Help making flat-sawn balusters

Hi everyone,

I’m brand new to my CNC machine, so this may be a dumb question. I need to make a LOT of flat-sawn porch balusters for our victorian home. I have a .svg file that I’m using for the outline of the baluster. So when I do the carve, the router traces the entire outline of the shape, even though I really only need it to do the cutouts on the board.

I’m planning on using a 1/8" straight bit for the cutouts.

The main issue is that I’m trying to figure out how to secure the baluster board to the waste board without having to move clamps around during the carving process. I thought about making a jig the same length as the board to hold it in place, but since the router bit still cuts the top and and bottom of the project board, it would end up coming loose one way or another.

I’m wondering if there is some way, in the Easel program, to tell the machine to skip cutting certain lines? Or maybe to make some lines in the design a depth of 0" while the remainder are cut to depth?

Or is there a way to edit the design itself w/in Easel to eliminate certain lines?

Any hints or tips would be very welcome. Thanks,


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I think you’re looking for tabs, cut option outside and tab option will pop-up

Can you share the project, via the share link, and i can asvise on how to fix the cut issue…

Thanks for responding so quickly. I actually figured out how to adjust the design to make it work for what I need. Instead of design featuring the entire flat-sawn baluster as one large cutout, I changed it so the portions the need to be trimmed from the board are each their own separate cutouts. Just ran a test this afternoon and it works great.

I imagine others on here who are more experienced with CNC cutting would probably be like, “yeah…duh.” Haha. I’m still a noob so definitely early on in the learning curve. Glad to know this forum is so responsive though.

I’ll see if I can share both projects so others can see what I did in case someone else is using their X-Carve for the same application.

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