Newbie - Help Needed

I’m not sure if I should post this here or on the Easel subforum, but I am trying to make a shop-sign using my recently set up X-Carve. I got it up and running a few days ago and have run a number of experimental projects using simple designs. They’ve worked wonderfully, and I want to try to up the ante a little. I’ve attached my logo. I am trying to cut the two thick components (the saw blade and the log bark) with a straight bit. That should be easy enough. Where I’m struggling is how to cut the rest of the image using a v-bit (the copyright is going to be deleted). I know Easel doesn’t support this directly, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to do F-Engrave without any real success. I’m not super experienced on the software end of things, so I am struggling to find useful tutorials. Any and all help is appreciated. Thank you!

First off, thanks so much for the responses. I have a couple of things. First off, I’m not sure what flat clearance is. Anybody mind giving me a quick explain?

Secondly, my first issue is actually importing my image into F-Engrave. So, in inkscape, I can delete the saw blade and bark components (I can do those in easel, later on, with a 1/8" upcut no problem). I can’t figure out, however, how to turn the rest of the vector into a bitmap. I saved it as a .dxf, but it won’t open in f-engrave in that format (says “no font characters loaded” when I try).


That’s awesome guys. Thanks so much. I’ll give it a whirl when I get home after work. I hadn’t considered doing the whole thing in f-engrave. I will definitely give that a whirl. Thank you so much for the assistance. I really appreciate it!

I’ll throw my two cents in here. I do signs like your all of the time 100% in Easel. After you bring in the SVG to Easel, make a copy and name it what you want the second cut to be like. Remove the text for example, rename the copy to Sign-Blade-Log. On the copy, set your depth and cutter and any other parameters. Go back to the original total sign and remove the Blade and log, then rename it to Logo Text and lines, or whatever you like. Change the cutter and depth paramaters.
Let’s say you do the text first, carve it, open up the second file with the blade and log, change the cutter and then carve.
Here is a picture of the sign I made on Easel using the technique I outlined here. I did the W6SFG and the Bruce with one setting with an 1/8" bit, the antenna and the BFN logo and text were done using a 1/32" cutter. The material is .650 thick oak. teh sign is approximately 12" long and 6" high.
Good luck and I hope this will help you.

Okay, I’ve tried to actually get the image into f-engrave, and it’s not transferring over. I load the .svg into inkscape, export as .png, and then try to load it in f-engrave. All that shows up are a few tiny bits of the image (nothing recognizable as part of the image). I tried running through the steps of the PDF, but nothing happens when I get to the trace step. Maybe there’s an issue with my .svg?

Have you used GCode Sender before? I have Aspire, and there may be other users here with VCarve. Either of these packages will generate V-carve paths with clear-out cuts. If you know the dimensions of the piece, your desired feed rate, and your bit sizes, someone else could generate the GCode for you and you could run it. Not ideal, but certainly workable.

I appreciate the offer for someone to program the gcode for me. It’s very tempting, lol. But, I’d love to learn this so I can make other stuff in the future without hassling others to do the heavy lifting for me.

2 minutes in V-Carve…just add your text :slight_smile:

Keep working, you will get it.

Wow! That looks great.

I figured this out myself about 20 minutes before this post. Bah! Haha. Oh well. I set it all up in f-engrave and got the codes for the carve, v cleanup, and cleanup. I have to quickly cut and plane the wood, but I should be carving using universal g-code sender later on tonight.

Quick question: when I set my x-carve up through Easel, I had the x and y wired backwards. I had the machine self-correct rather than rewiring. Will this prove problematic if I use UGCS?

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Excellent. That’s great to know. Well, I didn’t get time to knock it out tonight (had to turn a handful of pens). Hopefully I’ll knock it out tomorrow and be back on here with some pics to share. If not, then I’ll be back with more questions, lol.

Thanks again everyone. This community is super impressive!

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So close, yet so far. I had it all ready to do a test run of the carving in plywood, and when I click “visualize” on Universal G-Code Sender, I get the following error: “Can’t find the name of Intel ICD OpenGL Driver.” I’m troubleshooting that. Guessing I probably need to update the drivers on my laptop’s graphics card?

Okay, I’m getting closer and closer. I decided (wisely) to carve my logo into some plywood a few times to make sure I knew what the hell I’m doing. Learned a lot on that alone. I was just about at the finish line when I ran into a new error. The initial carve and the v-clean went great. But, the regular clean with my 1/8" upcut bit went horribly awry. It plunged super deep and tried to take the bit all the way to the corner of the piece. You can see where the poor bit gave out and snapped (my second one tonight… the first was really stupid user error, don’t adjust your z when you have it set to 1"). I let it run a bit, and the clean would’ve been carving clean on the wrong side of the piece. Any ideas? The only thing I can think is that I was saving over an old file, and maybe I whiffed and saved the new clean incorrectly.

Other issues I’m having:

  1. F-engrave won’t open my saved g-code files. Is that standard issue with the program? What a pain in the rear if so. I keep forgetting to set the start point and have to redo the whole freaking thing each time.

  2. Zeroing in UGCS is a pain. Whatever the stock zero is, it sends the machine endlessly driving towards the bottom right. I installed my one limit switch backwards and haven’t re-installed. So, is the zero coming from my x-controller? Can I reset it manually?

  3. There are some lines of material left in some of the lettering (mostly the O’s and D’s) even after the v-clean. I forgot to set the V Cleanup Bit Step, so it ran at .05. Does that explain that issue?

  4. Any suggestions on where to get good bits? Haha.

Thanks again. You’re wonderful teachers. I’d have torn my hair out by now, but you guys have really helped me along.

Here ya go.

Okay, easy enough fix. That’s what I started doing.

For the multidepth carving, where do I find the depth per pass?

Ah. Shoot! I whiffed on that. Does anything major need to change if it’s a 30 degree bit?

Thanks, Phil. I’m an English teacher as my main profession, so I especially appreciate the patience! Usually I’m the one dealing with the 1,000 questions.

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Nothing yet, Phil. I’m prepping for a craftshow simultaneously, so I had to step aside from the CNC and work on some other stuff. I’m hoping to log a few more attempts today. I’m processing all the advice and input in the meantime!

One question I’m still unclear on. My F-Engrave is not allowing me to re-open g-code files. Is that a common flaw in the app (it seems to have several, but it’s free and does a hell of a job regardless), or is it something squarely on my end?

Robert, I definitely feel like I’m on the cusp of unlocking this thing. The more I use it and understand the various applications, the more ideas I come up with for new things to carve. Once this beast is really humming, I’ll be churning out carvings. Can’t wait! In the meantime, it’s been a lot of fun learning something totally new and unique to the woodworking that I’ve done to this point.


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An idea for the shop sign to give a more 3D sign.
the letters can place 1" on top of your logo. (102.5 KB)

Very cool! Not a bad idea. It would definitely catch some attention from a distance at craftshows