Essential Tools and Supplies?

I just purchased my XCarve. I have a little experience with CNC, 3D printing, and laser engraving… but I have absolutely 0 experience with woodworking.

I understand this question has a lot to do with which projects I decide to take on… but are there any tools and other supplies you guys find yourself using all the time, no matter the project?

Sand paper, obviously… :slight_smile: What else should I order and get on the way?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Suggestions So Far:

Dust Collection
Eye and Ear Protection
Fire Extinguisher
Tape Measure
Blue Painters Tape
CA Glue
Belt Sander
Oscillating Spindle Sander
Orbital Sander
Band saw
Surface Planer
Drill press
Stainless Steel or Brass Brush
Digital Caliper
Digital Micrometers
Double Sided Tape
Table Saw
Digital Fish Scale
600mm Steel Ruler

Dust collection of some sort is #1, I have found I use nearly every tool in my wood shop to get me from one point to the next but with that being said it depends on what you want to do.


A shop vac or dust collector for the Xcarve and surrounding area. I’d say a belt sander and occilating spindle sander could be useful even if you don’t plan on doing anything other than working with sheet goods. An orbital sander. A bandsaw and surface planer could be handy if you wanted to reduce the thickness of your wood without wasting it. A drill press for holes and other devices. It really depends on what direction you are going in.


Tape measure and square(s). :slight_smile:


cheap blue painters tape and CA glue…


No matter how you get your stock to final size and shape, Dust collection is something used on every single project. A simple shop vac, when used with a good quality dust boot (I use the inventables dust collection accessory), is paramount to not only keeping the shop clean, but helps to prevent bit burning and jamming from chips.

Expanding on that, a random orbit sander is another tool you will use to help clean up the project after the carve, and probably use on every project.

Good quality layout and measuring tools are essential to getting good results as well.


A fine stainless steel or brass brush to clean up any shavings that will undoubtedly be inside of the areas you carve.


Thanks everyone! I won’t lie… I didn’t even stop to think about the simple stuff like tape measure. I’m setting up my shop from scratch, so I do even need the simple stuff like this.

I’ll start getting this stuff on the way. If anyone thinks of anything else, I’m all ears :smile:

If you are all ears then perhaps some ear protection. Also eye protection and fine dust extraction to help your eyes and lungs.


This, very very very much this.

I keep a flashlight (a small battery-powered work light, actually) handy as well. I usually use an engraving bit to set the zero position to the center of my work piece, and being able to shine a light between the bit and my center mark helps me line things up as well as I can.


One of the most useful hand tools you can have for CNC woodworking is a digital caliper. It does not need to be an expensive one, even these cheap units do a great job. Never trust that 1/4 inch wood is actually 1/4 inch thick.

And while you are buying measuring tools, get a digital micrometer also. Because that .125 2 flute end mill may not really be .125 diameter (especially the cheaper Chinese end mills), and it will drive you nuts when nothing fits together like it should.

I almost forgot, get a roll of this double sided tape. It works great to hold your work down. Best double sided tape I have been able to find (and I tried lots of them)


Table saw, digital fish scale to set belt tension and a 600 mm steel rule to calibrate steps per mm


@Dustin1. If you have a harbor freight in your area you can get free tape measure and brass and stainless steel brushes. Lots of other tools are good and cheap


@StuartPearson - Awesome suggestion! Hadn’t thought about that stuff yet. Will gladly get those on the way! Thanks!

@AllenMassey - Adding them to my list - and made special note of the end mill size and things not fitting together :smiley:

@PhillipLunsford - Is this like a special sale, or just something they always have? I’ll definitely swing by and check things out either way! Thanks for the tip.

List update… thanks everyone!

1 Like

There are constant coupons and mailers. Get on the mailing list. It does not cost anything. Freebies are offered in every ad as well as 20% off coupons and several times a year 25% off. Plan your purchases and you can save a lot of money at Harbor freight.



I didn’t see anyone mention a fire extinguisher. Get one that is rated for electrical, plastics, and wood fires.


Get two. Safety is cheap.


Ya, damn good call :smiley:

I almost exclusively hold material with carpet tape! Exellent suggestion.

Also the first think I do is cut some 1/2" MDF and route the hole pattern of the x-carve into it. bolt it to the factory waste board. Then you cut into it you can just replace it with local off the shelf material rather than buying a whole new waste board from inventables.


Made by Lumberton sold at Hobby Lobby and Amazon. I have found these to be very useful in cleaning up edges and getting in tight places. For me its a must have.