First project -- California-shaped drink paddle

Hey guys. I’ve been lurking on the forum for the past few months as I got my 500mm x 500mm machine up and running. I figured I’d show off the first real project that I’ve attempted so far. This is the first time I’ve run something other than MDF through it, and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

The project was inspired by Ian Boze’s drink paddle and Emory Buckner’s state skyline:

I combined the two and put together a CA state drink paddle as a gift for my wife:

The material is 0.5" thick red oak, layered two deep. My first attempt at the top piece came out pretty poorly. I ran it at 39.370"/min and a cut depth of 0.059" per pass. It skipped steps slightly and I got a ridged coastline. Way more misalignment than I wanted to sand out, especially on such an intricate shape.

I subsequently slowed it down, took a shallower cut, and increased current on both the x and y axis. The run was a success, with a cut rate of 31.496"/min and a cut depth of 0.049"per pass. I did a top and a bottom piece separately and glued them together afterwards. They required some light sanding along the straight edges to align, but overall the two pieces matched up beautifully.

A big thank you to everyone that posts on this forum! The resources on here really helped me get the machine setup and dialed in with relatively little trouble. My wife got a real kick out of the gift. We no longer live in CA, so she loves things that remind her of home.


That looks great, well done!

That is very nice

Thank you. It was a fun little starter project.