X-Carve Production - 100 piece lot size?

I have had customer ask me to cut 24x24, 20x20, 16x16, 12x12, 18x18 rounds as well as 20X24, 16x20, 12x16, and 8x10 ovals out of 1.5" thick MDF. He wants the varying sizes delivered in lots of 100 pcs. They are providing the material in 4’x8’ sheets that I will have to cut into sizes that fit my machine (1000 size). The guy stated these will be used “for packing” and wants them really cheap.

I have no experience cutting MDF on the X-Carve but from what I have researched on the forums I could roughly do 100 in/min for a feed rate using a down cut onsrud cutter. Some others have stated they charge $2/min for CNC time or $20 per hour.

@100 in/min I could cut 1, 24" round in roughly 30 minutes. So that would 10 per blank which isn’t really cheap.

I have had the router for 4 months and have used it to make signs and personal items from red oak but have not really pushed it.

Does anyone use theirs for production work and would you even consider this type of work?

I personally don’t want to burn up my machine pushing it to cut cheap rounds and ovals.

I’m reaching out to the the forum to get your expertise and opinions on this situation. Thank you.

i love my xcarve and use it as often as i can but for round blanks of mdf i have a jig for my bandsaw and can cut a perfect circle in a few minutes. the ovals i would cut on the xcarve but anything else i can cut much quicker with a different machine. plus you will have an enormous amount of dust.

So much dust.

I do have a decent dust collector but it’s no professional model.

Excellent point on the weight of the MDF had not thought of that.

For the perfect rounds get a circle jig. You can even make one with the xcarve. You can hand cut much faster. Should take 1-2 minutes a circle. They make oval jigs as well look them up. I don’t see the xcarve being beneficial in this type of use, but if you do then set your price based on what you could be doing otherwise. For 100 circles by hand with them bringing the wood I would charge $100-$200 per set minimally just for the monotony.

I have to entirely agree with Robert on this one.

Thank you all for the insight and suggestions.

Robert, I think you are absolutely right that the negatives far outweigh the 1 positive, money. When I purchased the X-Carve it was never my intention to make a career from it but make things I wanted to make and do some supplemental projects to help recoup some of the cost of the router and supplies.

Also I agree with you that “this would suck the fun out of the xcarve” It would turn what was a enjoyable experience into a chore.

And since I currently don’t have a band saw or the capitol to by one right now, the jig suggestion, while good, just doesn’t work for me at this point in time.

I think I will decline this work because it simply does not fit into the scope of why I purchased this machine to begin with.

Thanks again to everyone who chimed in on this.

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The only MOD I have done was to add some 8" long steel angle brackets to the inner side of the two Y Axis rails to help add rigidity because I was getting the all to famous “Juttering” in the head. They are screwed to the extrusion (using T-Nuts) and then attached to the waste board.

Cut template blanks using the X-Carve. Then use a hand held router ( or table router ) and a bearing bit to guide against the template.