Some Recent Projects

Hello all,

Been lurking for awhile picking up tips from this category. I bought the original X-Carve kit and it is 100% stock other than adding the Dewalt DWP611 and respective mount (before it came standard with X-Carves). All I have done is turn up the stepper in the Z about a quarter turn.

The only bits I have ever used are: 1/32" 2 flute up cut, 1/16" 2 flute up cut, and 1/8" 2 Flute Straight Cut. All were included in the Inventables End Mill Starter Kit.

I also use a 90deg V-Bit for some of the signs shown below. I trick easel by telling it that the bit I am using is .02" diameter. I have found that .05" carve depth works well. This doesn’t always work though. If you go too deep, the bit overlaps its previous path leaving un-desirable results.

I vary on speeds on the Dewalt from (#3 - #5.5) I understand that this might be too fast, but it seems to work for me.

I mostly work in Pine, Poplar, and Soft Maple. Although I will try test cuts in MDF before ruining a good board.

All Paints are Rustoleum Spray Paint from home depot. @ $3.50/can its pretty convenient/competitive.
Stain is Minwax Hickory from Home Depot.
Most signs are finished with clear Rustoleum Laquer. (Also Rustoleum Spray Paint cans from Home Depot)

Supplemental equipment purchased:

12" Planer +/- $265.00 USD Shipped to door (Harbor Freight) *Look for 20% off coupon
10" Sliding Compound Miter Saw +/- $140.00 Shipped to door (Harbor Freight) *Look for 20% off coupon
10" Ryobi Table Saw $125.00 Home Depot local pick-up

These tools have helped a lot. Especially the planer for inlaying colors into carves. Not that much sanding involved.

Any questions please ask.


It all looks good it me. Nice work.

fantastic work. keep it up

These look great! Hope to see more soon.

I noticed you have the same Planner that I do. :smiley:

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Love it. Although I didnt know what “Snipe” was until the other day. I thought Harbor Freight sold me a malfunctioning unit. Turns out its a common thing and almost un-avoidable in lower-end planers that do not have adjustable cam rollers. I now plan on leaving a little extra material on the piece to account for the snipe so I can chop it off.

THAT organic farms sign turned out great! Great work and love that you are doing it with such compact/affordable tools! I don’t have much room where I am, I may just have to look into that tablesaw.

Thankyou everyone. I appreciate the feedback.

@KaseyHellawell Thankyou. This was my first attempt at glueing (2) 12"x24" pieces of poplar together. It turned out great. Almost no seam present. As far as the table saw, I like its affordability, and it makes nice straight cuts. However, I am not 100% pleased with how the fence operates. You need to measure with a tape after adjustment to check to see if its parallel to the blade. Kind of a pain but you get what you pay for. For 130 bucks I would do it again. If you can afford the next model up I would possibly do that. Cheers

Thankyou very much for the suggestion I will try this.

Some other random stuff:

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We use our x-carve at the school where I teach. We have some very old but good tools that can function like your table saw and planer. One of the struggles we have had is making two color signs. Would you mind sharing how you do that. Great work by the way.

Nice work. All the signs look great.


Multicolored signs are most often achived by the following work flow:

1 - Carve the design
2 - Clear coat / seal all of the surface (will prevent color bleed at stage 3)
3 - Add color to the pockets
4 - Sand the top surface, this will take off excess paint
5 - clear coat / seal the sign (may not be required)

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Thanks, thats great. I can’t wait to give it a try.