Increasing cut speed via multiple passes with different size bits

I would like to see a feature in Easel which allows me to do the following.

  1. Make a first-pass rough cut of my entire project with a large diameter bit (For example 1/8").

  2. Pause the cutting process so that I can change to a smaller diameter bit (For example: 1/16")

  3. Make a second-pass cut of my entire project with the smaller bit to carve the finer details.

My thought is that this would substantially speed up the cutting/carving process and perhaps also reduce the chances of breaking small diameter bits.

That is the rough/detail bit option in Easel under the machine menu, if you don’ t see the option just ask Inventables to be added to the beta program.

Thanks Allen! I do not see this on my menu so I will ask to be added to the beta program.

Is this feature available for use with the Shapeoko 2?

It is an Easel feature so it should work fine with SO2


Next question then is whether this process allows more than two passes or is repeatable? What I mean is, is it possible to start with, say, a 1/8" bit, do a detail pass with a 1/16", and then do another detail pass with a 1/32" or 1/64"?

No, you have one bit size for the rough cut and a second bit size for the detail cut in a project. This is a pretty standard way of doing things.

If you have sections that need different bits you can break your project into multiple Easel projects Just copy the project and either set the cut depths of the sections carved in the first part to 0 or just delete the objects you already cut.

I don’t think anyone here has tested doing more than two passes, but you probably could make that work by running through the carving walkthrough three times. Make sure you’ve chosen “Use Detail Bit” per @AllenMassey’s screenshot. Then, the first time through the walkthrough, choose “Roughing Pass” with a 1/8" bit. The second time, choose “Detail Pass”, confirming the 1/8" roughing bit and using a 1/16" detail bit. The third time, choose “Detail Pass” again, this time telling Easel that the roughing bit was 1/16", and that you’re using a 1/32" or 1/64" detail bit.

Again, we haven’t tested this, so if you try it, let us know how it works!

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Will let you know if I try it. My concern about that method would be maintaining proper alignment and registration due to having to re-home before every pass. But it’s certainly worth trying.

I’m using the Shapeoko 2 to carve linoleum blocks which will end up as stampers for making impressions in clay. I have found that I have to use very small (1/32" or 1/64") bits to get the level of detail I want and that, of course, results in very long carve times. So being able to make first passes with larger bits would, I think, significantly reduce the time required to carve.

Have you tried using a vbit instead of the tiny bits?

Note this does not really work as one would expect it to. :wink:

Allen: I am new to this and I am using Easel. But I believe I read somewhere else in the forums that Easel can’t use vbit. Am I misunderstanding something?

BTW, after looking around the site and the forums - and finding no specific “Contact Us” link or anything specific about the beta program - could someone tell me what link or email I should use to ask Inventables to add me to the beta program?


Hello Rick, Easel does not have the ability to make a vbit sing and dance like Vcarve or Fengrave but it will use it like a normal bit.

Vcarve or Fengrave will push the vbit deeper into the material to carve thicker lines and less deep for narrower lines. Easel will just keep the vbit at a constant depth, but since the tip of the vbit is very sharp, it is like using a very fine bit (that can’t break),

So in Easel just set your bit size to ,03 and keep your depth of cut fairly shallow (less than .05 or so) and it will work great, and since it carves a V shaped groove, text will look better.