I’m totally new to CNC, but have been a woodworker for awhile, both as a professional and as a hobbyist. One of the things I really enjoy about working with the X-Carve is that it makes hard things easy, and easy things hard. Before you jump on me about the latter, let me explain what I mean. In most of the woodworking that I’ve done in the past, the 1st steps needed for any project are to get the wood flat and dimensioned. However, when working with a CNC router, I can actually glue up a panel that is wider than my surface planer and with a slightly uneven face, clamp it to my X-Carve table and surface-mill it flat, then cut anything I want out of that panel, leaving behind the outline or waste.
I love that ability and it’s particularly great for making a solid-body electric guitar, for example. However in certain cases, like with cabinet drawers for example, this approach is actually “harder”. (Harder in this case means "takes more time to make and requires me to layout more stuff in CAD.) With something like a drawer side, I’d rather just dimension the wood with my table saw and planer and then use the CNC to cut the joints and grooves out. But I’m not seeing this approach used much in the projects and forum posts I’ve seen so far.
I can see how using the CNC in this fashion would require the X and Y Axis to be well aligned with the table, and how you would have to accurately clamp the wood to the table and home the cutter to a precise origin, but that all seems workable. I’m just not finding any examples of that type of work so far.
If any of you are using your machine in this fashion, I would love to hear about your experiences and about your tips and tricks for success.
PS - Why do I enjoy the fact that some things are “harder”? Mostly because it’s making think about processing operations in a completely new way, which I find very refreshing.