I still feel it’s conservative but I’m ok with it for now. The chips coming off average .002in which is within the spec of the speed/feed chart from Amana for this bit. I think it was .002-.005 for this particular bit. Still, I’ll leave it at this for now and run some tests at some point in the 1/8 sheet I have.

I had a few other thoughts, since I’ll be adding the second rail below the slides. I never thought about doing long pieces but since the area to the right of my machine is open I could leave off the additional rail there and slide in longer pieces if I needed. (It would clear the vwheels with the new height). The second rail may not be needed but I have it and it’s put to better use this way than sitting against a wall.

I do have a question for anyone that has played around with etching acrylic. If I were to etch deeper in one spot vs another (think of a wave pattern) would the light diffusion be brighter in those areas or would there not be a noticeable difference? I’ll eventually get to testing it out but right now I’m just contemplating and researching. Basically I want to etch a wavey texture into some blue acrylic to see if I can replicate the texture of an open Stargate when edge lit.

Pretty clean edge.


Looking good Phillip! Thanks for the shout out!

Of course! The angles speak to me so I had to lol. Here’s the finished product.

Sanded all faces with 120/220 to clean and keep the brushed look. The first 3 were cut at 30ipm, the 4th is where I played with the speeds a bit. I just kept bumping it up every few layers until I had chatter. At 200%(60ipm) there was still no chatter so that is pleasing. It’s not a very deep DoC though so it could probably go a bit more before I see any.


Was at my sons school recently where I noticed some stools the kids using that were… in need of repair. His teacher talked about looking to get some wobble stools because the kids love to rock in them(the reason why these were in need of repair). I looked up a few and the price was crazy for such small stools. I love flat pack furniture and I know teachers spend a lot of their own money for their classrooms so I drew up a few designs and cut out a quick prototype. I’ll be making a few(after the design is worked out a little more, tad shorter etc) for his classroom to see how they like them. Save her a few bucks and a fun little project for a good cause.


I’ll be making a few different variations in the pattern and the height of the stool as well as a flat base style. That way it’s modular and she can adjust height and base to suite her students or classroom in their little creative corner.

I think it would be cool if we did a bunch of different colors that way kids could customize them but a few stools for a test run to see if they work out is the goal for now. Her class is one of 2 STEM classes so it sort of fits!

I had that thought. The initial design it was only interlocked at the top and bottom and the center was mostly open(I was trying to fit the seat top inside) but ended up adding the pattern. It was when I was putting it together that I was like “Well, I should probably change this” lol. It feels solid together but I could see a kid snap it. Thanks for looking out!

I am trying to think of a way to lock the top on without having to do screws. I’d like it to be tool free.

Looking for just a locked solution. It’s a tight fit but I’d like it to be modular. Thought maybe a mortise on the underside of the seat where I could slide a key or wedge in for the top tenons. Or Some kind of wedge in the top tenons like you mentioned but removable in some way. (My mind really wants to go complicated with it and do like a 2 layer seat with a center wood screw style wedge that can be loosened with a wooden gear in the middle but… Simple… I want to keep it simple lol).

I could keep it simple with 4 screws from the top but I really like the idea of the kids or the teacher to just have fun with it.

Hmm, will do some research on some more possibilities. I think it will be plenty sturdy for this application. They will be about 4 inches shorter than the one pictured above, and it is fairly stout. It’s wayyy more sturdy than what they are currently using though.

But I do see what you mean. Will have to be careful on what and where I take away material if I have to for however I do the lock.