Sign for grandparents cabin

Seal carved edges with your base paint color, (to prevent bleeding). Allow to dry. Then paint your finished colors.

1 Like

Good luck using tape and a vbit. I tried that a few times and had horrible results (the tape tore away)

If I were doing it, I would prep my board for finishing (sand, stain etc) and then apply three coats of clear shellac, then carve it. Then you can spray paint the entire sign and just wipe away the over spray. The lettering and carving will be crisp since the shellac seals the wood. When the paint drys you can apply a few more coats of shellac to seal everything.

You may have better luck than I did with tape, (I am sure some types of tape work better than others). But the shellac method seems much faster and provides excellent results in my opinion.

Great design though! It is going to make a really nice sign for them.


Maybe this will help
Testing Resin
I have seen several people say they have had good results with sealing the wood with shellac before painting.
I had ok results but I just did a quick spray layer.

Side note are you using V Carve? If so there will probably be a lot of up and down movement as it moves from spot to spot to carve this.
Check out the “material setup” on the toolpaths tab.
This will allow you to change how high it raises the bit to move to a new location.
I usually leave this pretty high to insure it will clear any clamps. But when you are doing a lot of moves reducing this to a much lower number will save you a tone of time.

1 Like

Prepare a small test board first just to be sure it works to your satisfaction.

1 Like

If you plan to do many signs like this one, do yourself a huge favor and buy a copy of Vcarve desktop. I guarantee it will be the best $350 you have ever spent on software. The vcarving is 1000% better when the software knows it is using a vbit.


Let us know how it turns out.

1 Like

Seeing as how it’s oak, there may be a big problem with paint soaking into the pores. Could the sign be stained and shellacked post-carve and paint given time to dry before sanding it off the high spots?

1 Like

I was playing with Fusion 360 earlier today, and it does have V-Bit support…sort of. You have to make a custom tool in the CAM software. I could only get it to work on text though.

You may want to check out F-Engrave (free). I was messing with that today, and got some really nice carves out of it by importing dxf files from inkscape.

This is a small one I did today. I’d imagine it would come out even nicer if it were larger.
Test Carve

1 Like

How big are you planning on making this? One problem I see is the step-over of the bit, especially if using fill in Easel. The text would be easy to engrave using the “Engrave” CAM in Fusion but the house and tree are very busy. It may be better to change the DOC to, say 0.1" for the tree and house, and then tricking the machine by programming it for a 0.001" endmill when you are really using the V-bit to account for the step-over. Also in Fusion, you can have it cut at an angle and may be possible to achieve the full depth using this method with step-downs.

I also agree with the clear again after the carve to help with the bleed. Looking forward to the finished product!

I didn’t do this on an X Carve, but I made this with pine and engraved the letters first, then painted the board black, sanded away the excess, then used 2 coats of cherry stain and like 5 or 6 coats of clear gloss on top of it all.

1 Like

Your B&W image can be engraved very easy with a raster engraving process using our PicEngrave Pro 5 with a V-bit.

Here is an example I did this way and stained the engraving afterwards.

If you wish, I can take the image you posted and engrave it with our CNC router and stain it afterwards to demonstrate to you the results you could achieve.

Let me know.

We have two image to gcode programs that can do what you want. PicLaser & PicEngrave Pro 5.

Here is PicLaser: - PicLaser

PicEngrave Pro 5 which has more advanced features:

I can demonstrate either program.

1 Like

I use Allen Massey’s method. But with oak, the pores are very, very deep. You will need a few coats of shellac, sanding in between to fill those pores. THEN, you must let the shellac dry for a few days - a week is good. THEN CARVE. THEN do a light 800 grit sanding. Wipe it down. Then paint and immediately remove the excess paint. The final light 800 grit aids in being able to wipe away the paint. Then, let the paint fully dry. THEN sand again. And you won’t see any of those smears, tints and black streaks so common to x-carver sign projects.

It takes patience to wait for that shellac to fully cure.

1 Like

There is too much fine detail in the image to do anything other then raster engraving with a V-bit.

1 Like

I have found tht if using white oak the porosity of the grain is less than with red.

On red oak, i have applied a heavy cot of shellac, let it dry, then sand wit 320 grit sandpaper letting the shellac dust fill the pores

a VERY LIGHT wipe with a dry rag to clear the dust from the surface yet leave it in the pores, and another coat of shellac. repaat til glass smooth or desired surface is attained.

the alcohol in the second coat disolves the dust slightly locking it into the pores sealing them off.


I like using maple or poplar. Although a real sign shop would do it on something like precision board

I would use that oak - but it takes a little extra time. I LOVE using canary wood. Hard as a rock, beautiful color and very smooth.

1 Like

One other tip, because this is going to be a long, long carve. Drill a hole at 0,0 with your v-bit about .1" deep. That way, if something goes wrong, you can manually move your bit back to 0,0 and manually lower your bit into that hole to snug it in. Then, re-zero your machine. It would be frustrating to get 50% through this and have to start over. Also, you might want to manually delete 15-20% of that detail. It will be painstaking, but worth it I think.


Not sure about other tools, but with Vcarve it is worth the time to edit the vector art and smooth all the curves as much as possible. It can reduce the carving time significantly. Most jpg to vector converters will create thousands of nodes along the curved vectors, a simple bezier curve fit will reduce the nodes by an order of magnitude.

I hate doing any kind of paint/fill work with Oak. The pores are just too big and they wick paint in no matter how much you sand or how well you seal.

Also, check out F-Engrave, it’s a python program so it’s cross-platform. It’s not complicated at all, so it’s not too feature-rich, and it’s not as easy to use as Easel or as graphic as Fusion, but it’s free and it does V-Carving based on DXF or bitmap files.

1 Like