One trick for saving your waste board

One way to save your waste board and still have a a nice perfect cut is to use a pattern following router bit. I just cut .25" into the material with a .25" end mill then i do a rough cut on the band saw or with a jig saw. After follow with the router.

The bit has the bearing on top so it follows the partial cut.

Comes out perfect and fast.

Saves time and your waste board. You could cut patterns for parts out of 1/4" ply with xcarve and then use the pattern follower bit to knock out thicker parts with the full size router.

Sorry if this was obvious i got excited hahah

all the best


Great idea! I have been fighting hard not to do every single thing on the X-Carve, so this is a great reminder that it is just one (awesome) tool available in a whole workshop of big kid toys. :smile:

I try to do the same thing and leave a little “meat on the bone”…then I take the piece over to the bandsaw and cut through the rest of the material. Finish it off with my spindle sander!

Good to know my router table still has a purpose in life.

I’ve used the template-making trick a number of times, myself. The bandsaw and a pattern-tracer router bit are FASTER than the X-carve for replicating shapes in thicker materials that require multiple passes. Just getting that first, perfect template is the hard part, and the XCarve makes that drop-dead simple!

I make a lot of cutting boards (somehow became a defacto expert on them, unwittingly) so when I make one that is not rectangular shape I use VCarve Pro and the X-Carve to cut the shape about 1/2" into the board. Then I cut the waste with my bandsaw and use my router table with a pattern bit to finish it off. Works great for me and is less stress on the X-Carve and router.

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Oh, another cool trick I discovered along this line? When I’m setting something up, particularly one of my pen stands, it will almost always have an edge treatment of some kind (radius, chamfer, etc) done afterwards on my router table. So, I just run a test piece on the router table, measure the height of the cut on the workpiece, and set my tabs to be just a TAD shorter than that. Then, I align them such that they are on the sides of the workpiece that parallel the grain. That way, when the X-Carve is done, I can just lift the piece off, twist lightly, and break the tabs off since the center of the tab is the weakest spot on it. Then the router removes any slight splintering from the snap-off, and all remains of the tab as I do the edge routing. Saves a lot of time! I then sand the edge on my oscillating spindle, and go back for one more pass with the edge treatment bit, which takes just a fine hair off of the already-cut edge and removes any burning or chatter from the first, heavier pass.

Or you can put the work on parallels to hold it above the waste board. A little trick from many, many years of machining taught me.
The XC is an important part of my shop but it cannot do everything. Long live the other tools.