What are the use cases of an X-Carve CNC Router?

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Forum topic by ppg677 posted 02-27-2018 05:58 AM 1594 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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221 posts in 1632 days

02-27-2018 05:58 AM

I have the opportunity to buy a used 750mm x-carve for pretty cheap.

Besides doing signs and such, what are the use cases?

My woodworking is mostly furniture.

8 replies so far

View oldnovice's profile


7563 posts in 4144 days

#1 posted 03-05-2018 08:01 PM

I am a hobbyist and a CNC can do a lot more than just make signs!
  1. Make templates for hand held routers for higher piece work throughput!
  2. Make repetitive pieces with very high accuracy.
  3. You can cut wood, plastic, and on some even cut metal,
  4. You can 3D relief carve in different materials.
  5. A CNC can be cutting while you are doing something else.
  6. I am probably missing somethings …..

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Ocelot's profile


2539 posts in 3414 days

#2 posted 03-05-2018 08:59 PM

I’m not familiar with the particular product, but I know some people use CNC for carving seats for chairs. If you are making a set of chairs just alike, it makes it easy.

View oldnovice's profile


7563 posts in 4144 days

#3 posted 03-06-2018 12:00 AM

For examples of what a CNC can do check out some videos on YouTube “woodworking cnc” and/or “CNC” for other than woodworking as there are enough to keep one occupied for hours.

RogerWebb who does a lot of varied projects!
Technology Solutions for some delicate industrial carving.
Mick Martin

And dozens of others!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Mike_D_S's profile


605 posts in 2991 days

#4 posted 03-06-2018 10:30 AM

I have a significantly larger machine than the Xcarve, but besides the normal signs, 3D carving, etching, etc hobby type stuff I use it a lot as an assistant for my woodworking.

Primary uses:
1. Templating: Whether it’s cloud lifts, waterfall details or any other thing that requires a router template, I pretty much always make the templates on the CNC. I find it’s a lot easier to just draw the template and throw on a piece of MDF and come back 15 minutes later for the jig than penciling the design, cutting the jig and then sanding to perfection.

2. Shelf pin holes: The Xcarve might be a bit small for this, but I can lay a cabinet side on mine, clamp it and hit go and come back 5 minutes later to perfectly positioned shelf pin holes.

3. Mortising: I’m doing more of this, but I’ve started using it to make router mortises. I used to make a template and then cut the mortises. Now I just draw a rectangle, add half circles then calculate the tool path and get to cutting.

The one thing I’ll say is that CNC is half computer skills, half mechanical aptitude and half woodworking. :)
So there is a learning curve to it and the better your ability to draw the part you want the easier it’ll be.


-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6069 posts in 3185 days

#5 posted 03-06-2018 03:49 PM

If you can get it cheap as you said do so. Like any other tool it will expand your abilities and as you learn to use it more you will find more applications for it. You hear this comment alot about having a lathe. I originally bought my lathe to make pens and such. These days I rarely make these items but have two lathes and the possibilities are endless..

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View OG51's profile


157 posts in 887 days

#6 posted 04-02-2018 10:09 PM

A cnc machine can definitely bring your woodworking pieces up a notch. I use mine for creating relief carving embellishments on my pieces.

I love Mikes comment that half+half+half gives you 100%. True statement. There is a learning curve with a cnc machine that is somewhat different from traditional woodworking tools. I will say when you half master those skills it becomes really rewarding.

View gkas's profile


11 posts in 3016 days

#7 posted 05-29-2018 09:35 AM

Save your money and put it toward a decent CNC. The XCarve is flimsy junk. It takes way too many passes to cut because the gantry and Z axis are way too flexible. If it’s cheap enough, then look at it as a toy to learn on.

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3843 days

#8 posted 05-29-2018 02:40 PM

curious to define “cheap” cnc and cheap generally mean slop, and slow. If you want to test the waters and its real cheap, then go for it.

I have a 4×8 cncrouterparts machine and I’m a computer guy by trade and the learning curve is a bit steep. Not used the xcarve, but concepts the same. The actual cutting is not the real hard part.

Learning how to make the part in software (outside a simple sign), is a time built skill but lots of youtube vids out there.

I can say i was good at sketchup and switched to vcarve pro, and it took me a good 6 months to get almost proficient.

Feeds n speeds hardest to master.

Go for it. It’s cool learning somethign new..

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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