Inventables Community Forum

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

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!

Blue painters tape and super glue is my go to method. Works well for big and small projects. Never tried the double sided tape or hot glue. I’m sure each has their place. I hope you find what works best for you :slight_smile:

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Thanks for everyone sharing their experiences and stories. Ive been heavily debating on creating a etsy store merely for the ease of people creating orders and seeing offered products. Still on the fence though and might look for something else.

Figure what makes the most sense when you want to sell a item (wood custom sign) but also have different options and finishes to check off.

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Many of us want a self sustaining workshop, and income from our passion. The one thing I see most, as a person that has had and sold several businesses, is the fact that almost no one does a full on business model before starting a new business. We start with the idea, and run with it…If a person sits down and writes out a firm business model of what we want to accomplish, and where we want the business to go, pricing, inventory, rent, tools etc…it makes the process easier to see in the long run.

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Hi Lance, I’m Mark and new to CNC. My question is how do you keepthe letters attched to each other to make a name sign?

How did amazon handmade work out for you?

Hi everyone. I hope this thread is still going strong. I’ve read it a few times and there is quite a wealth of information. I’ll dive right in. I just launched an LLC to make CNC signs, gifts, ornaments, and trinkets. I plan on mostly selling/giving products away as gifts for marketing. I have worked out my logo and a business plan is in the drafting stages. I am getting ready to buy my X-Carve machine and have been looking at various upgrades from CNC Newbie and TBC CNC. Particularly the Z-Axis improvements. Has everyone found the X-Carve to be enough machine for their projects or would I be better with a machine that costs 2x as much with a name that starts with “Ax” and ends in “iom”? Is the Easel enough to get started or would you recommend moving to the Vectric software quickly? Thanks in advance for your replies!

Check out all the signs that Steve has made using Easel


Check out Paw paw's projects and all the things he has done using Easel.

Easel is very user friendly and you can download it and try it out.
Good luck
Russell