Ideal Size for X-Carve

I appreciate how much thought has gone into the X-Carve and its configurability when placing an order. I’m sure there will always be people who aren’t satisfied, so I hesitate to make this suggestion.

The 500mm and 1000mm X-Carves are very different in size. The usable work area of the larger one is nearly three times that of the smaller one (800mm:300mm). I would like to be able to use the larger dimension but I don’t think I’d need it in both X and Y. Would an X-Carve that is 1000mm x 500mm be attractive to people? The gantry design would be identical to the 500mm model, so it would be as stiff and as accurate as the smaller model. It would allow workpieces 300mm x 800mm, which is a significant increase over the small model, but without needing to site such a large machine. All parts except the base board are already in the catalog, so all that would be needed would be to allow the X and Y rails to be specified separately. What do people think?

I think it would be the most popular size they could offer, Regarding what would need to be different, the belts would have to be sized shorter, and wires shortened, as well as drag chain, but your right all the items are stocked in the lengths already, I plan to work around this by shortening the cross rail and waste board (width) myself, I bought a saw blade to cleanly cut the aluminum, and plan to just shorten the belts and wires and drag chain myself, I will be left with extra rail perfect for making all sorts of jigs for my woodworking, like a manual board flattening jig for my plunge router as a separate tool, If this proves successful, I’ll post pictures when I get the x-carve and have it done,

Hi @juliangall What is the attraction to this size vs. the sizes offered?

What kinds of things are you thinking about making?

For most of the uses I plan from engravings to carvings to woodworking will be to long for the smaller dimension rails but does not need to be as wide as it is long, For instance items approximately 12"W by 18-22"L, like signs, cutting boards with groves and logos, joinery and inlays on wood panels. Although the 1000 x 1000 would work it just takes up a bit to much valuable space in the shop for the rare occasions it my be handy. A long but somewhat narrow version just fits better.

Hi, JulianGall
I asked about the same thing and over the weekend I did the research into how to get a 500 X 1000 set up. I was informed that because of the way the parts are grouped the best option ( right now ) was to get the larger kit and cut it down the way I wanted. I then looked at buying an extra rail and cutting it to like I wanted. Soon I realized the parting here and there changed the shipping costs plus I would have unused parts sitting around, anyways. The best way to insure I got everything I needed was to order the 1000 and this was the most cost effective method.
I would have to think that once the Inventables team has the current X-Carve orders filled this option would evolve, until then I can build a truly custom sized machine.

I realized that I’m not bound to only 500 X 1000 so I plan to go 825 X 1000 for a cut area of 24" X 31" This will take slightly less floor space than full size but fit through a 36" opening.
Now if I can just bring myself to cutting it down and not just going full size. :smirk:

This is exactly the thought process I’m going through. One thing I’ll be using the machine for is making wooden mouldings for furniture or otherwise routing lengths of wood (as opposed to panels). The smaller machine with its 300mm x 300mm work area would allow for about 375mm of 50mm wide material as a maximum (diagonally). The larger machine (800mm x 800mm) would allow 1000mm. A machine with a 800mm x 300mm work area would allow over 800mm diagonally, 80% of the larger machine while being 50% of the size. N.B. I realise diagonal use is not ideal, this is just an indication of maximum capacity.

Also, I have a bench 1200mm x 750mm which I would put it on. I imagine the bench or work surface available to most people is less than a metre in one of the dimensions.

It may well be that the smaller model is “standard” and the larger one what you buy if you want to customise. I wouldn’t expect the cost to be much less for 1000mm x 500mm. Like ScottKelley, I think I’ll be getting the larger one and cutting it down. As I’m in the UK, the shipping on the waste board is prohibitive, so I’ll make that myself.

Can’t wait! :slight_smile:

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We signed up a European reseller that will help reduce shipping costs, time, and import tax for customers in the EU.

That is great news. Much appreciated.


For the Shapeoko 1 and 2, a popular upgrade was to add 2 1000mm Y-axis rails — this results in a machine w/ dramatically increased working area, and allows one to maintain the machine’s rigidity by using side supports as needed for the Y-axis.

It also leaves the machine small enough to be reasonably portable (even w/ a torsion box bed I can pick up my SO1 (375x1000mm) and carry it up out of the basement and out to the back deck when I wish to mill Ipé) — two people are suggested though (safer to those carrying it and to the machine).

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I have a 1000x1000 x carve and it is really hard to handle such a big machine in a small space. I found majority of the available space useless plus big rails make the machine inaccurate compared to the smaller version. i was going reduce the size since I haven’t found any use for that big space but i was also worried if I i need to cut something bigger than usual. it was a great idea to modify the machine and make it 500x1000 and I definitely do that to my machine. Thanks for sharing. :slight_smile: