Need some help on a small MDF sign

Hello all! Complete newbie here working on my second carve. I’m trying to carve a 3x5 beer sign to label my home brew to sit on top of my kegerater. I’m trying to Vcarve it in Vcarve pro. I’m using a 1/8 in clear out bit and then a 60 degree 1/4 wide V bit. It came out very rough and unfinished. I’m sure a lot of the problems are with my design in Vcarve pro and maybe the size, but I want to know what you guys think. Thanks.

It was some old scrap stuff I had laying around. i figured I would use a bunch of my scraps to learn. Whether it be MDF or pine which I deal with the most.

On my 1/8 in clearout I used .0625 doc with .05 stepover. 60 inch feedrate. 20 inch plungerate.

I guess another way of asking, is how would you guys carve this program?DG’s Awesome Amber.crv (916 KB)

Thanks Phil!!! I really appreciate all of your insight on this forum! I’ve learned a lot from the likes of you and Robert and many others! I have a lot of scrap MDF laying around as well as Pine and figured this would be a good way to test out my newbie skills. Or lack thereof! lol

1 Like

Thanks again!!! Am I going about it the right way in the file I provided? I feel like I’m missing a step with the finishing carve.

.25" for your vbit cut dia?
Does your V-bit have a flat tip?
Did you actually measure it?
I measure mine as they are not listed on the container they came in nor on the site.

If it was me, with MDF I would reverse the carve. So that the lettering is carved out as opposed to raised as this is.

MDF chips and tears out really easily so I tend to avoid thinner sections.
It will also cut a lot faster. :wink:

I can’t open your file right now but I am guessing you selected the text AND the box area around it?

If you selected just the text it should carve it out the letters as a V carve.

You can then cut the box as just an outline. They way I do it is select the box and create a parameter cut operation, on the path, using the V-bit. As a V carve operation would clear out the area inside the box (like a pocket operation)

Do a shallow cut and see how that works. With V carve operations I have found that the flat depth only affects the thicker areas of the text. If you want the whole text to be a bit deeper you need to play with the starting depth.

On a quick v-carve if you have a lot of fuzzies try running it a second time to clear them away.

1 Like

Would using a sealer or other surface treatment help in cutting?

Thanks! I will try this also as I am experimenting with different settings, feedrates, wood, etc I’m really having fun with this!

1 Like

Yes it’s a .25 dia v bit. I measured it and it is a pointed tip. It’s made by Whiteside

1 Like

Thanks for the tips!! So much better. I just need to improve the outside edge.



Hey Doug

So I love to work in mdf the material is extremely useful for all sorts of situations and works very easy

So i know it looks like you got most of the problems worked out but I was just curious about a couple things

Could you perhaps post some pics of the 2 tools that you where using?
brands and part numbers if possible

but yeah mdf is a great sign material just like foam
mdf can hold great detail if you have the right stuff and tools

you can carve detail pretty easily in mdf like this

you might talk to your material supplier and see what the different options are for obtaining things like
colored mdf
and waterproof mdf

you will find that you can make all sorts of things that would take much longer to do in natural wood

1 Like


HAHA so whats the deal with your pink plastic ruler man did I miss that thread or something?

and that just looks like the way the file is designed

What you need is Valchromat.
It’s waterproof HDF

1 Like

hey stephen I have done a little work with Valchromat

and its not waterproof its more moisture resistant they are some 100% water proof materials on the market
ValchromatCatalog2014WEB.pdf (2.7 MB)


did you get that single blade insert v-bit from amana?

I have been curious about that I wish they made that bit in a 3 blade version

you know whats funny though I carved that aztec calendar with a $1.50 chinese import tool lol I shot myself in the foot on that one huh

hmm thats interesting that is the cheapest insert v-bit I have seen I wonder on the shipping to the us

OH WOW they wont let me ship it :sweat: