Feed-Plunge Rate etc

Hey All!

I’ve learned a lot from your posts and thank you! I am definitely very new at this and am having a hard time learning the lingo and what to do. I’m sure that has been answered and I apologize for probably asking again. This project says it’s going to take 8 hours to not even go down the whole depth of the board. At first I think I had it too small because it didn’t show the design at all (pictured) or I’m not sure if I had those settings wrong as well. I put up the one that took a short amount of time with the size I thought would be ok, the one that I paused because I can’t stay up all night to make sure there’s no problems, and what I have it set at now. Any suggestions in layman’s terms would be VERY much appreciated! I just wanted to cut out the shell from birch plywood to be able to paint the inside - for my friends during this time.
Thank you again!!

What i would like to know is how you got the cut setting window so big. Mine is a small drop down. You should change your depth per pass to .06 with a 1/8" bit and the plunge rate to 14 as far as spped i don’t know your machine but i would run at least 60"/min. I don’t think that will help much if that is an 8 hour carve. Does not look that complicated.

It looks like your “Current Settings” for that carve were:
Feed Rate - 5"/min
Plunge Rate - 5"/min
Depth Per Pass - 0.018 in

Those setttings are WAYYYYY too slow.

To start with since you are new to it, you should be able to use the recommended settings from Inventables until you get a good feel for your machine and bits your are using.

Typically, you should be able to run with a Feed Rate of 45"/min. with a good 1/4" bit with the plunge rate being a little higher than the normal recommended setting and a Depth Per Pass of right at or just below 1/2 of the diameter of the bit that you are using (so 0.625 in this case). Sett the Dewalt to #1 for speed…

Birch is pretty soft, so you can run pretty quickly through it. Based on the size of that design vs. the dust boot, you should be able to cut that out in minutes.

@WayneHall, that screen is part of the “finish carve” screen when you are using Easel Pro. It allows you to save your current settings for a carving/material for future use over the “recommended” settings.


Brandon Parker

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Thank you so much for you help!! I appreciate so much, and I was back down to 7-18mins instead of 8 hours! Maybe i have the wrong bit size for this or wrong piece of wood, because it’s coming out ok on one side in some spots and ok/not ok in others. Will take ANY and ALL suggestions! Again thank you!!

What bit are you using? An upcut will make fuzzies on the top on most woods except the harder ones. Downcast bits leave a nice top edge, but tend to tear out the bottom when cutting completely through. Compression bits are the best of both worlds and are typically the bit of choice for cutting plywood for a lot of people, but in order to get the benefit, the plunge depth of at least the first pass should be deeper than the height of the upcut section of the bit which would be on the tip/bottom (note that Easel cannot change plunge depth between passes…you cod make two different workpieces and achieve sort-of, but …).

Another issue is … plywood. Plywood is made of several slices of wood veneer and comes in a variety of qualities. The lower the quality the higher the propensity to have small blank spots within the layers. Also, cutting through the different layers sometimes causes tearout as well. The grains are typically offset 90° from one slice of veneer to the next. This gives plywood a lot of strength. My dad used to make llywood at his previous career… :wink:

If you just want to paint the image, then you can really get away with a very shallow cut. Even 1/16" would be enough.

Plywood can be cut, but it can also be a pain to work with.


Brandon Parker

Thank you so much for that! Sorry for the late reply! Yes plywood has not been a good friend of mine lately with warping etc :blush: do you recommend any other type of wood that won’t break the bank? Thank you again!! Ali

What’s your end goal?

It all depends on what you want or the customer wants. Just keep in mind that different woods can mill differently. If you want really decent wood then you will have to find a local mill in my opinion. The big box store wood tends to warp before, during, and after milling or even just looking at it.


Brandon Parker

Yes I most certainly agree it does! I just wanted to crest something inexpensive for people and also give to friends and family at this time to do something a little different than a puzzle or coloring book :blush:

Hi! For this, I just wanted to create an inexpensive project to be able to offer to people and give to friends and family at this time to keep them busy. A little something besides a coloring book or a puzzle. Unfortunately, the place locally where I’ve gotten bits in a pinch, and also sells woods, is still shut down, so I guess I’m at Lowe’s or Home Depot at the moment.

From home Depot:
Poplar carves pretty well.
PVC carves extremely well and takes paint well.
MDF cuts well.
Hardwood plywood cuts well, but there’s always the chance of voids or weird spots.
Select pine can cut ok if you pay attention to the grain. Staining is hit or miss, though.
Maple, if you can get it, is relatively inexpensive and carves really nice.
Where are you located?