Using X Carve for extra income?

Hey just wondering how many of y’all make some side money doing CNC work?

I’m thinking about getting my own machine to do some wood signs and stuff for businesses (company logos and stuff).

Any info would be sweet. Thanks!


Just enough to feed my bit addiction… for now. Working up to a jtech laser though…


My wife and I started a small craft show / online custom hand painted signs and other stuff she was the main aritist with the knack for painting and calligraphy then one day on a whim I wanted a cnc and everyone I found was 4K plus for the size I wanted then we stumbled upon the xcarve and we took a leap and got it we mainly take her handwriting and and make large full cut outs and just started making table numbers for peoples wedding we have had it about a month and are already seeing a pretty good return it’s a great investment and great community

1 Like

My machine has already paid for itself, the vcarve pro version, jtech laser and upgrades doing custom signs, puzzles etc…

1 Like

Last year was great paid off all my grandfathers medical and 1/3rd of the loan on his house with the xcarve. this years funds will be much lower as i have too many other things that need to be done but this years funds might be paying for a cnc mill i am designing if no other curve balls are thrown my way.


How long have you had your machine @DarrylKegg @ShaneBell

mid 2015

1 Like

You can make good money with a CNC router but you have to go out and get it. Three years ago we bought a Full Spectrum laser. In the first year it paid for the laser, an enclosed trailer, computer and software and still made a little cash. We had to work our butts off to get in gift shops around the area plus making signs for businesses in the area.
We both have full time careers so it was hard but we did it.
Now they come to us and we don’t push as hard but still make around $15K a year on the side doing it.
Not enough to live on but we don’t do it everyday either.
We go to craft shows but more for getting our name out there and taking the motorhome or camper trailer and making a little vacation out of it.
Craft shows are so hit and miss! At one you will make some good money and another you won’t make enough to pay for the fee to get in the craft show. Don’t let that get you down.
If you go to craft shows, one of the biggest things I see walking out the door is yard signs/art. Also remember about 90% of craft show shoppers are women. The other 10% is men dragged along with their wife. :slight_smile:


just over a year…

1 Like

awesome we got ours about a month ago and should have it paid of in about 5 months if we keep our pace nice vacation money

I wish I could be as successful. However after almost a year I am still struggling to keep it running and working like others here.

I’ve been very fortunate. I think the 2 biggest things I did which really helped me were the torsion box I built before the machine arrived, and I ordered with the XController.

When I assembled, I made sure everything was anchored, square, trammed etc… to a known flat, square surface. I’ve never had any issues in that regard.

With the XController I didn’t have to worry about stepper amperage or messing with pots on the controller.

The next change I made was X axis stiffening, and GT3 belts and pulleys, but those were really “nice to have” upgrades. Those first 2 really are what made the difference IMHO.

Of course, I spent a LOT of time reading every post on this forum, and I knew a lot of what NOT to do, so frankly, all the credit goes to everyone else here…

1 Like

I was not aware of a torsion box at the time I got mine. (I spent lots of youtube videos learning.)
Also I did not get the X-controller I got the arduino with the daughter board controller. (The one you mentioned with the adjustment of the pots.)
I have since upgraded to better drivers to avoid issues with under power.
I just now need to get my act together and create a sled for my table saw. Tricky for me as I am not as good as most here working with wood.
Also I do plan on creating a torsion box but I have to get that aluminum plate first (Phils setup with the waste board is what I want to do with mine.)

Yep, I’d recommend following all @PhilJohnson’s posts re: his build if you can.

I built my torsion box first thing after placing my order, took me a few days, and then I opted to use T track and slabs of MDF for the wasteboard, but I never had to skim mine, since the box was dead-flat, the wasteboard was too.

Watch that WoodWhisperer youtube video on torsion boxes if you need, it’s an easy process, you just need to take your time.

I honestly attribute that box and the XController to my overwhelming success w\ the XC, everything else wrong is my only fault. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I really lack a lot of equipment and the planer is one of them.
I have a hand planer for doing edges but its difficult to figure out how to use. Watched videos and what ever I use it on comes out uneven and not flat.

Where are you located, you’re more than welcome to come over and use my shop if you’re in the Chicago area…

I am in Southern Cali. :confused:
Too far for me.
Thanks for the offer.

I am not sure about HD, there’s not one close, but trying to have Lowes cut material has always resulted in wood that looks like my 9yr old did it…

@RobertCanning is correct however, with an accurate fence on your tablesaw, you don’t need a planer or jointer to create a torsion box. in fact, the critical part is the initial setup of the surface you build the box on, as it impacts the resulting frame squareness. Spend a lot of time shimming, using winding sticks etc… until you have a perfect surface, then put the first piece up, and go to town. I used nothing but a tape, level, steel square, tablesaw, glue and brad nailer to build the box.

I’ve often thought about a panel saw, I love the concept and I’ve got plenty of different plans for building your own, or kits etc… however since the purchase of my Festool track saw and the 8’ track, I honestly feel like I have a better setup for ripping panels …

same, I have a hollow chisel mortiser that I literally bought to build a crib for my 3rd child, I think it’s seen maybe 3 hours of operation, and my son is now 9.