Steel and granite fail test

decided to punish a endmill till it’s demise .but this was really done to show how the x-carve handels hard materials . i have cut both of these materials very very slowly for some small crafts it can be done just takes time and cutting fluid

If you use the end mills designed for granite work you can pull out some great detail with ease. I make pet memorials and marker plaques out of granite weekly. There are a number of end mills out for the cutting/milling of granite which will last far longer than the carbide end mill you tested with. Engraving granite is best done with a PCD diamond tipped engraver. You can get the cheap ones from China but if you plan to do a good deal of it, it is best to buy a higher quality end mill for better results.

This is the drink coaster I made for keeping in my mill room.

Slate is super easy to mill even at 100mm/m+

Marble is also a breeze

It all just comes down to the right end mills over all. The X Carve (and Shapeoko which did the slate and marble) are very capable of milling in harder materials if you just give it the right tool paths and end mills.

If you want more info for stone milling, just hit me up and I will send you some links to help you out.


love your work i wanted to show the bad side of things. but yes with the rite tools and paths it works fine. i make exhaust flanges for small engines like for go kart exhaust and such. i have found a good source for my stone cutting bits from the company in town that makes headstones they save me some of their used bits witch are still in great shape. i work at a factory that makes automotive components and get a few bits there i operate fanuc and toyoda cnc’s there and get some bits from them they only run 500 parts per tool then replace the bits and scrap the old ones

I am looking to crave a simple vector design into some red granite using a and X-Carve with the Dewalt 611 attached. Can anyone point me in the right direction in terms of where to buy the proper bits and what to set my machine to?

Sure. I would start out with the PCD bits from China. There are half the costs of local ones and they seem to stand up almost as long so even if you use two, it is cheapoer than one high end one if you break one. They are sold in sets of two (where I buy from) are what I started out with and what I use on most of my projects as they are cheaper and stand up well… Few things to keep in mind. Set the spindle as slow as you can on the 611, PCD does not like high speeds on granite. If you can keep it wet and baby sit it, your bits will last much longer. Your Z zero is going to be very important. The bits are very hard, yet very brittle. A crash into the stock will break them. Take shallow cuts: 0.1 to 0.2 MAX. So a number of passes in the same area cutting lower each time is far better results than trying to rush the job. I cut most of my work at around 100mm/m with 0.1 DOC and around 9000-10000 RPM. I would highly suggest cutting a sacrificial waste board to keep stock level to the mill. In engraving this is extremely important. Also keep in mind these are 1/4" size end mills. Let me know if you need any other info. I do (far too many) pet memorials and I am doing some christmas gift granite work in the next day or so also.

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Thanks for the swift reply.

Everything you mentioned makes sense. Most of my experience with the mill has been with cutting wood so this will be an experiment. In terms of adding water, do you have a recommended method to do this by hand? Does it need to be a constant stream?

I just ordered the bits and will let you know how it goes when they arrive.

It is best if it is a flow of water. Does not have to be much, just enough to keep it wet and wash away the ground granite if you can. You can take something like plumbers putty and build a dam around the stock edges. Place two lines of airline tubing in the wall of the putty at the bottom edge as a drain and have that go to a bucket. If you pick up an airline control valve from a pet store ( a single inline one will do great) you can put airline hose on it and place in a container of water as a drip / controlled flow of water down to the stock from above. Water will drain out the two lines as it comes in the single line (safety built in there). You will want to protect your mill with some rail protectors, like cardboard or something to keep any splashes from getting into things too much, dried granite dust is not friendly to bearings and such at all. I would have the incoming water line go to the stock and not the spindle so it will stay within the dam walls always. I would highly suggest making the origin of your CAM paths be in the center of your stock if you can. Not sure what you are using for CAM so it might be hard to do in some programs. Not sure if Easel will allow that yet. Watch your G28 to make sure it will not crash the endmill.

One last thing. Sadly the end mills are on the slow boat over from China. They do work great but they are pretty slow at arriving if you are stateside. Good luck and looking forward to seeing your project when it is finished. Let me know if I can be of any help otherwise before then.


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Trying to carve on granite for our pastor. Any tips? I have a XCARVE Pro thanks