Who does not like vbits

So I’m just telling easel I’m using a 1/3292nd bit and setting the depth between .01 and .03 once clear coated the words will stand out better.


Vbits are the bomb!

Before final stain and cleanup.

Did you do the entire thing with a v-bit, or did you rough out the middles with a regular endmill? How long did the carving part take?

I only used a vbit but I don’t think you were asking me lol. Mine took about 15 20 minutes. Its 6x6 when I get back home I have a skyline I converted to vector so we will see how it does. You can,use the vbit to,do,the pockets you just have to tell it it’s a really small bit so it has enough passes to leave it nice and clean

V-bits rock! both for lettering and also for inlay with sharp inside corners.

I did a sign on the piranha that I sold to buy an x-carve, to hang in my employers office with the company logo on it as well as lettering. Used a 60 deg. v-bit for the whole thing, turned out ok but I had a bit of issure with the fact that I had to “tile” my toolpaths since the sign is 4 times the size of the piranha’s work area.

I have recieved a request for another sign for a different division of the same company and it will be done on the x-carve all in one go. I’ll post pics when it’s done!

Do you guys use f-engrave or just using easel?

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I use a combination of Inkscape and Easel, No special V-bit software (but I am looking at buying ArtCam Express).

Just tell Easel it is a .03125 bit and keep the depth of the cut less than .125 and it works pretty good. I have also used a two stage cut with a .0625 flat bottom bit first and then the 60 degree V bit. That also works, but it is not worth the effort of changing bits and collets unless there are lots of letters.

Adding V-bit support is on the roadmap for Easel. How important do you think it is compared to some of the other feature requests we talked about here?


In my opinion true Vbit support would be very important, Signs are probably the easiest thing to create on the X-carve and being able to really take advantage of a depth controlled Vbit from Easel would be a very important feature to have.

If Vbit support is not next on the feature list then having the ability to import an externally produced gcode file would be almost as good.

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G CODE IMPORT!!! Thats my vote we can generate v paths with a ton of software. I am having nothing but trouble getting the universal g code sender to work and easel works perfect ugg would make things simpler

I understand your pain @JoeBerman, I have given up on UGS. If I was able to get it to connect, then Easel would not connect until I rebooted by computer. And when UGS was connected and working the machine Zero was never what I thought it should be,

It is just so much easier to use Easel. But I do hope if Ease does allow importing of gcode it will add the necessary code to the start to be sure units are correct and all the other stuff that is making Easel so nice to use.

@AllenMassey how did you go about getting the inside of your carve black like that? I can only assume the obvious answer of a paint brush and some black paint, but I am hoping there is some cool trick I am not aware of :grin:

Not really a trick. After I make the cut, I just use black spray paint to coat the inside of the cuts, then after it dries I but the whole board on the belt sander to remove the paint from the top surface leaving the paint in the cut.

You can do the same thing with stain for a more subtle difference.

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Thanks for the info. I will have to give that a try.

Thought I would chime in here - I use V-Carve Pro and it is amazing! It now has 3d capabilities as well. It is also expensive. BUT I thought you guys might like to experiment with their free trial download. It includes a few free designs. I don’t use the Arduino/grbl system but I think you can import the resulting g-code and give it a try. Here is a link:

And here is a 3d x-carve using v-carve:

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V-Carve and Chilipeppr make a great combo, that’s what I’m using and I’m really happy with them.

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Been seeing chilipepper on here for some time now but havent looked too deep into it.

Would that be used in place of the UGS?

Yep, you use it to send already generated gcode to the machine: http://chilipeppr.com/grbl

My X carve is back up and running thanks to the great customer service at Inventables!

Turns out my Z motor had indeed failed, I installed the new motor that Inventables sent me and all is good again.

Now that the machine is functional again I started looking seriously at purchasing VCarve Desktop. I downloaded the trial and spent some time watching the excellent video tutorials they offer and I am very impressed with the power and ease of use of the software. I wanted to be sure I had a a valid method of actually cutting what I could design in the tool, so I downloaded the Paradise Box free project that will fully function in the trial version.


I had to resize it to fit on a scrap piece of 5x9 cherry. That was fast and easy to do. The way they have designed the user interface is really good. The software has enormous power but it is still very easy to find the tool you need to make it do what you need.

After playing with Fusion360 and Bobcad-CAM software, the Vcarve software was a welcome relief from the massive complexity of those packages. I am sure Fusion360 is much better if you are wanting to machine mechanical parts, but for the type of wood carving I want to do the Vcarve seems to offer all the functionality I could ask for.

After the design is done createing the tool path was just a few key clicks to choose a vcarve operation, which vbit I was using (90 degree), the feed rate and DOC is built into the tool library (I set the DOC to .08 and the feed to 30 in/min). Then just generate the toolpath, save it with the X carve Post Processor (the mm version seems to work best) and it is ready for the Universal Gcode Sender. Almost.

I had a few bad starts where it would try to crash the spindle into the left rail. Thank goodness for the E stop!

I finally figured out that the workspace zero needed to be zeroed and the UGS did not zero it automatically . So I did a little research on the forum and learned that I needed to reset the zero with a
G92 X0 Y0 Z0
command before I started the carve.

So the process to start the job is:

  1. Open UGS
  2. Connect UGS to the X-Carve
  3. Load the gcode file (must end with ,NC extension) I also found that saving the gcode file to my dropbox account from the desktop machine I was running Vcarve on made it easy to load on the X-Carve’s laptop in the shop.
  4. Zero the tool at the bottom left corner on top of material
  5. use the command tab of UGS to enter G92 X0 Y0 Z0
  6. Check to be sure the work and machine positions are all zero
  7. send the gcode file to X-Carve

I started the job and it took about 35 minutes and looks better than anything I have done so far on the machine.

Here is the finished piece, it needs some sanding and clean up but I think it turned out really nicely
I now understand the discussion in another thread about how difficult it can be to clean up a carved piece like this. Lots and lots of tiny grooves that need sanding.

Here is the 3D view of the piece in Vcarve

Here is a short video of it being cut. I am so impressed with how quickly this is done with a Vbit.

I did not know the 3D modeling capabilities were in Desktop. The only feature in PRO that I use is the nesting feature and that is maybe once a year. I love V-Carve. I wish it included Photo V-Carve though. Your project looks great!