It's Alive

Both the roughing and finishing passes went well with the tape holding the cherry. I had to use a putty knife to lift one corner to get the piece off when I finished. The tape came off easily and left no residue of any kind on the wood. Looks like this stuff is a keeper. I found leaving about an inch or so extra coming off of the sides made removing the tape so much easier as it left a good handle to peel it off.


I changed the brushes on the Dewalt this afternoon. New one on the right, old one on the left. Both of the used ones were down to the same size. This is the first brush change since I started the with the X-Carve in July of last year.

Very quick to change…less then 10 minutes.

Where did you get them? Good idea to have them on hand.

Here you go:


Thanks for the speedy reply, just added them to my Amazon wish list. Got to love that also.

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I wanted to point out why I checked and then changed the brushes in the Dewalt router.

Every time I am about to start a new carve, I always send the S12500 M3 command to turn on the router, followed by an M5 command to turn it off…I always do it…just another check. The last time I did it, I heard the relay click, but the router did not turn on. I checked the router by plugging it into a standard outlet and it fired up. So I went ahead and carved the sign I had setup. I noticed during the carve I was losing steps in the Z-axis, nothing major, but enough to irritate me. After the sign finished, I checked everything and nothing appeared to be loose/too tight…etc…

So with the missing steps and the relay not turning on the router I checked the brushes on the router and they were less then 0.25". I swapped out the brushes yesterday, tested the relay and did a carve and everything was back to normal.


Trying out my new 22mm 90 degree V-bit. It was advertised as a 1/4" shank, it is actually a 6mm shank (very typical). It cuts well, nice and clean lettering.



Because magnetic noise level is increasing if brush contacts are starts failing. It is possible to have negative stepper affects. Good point Eric. Gotta keep it in mind.


Quick sign for my workshop. It is 3/4" x 7" x 12" in Cherry.
1/4" Endmill for roughing pass at 65 IPM - 45 minutes
0.5 mm Radius Tapered Ballnose for finishing pass at 75 IPM - 15% stepover - 1 hour 25 minutes
1/8" Endmill for cutout


Erik - would you mind outlining the process you used to create this? I’ve got several sign \ plaque designs in my head, but I’m wondering the best way to approach it… VCarve design followed by GCode export, into Easel or UGS, or VCarve design followed by export of SVG or something similar into Easel? I am assuming the ballnose means 3D, so does that mean VCarve, or FEngrave, or something else completely different?

Thanks in advance!

I used aspire for the signs above, but both signs could be done in V-Carve minus the border (which was modelled in Aspire - it is a 2 rail sweep)

The coffee cup model was an STL file I simply brought into the program and the text was V-Carved.
The workshop sign was a little different, same two-rail sweep for the border and an STL file for the model of the tools, but this time I created raised text (Also possible with V-Carve just google this video - VCarve Pro - Machining Raised Bevel Letters)

I generate a roughing toolpath and a finishing toolpath, save the g-code and use a nightly build (version 2) of Universal G-Code Sender to send the code to the machine.

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I decided to give aluminum cutting a try and make the 3-Axis zero plate.

I used a 1/8" endmill with a titanium nitride coating. for the entire piece.

I cut at 45 IPM with a 0.02" depth of cut and a 20% stepover for the pockets. I had the Dewalt set on speed 2.

I was incredibly pleased with the accuracy of the X-Carve, the aluminum measured 0.506" thick and I cut 0.25" for the large pocket it measures 0.256" now. About as accurate as I can measure.

After cutting it out, I used 400 grit sandpaper and even though you can see the toolpaths, I can’t feel them.

I drilled and tapped a 5mm 0.8 pitch hole to attach the wire. The wire will be connected with a spade connector.


All wired up and tested, works beautifully.


Decided to cut some taller endplates today. I used 1/4" 6061 T6 aluminum plate.

V-carved my initials with a 1/8" 90 degree v-bit and used a 1/8" endmill for everything else; the holes and cutout.

2 more to make…


Awesome work Erik! Is the 1/8" endmill a 2 flute upcut?


It was a single flute, Titanium Nitride Coated bit…nice and cheap… :slight_smile:


Yes they are…I am planning something :slight_smile:

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Maybe…but something else as well…you’ll see…

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A quick test fit of the two I cut with makerslide attached…I think I have them a bit close together…I will have to lower the bottom makerslide. Like this, it is nice and solid.