My First ever Carve!

First of all a huge thank you to everyone on this forum! It has been a valuable resource for me and I have learnt allot along the way! I got my replacement belt in the mail yesterday and finished building the Xcarve. Today I headed to my local hardware store in hopes to find some sort of bit to use for my first carve. The only bit I was able to find was a 1/4 inch up spiral bit, I will be ordering some properly sized bits hopefully soon. Anyways I also picked up a laminated Pine Board to do some test carves. Once I tossed the board on I realized damn I need clamps! So I decided that my first carve would be clamps. I searched the great forum database and found a thread someone posted that was able to grab the files and import them to easel. I had actually watched the guys youtube video before. The link to that thread is here If anyone is interested.

So I booted up easel imported the file and nervously clicked on carve. When’t through all of the settings and was ready to go! The carve I should of took track but I would say it was about 2 hours. I didn’t see pine on there So I just went with soft maple. I was nervous at first because I couldn’t make out what the heck the pattern was, but once it was about 20 minutes in I could start to make out the shape. Once it was finished it’s carve,I grabed my exacto knife and cut out the leftover wood (BTW The Z-Probe is amazing! I was super worried about cutting through my wasteboard! It was super easy to use and was super accurate! There was just a hair width of wood until it would of met my wasteboard. I poped the piece out and spent 2-3 minutes sanding all the fuzzies out and bam an almost finished piece. I am sure right now you are wondering where the hell is the sloted holes. Well I didn’t have the proper sized bit, so since I was stuck with a 1/4 inch It didn’t cut the holes. I figure it won’t be a problem, I will just cut the slots by hand. (DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW I COULD POSSIBLY PRINT OUT A TO SCALE TEMPLATE SO I COULD TRACE THE SLOTS?)

What I learnt:

  • A dust boot isn’t a recommendation it should be a requirement. I found myself spending most of the time chasing dust and trying to keep as much as I could off of the belts but could never seem to catch up. I will be buying a dust boot sooner than later.
  • Next carve I will probably center my work piece, I had it right next to the y rail, thinking it had to be homed with the homing switches. This caused allot of dust to build up on my belts.
  • Using the proper sized bit is a good idea… Unfortunately I didn’t buy any bit packs from inventables(or clamps) and was stuck with the only bit that was available in town… Having the proper sized bit would of saved me the trouble of having to make my own slots.

What I loved:

  • My favorite part was the Z-Probe! It was super easy to setup step by step in easel, and the results where super accurate. Something about it was super satisfying.
  • I didn’t spend to much time calibrating the machine, and got super good results (I think) Having it cut such a long project right out of the box was amazing.
  • The very best part is the satisfaction I got after having a finished piece and knowing that this machine was built by me and being able to have a finished product in my hands.

Anyways guys I am open to harsh criticism as long as it is educational. Let me know if I did something wrong, if I could do something different and what you think of my first cut. I can’t wait to experiment with more ideas! Here are some pictures.


Welcome on board Kasey … (pun totally intended…)

Have fun with it. Be prepared to learn lots. I learn at least one new thing a day with this tool (and usually more than one) and probably will for the next 20 years…

Keep on Carvin’ …

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The holes aren’t perfect but they wI’ll work for my very first clamps!



I made those clamps too (four of them) and they work great. I had an old 50 grit belt from a sander that I cut up and used spray adhesive to fasten to the ends for superior grip.

I only had access to a 1/4inch bit, so it didn’t make the slots. I am still waiting on my new set of drill bits

Also maybe you could give me your opinion on this bit set? is it a good set to buy for my first set?

Great Idea! I’ll see if I can find those on ebay!

I am not to sure, All I know is that once I switched my bit size to 1/4inch it removed the slots.

is the file I used, once I change bit size it goes red. I’m not to sure how to resolve it other than using a smaller bit.

I used my calipers to measure the bit, and got .241 looks like it will cut the slot but for some reason is showing red on the 1 side…

Also thank you for the video! I did learn a thing or two! I appreciate it!

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