New Business Startup

Hello! I am purchasing an X-carve in the very near future in hopes of starting up a small home business. I was wondering about the average going hourly rates for these types of CNC services. Also what types of projects are most popular in your experience. Any feedback or tips you could share would be much appreciated! Cheers!

thanks im new to this forum and its operations… i apologize for the rookie behaviour

gotta start somewhere, right?.. glad to have experienced guys to lend some knowledge. Thanks

Rookie , or, newbie mistakes, are well tolerated here. However if one keeps making said errors, that stinging sensation in one’s backside is the boot of an experienced forum member.
Most folks dont come into this hobby with all the answers and until a newbie gets used to the forum and it’s available features, mistakes and faux pas events are inevitable.

So, ask questions, make mistakes learn from the responses you get and try not to be offended by some of the replies you get. One of the sucky things about a text based communication system is the lack of body language and voice inflection. but one of the good things about it is the lack of body language and voice inflection as well. It makes it easier for folks from many walks of life communicate on a subject of mutual interest. Stick with it and you’ll be a regular before you know it.


Much obliged!

We already had a woodworking company when we bought the first x-carve but it turned into a money maker pretty quick.

We have 2 x-carves, a 500 x 500 and a 1000 x 1000 , they run all day everyday and we have had very little problems with them.

The nice thing about them is ROI is really quick and if it does wear out parts are easy to come by and a new machine is very affordable. We purchased our second machine about 2 months ago and we will have made our money back on it in the next 2 or 3 weeks.

I do agree research research research, there is a slew of info out there.




Hi bob member me? haven’t been here in awhile lol

lol give the guy a break he just wants some straight answers


for sure man so with a machine your size and capability you would be competitive around 40-60 hr and you could see alot of wood craft cutouts in your future you know the ones that you see at hobby lobby and such or custom address plaques

when starting out take anything you can get things that you are comfortable doing and things you might not be (aka within reason of course but dont be afraid to push your limits)

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lol same ol bob

I noticed @BobJewell really likes my BIG RED ARROW. Keep using it, it’s message will soon get out. :wink:

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thanks for the feedback!

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Very much appreciated! cheers!

Hi DebbieLee, what type of things are you making? Do you have a website?

Wow. What type of things are you making? That’s awesome

Hi @KimberlyPurcell ,

Sorry for the delay not very good at this forum stuff :slight_smile:

Etsy Store:

We build pretty much any wood creation that is requested, although we are getting to the point that we can pick and choose a bit now.

Hi !

Sorry for the delay, not very good at this forum stuff :slight_smile:

We build pretty much any wood creation that is requested, although we are getting to the point that we can pick and choose a bit now.

You can see some of our work on our website

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i saw your shop, i love your stuff!! hopefully i will get better at actually carbing stuff lol

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LyleSutherland - my 2 cents, get ready for a steep learning curve, although it’s not rocket science you can learn what you need, the resources are out there for you, you just need to put in the time. I’ve done woodworking all my life on the side, however working with a CNC means thinking like a mechanic/engineer, not super hard, just a different mind set. Keep cutting, Keep making mistakes, Keep Learning and asking questions. Have cold beer around when the frustration level reaches 11 as it will often. When that beer runs out get more!


I used to be a “it’ll be easy, it’s plug n play” type of guy until I opened the first box from Inventables, then I said “Oh sh*t, what have I gotten myself into?” Then came the design software, Vcarve pro in my case and that was another can of worms in a rabbit hole. 2 + years since this journey has began and I feel that I have barely scratched the surface of what this thing is capable of.

But then I know which end of the blue jeans to put my feet in first in the morning, but getting them to stand upright while I climb up on the dresser to jump into them is kinda a b**ch, they keep falling over!



Your original question was about hourly rates. That’s actually not the way most things work around here. It’s usually about what to charge for the end product (which includes design, materials, machine time, etc.). Of course a lot of this depends on your business model. The general consensus is that highly customized work is difficult to charge for for various reasons (usually based on “the customer is always wrong” concept). There’s actually a fairly recent thread where we’re currently discussing this.

Of course, if you’ve got a plaque design and you just plug in the customer’s name in a standard font, that’s not too much customization and there’s lots of gray area. Another issue is about charging customers for your learning curve. An original design can take hours to iron out the bugs, but then copies of that are easy.

With a little bit of tenacity and creativity you can make the machine pay for itself easily. We’ve already discussed elsewhere about custom signs, micro-brew tap handles and custom magnesium sacrificial anodes for boats, etc.

Regardless, keep us posted on your progress. We look forward to your contributions. I remember when @PhilJohnson first started posting here, then he set the forum on fire…:sunglasses:


everything you see on the internet is true, they cannot put it on the internet if it isn’t, And @PhilJohnson is a french model, er, um, wait, he can make a french model…uh …that doesn’t sound quite right either…

Yup he can make people cry…

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