Inventables Community Forum

Tips for starting a CNC Side Business with an X-carve/CNC

Just stumbled across this thread. Great information here! Looking forward to getting my xcarve once my taxes come back and trying my hand at making a few bucks.

Does anyone else have experiences to share? I really love reading and learning from those.

Thanks!

Just finished reading through this thread, and it has been very helpful. Nice seeing how others have tackled challenges. My main challenge right now is time, due to having 10 month old twins…time is scarce, and I only got my machine in September, so my wife and I have full time jobs, 10 month old twins, and a constant evolving learning curve. And while I have only made $500 I have been happy about the constant learning that I have been able to do.

Thank you for posting your story. I’m in a very similar situation, not with twins, but with two girls one 7 and the other is a pre-teen. Both my wife and I work full time and seem to have full time jobs when we get home with all the things the girls are into so time will be hard to come by when I get the Xcarve. I’m inspired to hear that since September you have been able to bring in $500.00…that’s awesome and congrats! My main goal is to sell enough to pay off the machine in my first year. I have been studying up on these forums and you tube and cant wait to get started!

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Congratulations @BenjaminLipinski @MichaelFink on your success. I have two grand babies I take care of and it is hard to find time to get into the shop. Keep at it. It’s well worth it.

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Thank you! Just for the sake of full disclosure, that $500 (actually $490) came from two jobs and was not profit. One came from a cornhole board set that I carved in the Arizona Cardinals logo and my friends name and then backfilled it with the West System epoxy resin, that was $250, but I went through a good amount of epoxy as it was my 1st time, I netted about $100 when all said and done. The other were two cutting boards, one inlayed with Washington State University, and the other inlayed with the state of Washington and an apple, I had the material on-hand so my cost was only about $10.

I’m in the same boat as you, if I can pay for the machine and the $350 that I dropped for vCarve Desktop (and hopefully some upgrades) in year 1 then I am more than happy.

-Mike

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Thanks Phil, always love seeing your videos, they have been a great source of guidance, especially when I 1st started reading/watching. Yeah, time is hard, but thankfully I insulated the ceiling in my garage and my twins room, and I switched over to a Vacmaster VF408 shop-vac recently from my Ridgid and it dropped the noise in my garage easily by half (Best $60 I have spent), so I am able to run the machine at night.

-Mike

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Mike,

Funny that you mentioned insulation as this is a big to do for me soon. My garage is my workspace and here in Western NY winters suck and working in the garage can be difficult at times. I’m starting with getting the garage door insulated and the spring adjusted to handle the added weight and that’s happening next week.

After that I’m either going to do the walls (only two need insulation) which already have dry wall up so I either take it down, insulate and rehang or do blown in cellulose or I can go to the attic space and lay down rolled insulation or do cellulose?

Not sure where you live Mike but has the insulation helped with temps where you are or is it mostly for noise?

The garage is where my Xcarve is going to go so I would like to try and keep the temps up as long as possible when I’m out there.

For anyone in the north with the Xcarve in the garage would you mind sharing how you and the machine are doing in the cold? Or share how you insulated and keep your garage warmer?

Hey Ben,

I ended up doing mine for as much noise containment as possible, as I live in Arizona. So, while you have the brutal winters I have the brutal summers. If I stay in this house another summer I will be seriously considering a mini-split A/C unit, but so far I have sucked it up every summer and still been out there like any other day (time allowed).

FYI, my garage walls were already insulated, only did the ceiling, but for the interior house walls we cut 4" holes between all of the studs and then blew it in and recovered/textured/painted after. Was a fairly quick process…however this was before the kiddos came lol

-Mike

Thanks Mike! The more I read up and watch things I think the blown in is the way to go since the dry wall is already up and it looks like my wife (maybe brother) and I could handle this as a weekend job. I have heard the machines are usually free to rent as long as you buy the cellulose from them.

Thanks for the information! I really appreciate it!

No problem at all, happy to help. One other word of advice on this, is yes, at least here in AZ the machine rentals are free at Home Depot if you purchase 10 bags of the blown in insulation, but here is a nice tip, they give you a sizable contractor discount at 30 bags…I only needed 15, but the guy told me to buy 30 and then just return what I didn’t end up needing. This allowed me to get the machine rental free and then a discounted cost on the insulation, and had no issues returning the ones I didn’t use.

P.S. My fault for driving this thread off-topic lol, apologies.

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I was thinking the same thing… no way that cutting board was made in an hour including milling the wood and gluing up.

I have two items that I have produced in the shop that I could sell many but does not make sense. A personalized bottle opener with wood engraved handle that I sold for $30 , and a tool caddy that is made with $15 dollars worth of HDPE material and sells currently for $100… Its all just for fun if you cant make at least $50 an hour in the shop.

Are you talking about how did I cut it that fast or how did I design it that fast?

Maybe doing some craft shows ? Get your name and product out there

Hey Rick, what material did you use for your door sign? We’ve tried to use 7mm and 1/4" baltic birch plywood (which looks like what you’ve used in your picture) but the material has ended up breaking across the thinner designs, so we’ve more or less given up on making these types of signs for the time being.

Sorry didn’t see your response sooner. I used revolution plywood which I want to say is around .201 they make hard maple 1/4 plywood which I usually enter in at .22 what are you having problems with it breaking? I think it might be how your doing your tabs, just guessing. Typically anything over 2 square inches I do at least 2 tabs per negative cutout evenly across from each other if you don’t keep those negative cutouts stable they’ll usefully chatter around leaving a saw tooth looking cut or break. Afterwards I use a multi tool(random oscillator) with a really narrow(¼"to½") blade or a Rockwell bladerunner 2(the one that can mount on the wall) if you remove the arm you have unlimited capacity and I would almost say it’s made for cutting tabs.

Good info! We may have been using a straight bit at the time, not certain though. My wife has been commanding the x-carve and I’m not certain what she was using. We may have just have some bad luck with the plywood we used, however it seemed that smaller sections of wood (where the width would get below 1/2") were just too fragile and would crack and/or break in multiple sections. I see people use 1/4" plywood all the time though and they’re successful with it, so clearly we’re doing something wrong on our end or using the wrong bit.

Not sure how you are clamping your source material but, if you haven’t tried the glue/tape method this may offer additional support needed.

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@DanielMiller. Check out my project page here on the forum. I show the glue and tape method and how I hold down my projects. Maybe it will help you

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Thanks Phillip! Love your youtube channel! When my wife was just starting on X-Carve a couple of months back, the first thing I said to her was “check out Paw Paw’s intro videos on youtube”!

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I’m fond of using hot glue, though my wife is more fond of using tape. We’ve had VERY mixed results with tape, though. In general, we’re using double-sided carpet tape, which has been recommended numerous times. It’s super sticky, which is great for thicker boards. We haven’t had a lot of success using it with thinner boards and plywood because of how sticky it is. The other issue is that we can’t find a good basic double-sided tape to use. Of the ones we’ve tried and seen recommended, I find that it doesn’t hold well enough, and boards will get whipped around the waste board. As a woodturner myself, this is something that is actually preventing me from wanting to use double-sided tape for securing bowl blanks to waste blocks as I see a lot of woodturners do because I’m afraid it will send a bowl flying across the shop!