On the verge, but not yet sold

Hi All,

I am so close to purchasing a X-Carve to support a dream of some day working for myself by selling products, art work, accessories made by this wonderful device.

My partner has given my the green light only if she can craft art pieces and jewellery using it. So this leaves me considering laser cutting and laser engraving as options too.

Can anyone provide some links to successful businesses or can people share their experiences, who has successfully made an income from their fruits using x-carve.

Kind regards,

Mr. Dreamer

I can’t say I’m making a LIVING with it, but mine has now paid for itself between 4 and 5 times, depending on exactly how I figure the source-of-income and costs. And that’s AFTER spending another ~$500 on software it turned out that I only use rarely. So excluding those un-necessary expenses, it’s paid for itself easily 6-7 times over. You will need patience and mechanical aptitude to set it up well and keep it running, but it’s a VERY capable little machine for the cost. I’ve still seen nothing that will even come close to the capability-for-price level of the XCarve, aside from possibly complete build-it-yourself designs that are a lot more challenging to set up, and don’t have the support.

I primarily make desk-top furnishings with mine. I ALSO have a laser cutting and engraving system, it is still working on paying itself off. I would strongly suggest a CNC router of some sort BEFORE the laser. The laser is useful, but I’ve found one of its strongest uses is post-processing on stuff I’ve made in the shop with the CNC and other tools.

They’re both great to have, but router first, THEN laser. YMMV, but I just ran that exact same path. The laser IS paying for itself so far, but not nearly so quickly as the router did, by nature of the beast. Lasers are 'spensive!

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Once your friends and family find out you can make signs, boxes, edge lit acrylics … it is really hard not to start making money. I did not want to sell anything, I bought it to make gifts for the family. But once you let people see the stuff that you make, they start asking how much to make them one also.

Next thing you know you are running a business even if that was not your intention. So if you purchase the machine wanting to sell stuff you should not have any trouble at all.

The biggest problem is keeping up with the demand.


Are these two separate devices, or just the x-carve but switching between the two modes? May I ask what you are using as your laser cutter/engraver?

Thank you for your advice and it’s very sound. I will take that approach, I’m so excited.

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I use “router”, “CNC”, and “X-Carve” rather more interchangeably than I should, really, sorry. When I speak of the laser, I am mentioning my Epilog Mini-18. The other terms all reference my X-Carve. :slight_smile:

I just ran two more pieces tonight, that will sell for ~$75 each, once I am done with some finishing work in the shop. As Allen said, once people find out that you can do this kind of work, it’s almost hard NOT to make money with it. I wouldn’t count on it for a living right out of the gate, but it WILL pay for itself once you get it all dialed in and are cranking out product reliably. I have been using mine for almost a year now, I was one of the early customers to get them on pre-order, and so far I have had very, VERY few problems. I’d say better than 95% reliability across all projects. That includes a major 80+ piece order machined in walnut, during which I only lost two pieces to X-Carve errors. And as the forum guys can tell you, I push HARD on maximum feeds, etc, so I’m stressing the machine fairly good.

It’s occasionally a bit twitchy, but a very good starter CNC! I’d do a few things differently as I built it if I were to start over again, but if I was starting all over again from where I was when I bought it? I still think it’s a great buy for the performance.


Thank you for your advice. I am sold. I am now going to search for what starting milling bits I need. Again, thanks for your help

What do you plan to cut, and what kind of projects are you aiming to do? There’s quite a variety available. :slight_smile:

Personally, for general purpose, I’d start with a 1/8" up-shear spiral, and a 1/4" up-shear spiral. They’re great for general-purpose cutout work. For detail, you can go down to a 1/16th bit, but those are a lot more fragile. A v-bit is very worthwhile, combined with V-Carving software. I like a 60-degree bit for general purpose work there. :smile:

These are the bits I use all the time

These you should be able to get at your local hardware store:
1/4" up spiral bit
1/4" down spiral bit (plywood and MDF)
3/4" Straight Bit (for leveling your waste board)

These you may need to order:
1/4" to 1/8" collet adaptor
1/8" down cut bit
1/8" ball nose
1/8" 90 deg V bit

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I would like to cover all bases with the bits for all materials. I have this in my cart but need to add the 1/8" 90 deg V bit. Do I have everything I need and am I doubling up anywhere?

Bit Set for Wood and Plastic 30652-01
End Mill Starter Set 30651-01
Bit Set for Fine Detail Engraving 30653-01 (Out of stock)
Bit Set for Soft Metals 30654-01
End Mill Sample Pack, 1/8 in Shank 30264-02
Solid Carbide Upcut Fish Tail Spiral Bits 30423-03