Noob Questions

Just purchased my X Carve. (Yes, really, 10 min ago)
I have been reading and watching as many reviews and videos as I could find. Decided this was the unit for me to start out with.
Here are a few of my questions:

  1. In some of the videos, I noticed that people were using a sacrificial board under their work piece to protect the X carve sacrificial board. For those that do this what are you using?

  2. When cutting all the way through, I know X Carve leaves “Tabs”, but does it actually cut into the X Carve Sacrificial board?

  3. How do you have to set up your design if it is longer than the cutting area?

  4. Multiple cutting bit operation. How does that work?

I’m sure many of these questions are buried in the Forum somewhere. Just point me in the right direction.

I selected X Carve because of the software and customer assistance factors.

I’m sure I will be asking many, many more new user questions in the future. Sorry if I posted this in the wrong section. Still trying to get the feel for what should go where.



  1. I use a thin plywood scrap as a sacrificial board to protect my wasteboard. MDF works… any cheap sheet material that you have, as long as you know or can make sure it is flat. MDF skims more readily/smoothly, but I try to limit how much MDF I carve (the dust is insane!), so I prefer plywood.

  2. It is possible to cut through your material without cutting deeply into the wasteboard, but you would need your machine to be perfectly trammed and squared, and your material would need to be perfectly flat. In all likelihood, you will carve into your wasteboard. That’s why it’s called a wasteboard. Also, the tabs are optional. They can be turned off in your Easel project, or you can increase/decrease the number of them, or move them around (click and drag), or change the size of them. Play with Easel. If you create a full-depth cut in your project, tabs will automatically be generated, and you’ll see an additional section appear at the bottom of the shape settings box for the tabs.

  3. Paw Paw’s Workshop has a couple of good videos on “tiling” (which is the term you want to search in the forum for cuts larger than your carveable area):

  1. It’s called two-stage carving. First you use a larger bit to rough out the big expanses. The spindle returns to the home position. Don’t move the spindle or your material, change your bit to the finer, finishing bit, and re-home the z-axis (the height) only. Do not change the x/y position. Then start the second stage of the carve. Here’s a video:

1 - MDF is cheap and accesible. I use particle board intended for bathroom sub-floor which is water resistant (good when I use coolant when carving aluminium)

2 - It can if incorrectly set up/misbehaving carve through the original waste board. It is adviceable to skim cut your waste board in order to make Z (height) prefectly parallell with the X/Z plane.

3 - Tiling and you need a known reference spot / alignment hole etc.

4 - Multi-tool operation, a single project is broken into several smaller sub-projects, each demanding its separate tool. Do not enable the Xcontroller IdleReduction function (set to OFF)
Dont ponder too much about this at the moment, it becomes clearer when you have a project to carve :slight_smile:

In addition to that you can have a look at a “zero block”. Neat little tool which comes in very handy.

Welcome to the club!

Others have answered your questions well, so I’ll just suggest watching New Brit Workshop’s videos about assembly. I actually had them queued up on my iPad while putting mine together, and it was very helpful.

Finally, go spend some time watching Paw Paw’s Workshop. You will get an education, as well as a lot of project ideas from him.