Where does a newbie start?

My first post, so go easy on me. Just retired and being vet, its now my time and sit back and enjoy the golden years. I am very interested in this CNC thing. On scale 1 to 10 . I would say I am 8 on computer and 5 in wood working. Like to know, what a good starting point?’. Seen a few videos just enough to make go into this new frontier.

This site has a lot of information, so hoping this will get me to pull the trigger on buying.


Check out Phillip Lunsford “Paw Paw’s WorkShop” YouTube videos.

Also check out “Steve Molone” Steve’s Projects


Welcome to the forum and the world of retirement.
This is great forum with much to learn and many people to help you along the way.


Welcome to the forum. This is a great place to begin your journey.

I have found that this is a fun machine to play with i started with making things for my machine like the wrench https://easel.inventables.com/projects/EP1Qjmgl-wYfjfq_M6bDdw, I made mine out of corian and it really helps with bit changes.

Very interesting, but what is wrong with the wrench that came with the router?
While I think its a great way to start learning the machine and software, I would be skeptical of it being able to properly tighten the nut.
I think you will have trouble with bits slipping due to the lack of torque that you can apply with that tool.

I made one a couple years ago and still use it. You would be suprised how much torque you can get with it.

Using the wrench that it came with works too, however the actual wrench will change your zero when torquing or loosening the nut. i have found that i can apply ample torque with the star wrench.
Look around at some of the projects and you will find something to cut out and then you will loose sleep at night trying to figure out what to do next.
rember there are no more scraps only smaller projects!!!

Change GRBL setting $1 to 255
Your problem will go away

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See below you need to change dip switches as well, search forum for X-Carve Homing issues

On the X-controller the DIP switch positions 1, 2, and 3 control the micro-stepping for the respective axis. The fourth DIP switch position controls the torque reduction feature. Turn the fourth DIP switch off for each axis and then the X-controller will not reduce torque when the motors are idle. The little potentiometers beside the DIP switches control the current limit for each axis. There is a legend on the circuit board that shows the approximate setting for various current limits. [DSCN

You are correct.
I completely forgot about that.

Joe: Welcome to the wonderful world of CNC routing. You’ll find that this is a very addictive hobby! You might want to start with a book on CNC machines:

There are tons of videos out there on YouTube, but a lot of the information is disconnected, so probably getting a book will put all the info in one place. This forum will help when you get stuck with something (and you will…that’s part of the challenge/fun).
Good luck and have fun!

My journey has been come started. Working with Aspire and what a learning curve it has become.Don’t know if this old 70 year has gotten over his head on this one. 2nd week in and lot of videos.

@JoeDuncan You are never too old. I am almost 70. I started my CNC experience about three years ago. Visit my YouTube channel. It is designed for the newbie such as yourself. Welcome! Here is the link to my channel: https://youtube.com/c/pawpawsworkshop


you have been an inspiration to me and now i have my machine doing dimensional carves.
thank you phillip


Ok, if i want to set the dip switches for 32x microsteps, witch switches should be on?