I'm relatively new to woodworking / X Carving, but I'm in the middle of a new project and thought I'd share. I'm making 3 custom Scrabble boards for my family who's been obsessed with the game since we were children (was supposed to be for Christmas but couldn't finish in time, what with work and multiple X Carve problems)
I started off with several roughly milled planks of soft maple from the local lumberyard and handplaned / jointed them into slabs 16" x 16" (took forever, but I don't have power tools since I live in an apartment). Then I used the X Carve to carve out the individual slots for the pieces (took about 8 hours per board)
Next steps (all using X Carve):
-Inlaying pieces of Padauk and Purpleheart wood for the Triple Word / Triple Letter / Double Word / Double Letter squares
-Inlaying Walnut at the top for the "SCRABBLE" label
-Inlaying Walnut at the side to show the count of overall tiles
-Hollowing out a circle on the back of the board to install a turntable mechanism
-X Carve has been super useful in this - no way I could have done this project without it
-Easel was really easy to learn and tweak
-Easel Inlaying tool was great. Using "0" tolerance is the way to go.
-Despite several setbacks, X Carve accuracy has been pretty spot on (when it's "on")
-Easel "Replicator" tool didn't have the precision I needed for the spacing between the tiles, so I had to do it manually (you can't manually type in the spacing you want)
-X Carve Precision was hit or miss
-Changing from double sided foam tape to clamps helped (there's a slight amount of give using the tape)
-Runout + interference from the 300W quiet cut spindle (I can't confirm 100% that this is a problem, but I just ordered the Dewalt 611 upgrade and will be using it soon)
-X axis belt was too loose, then too tight, causing it to overstretch. Replaced it. Also had to shift the aluminum pulley away from the Nema motor to keep it in line with the belt
-As a precaution, I slightly increased the voltage to X and Y nema motors
-Cuts are less clean by the end of the project - I suspect the 1/16 bits starts to dull by the end (even brand new ones I bought from Inventables), or maybe runout from the spindle increases as the project goes on?
-Sound is a bit of an issue since I'm in an apartment. Hoping the Dewalt doesn't exacerbate that
Will be finishing this over the next few weeks but wanted to share the progress so far. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions! Thanks!