X-Carve spindle choice and other questions

Hi all,

I’m a furniture designer that sometimes need to make prototypes of some parts or even full pieces. I’m completely new to CNC and every time I decide to put a little effort into reading up on it and get a machine I get scared away by either the price point or the difficulty of even understanding what I’m reading or what I need. I need to cut fairly large pieces so up until now all the machines in my price range have been too small. However, 800x800mm I can work with!

Mostly what I’ve seen on the X-Carve in action has been carving signs and the like. My needs are a bit bigger and probably more crude. I’d like to cut plywoods and glued up boards of hard- and softwood between let’s say 5mm and 25mm. I haven’t been able to find any specific info on that but that shouldn’t be a problem right?

And that leads me to the choice of spindle. I would sometimes be cutting many many pieces of 18mm plywood in the prototyping process and want to make sure the machine can handle it. I’m guessing it would be worth getting the most powerful spindle? But which one is it?

Finally. I’m in Europe and the shipping is insane to get the thing over here. Just the waste board kit is $180. But from what understand it’s just a matter of cutting a piece of MDF to size and dropping it in yourself right?

Sorry for all the newbie questions here. But one has to start somewhere :smile:


Hi Fred,

Yes X-Carve can cut the plywood and hardwood you talked about.

The more powerful spindle is the Dewalt 611. It is 1 1/4 hp where the stock spindle is 300W. It’s more powerful but MUCH louder so get some ear protection too.

If you make your own waste board you will need the hardware to fasten it and the insertion nuts. Did you see the other post with the list?

Thanks Zach!

Found another post of yours explaining the waste board kit contents just now. Thanks.

With regards to the spindle then. Will the quieter 300W spindle handle my needs you reckon? If it does then quieter is better of course. And I’d be able to upgrade later should the need arise I guess.

I am doing the exact same thing as you. I went with the works and the quiet cut 300w spindle. I’ll proably eventually get the 600w 110v spindle eventually but the one it comes with it should be fine. The only downside is it can only,use a 1/4 bit so depth of cut can’t be as extreme. So in conclusion yes it will work just not as fast. To up to a 1/2 something more power or not and you will be going faster. But Yea more power is never a bad thing!!! If you have the cash upgrade it now. If you cant take the noise. Get a comfy chair for killing those extra minuites

Thanks for your input JoeBerman.

I’m not quite sure I understand that last part though. Are you saying that the 300w spindle is good up to about 1/2 inch work pieces and after that a bigger is required?

What would the speed difference between the 300w and the Dewalt 611 be on average?

I think he’s saying the maximum tool shaft it can take is 1/4". In woodworking router bits, 1/2" is used for bigger, heavier bits that hog out a whole lot more material and and rotate much more stable on their axis (less deflection, etc) but obviously require a lot more power to turn.

Total ‘depth’ of workpiece should be somewhat independent of shaft diameter since it’s the depth of an individual ‘cut’ pass that matters. And unless I’m mistaken I think even the 611 is a 1/4" collet router.

Yea the 611 is a 1/4 inch. I was just saying the depth per pass has to be kept down. Rule of thumb in depth of pass is no more than about half of the bid diameter. So a 1/4 bit should only go 1/8 per pass but a 1/2 bit can go 1/4 per pass doubling your cutting speed but you sacrifice the ability to do,more detail. For us making furniture sometimes detail doesn’t matter because all our corners are outside corners. Detail doesn’t batter here the machine has no problem making 90 degree cuts at any bit diameter.