I know, I know, it's not Christmas yet, however

(Dan Nelson) #1

Hello Forum,

I’ve had these small 3"X12"x1/4" pieces of hobby wood I picked up on EBay several months ago in like a 30 pack of maple, walnut and cherry. I thought I’d have a lot of uses for them, but they’ve sat on my stock shelf mostly unused for months. A few months ago I did a big 19"x19" tree of life for my wife to hang on the wall out of super thin plywood and an 1/8" downcut router bit. My mother in law really liked the big tree of life, but honestly I don’t think she’d want one for her own home, kinda not her style. However, with Christmas approaching (I know we’re barely past Halloween) I thought maybe it was time to give these tiny strips of wood a shot, and I just picked up some 60 degree 1/4" V bits…and the results:

I still have to cut them loose, I’ll do that on the band saw. The artwork is not my own, I found it somewhere on the web months ago and changed it up a bit, so I don’t feel it’s right for me to publish the VCarve files, but I will give my set up so someone could make their own with whatever graphics they have:

VCarve Desktop
1/4" 60 degree 2 flute V bit from Ebay (60 degree included angle)
Start depth 0
Flat depth 0.125"
0.125 pass depth
spindle speed 20933 (not sure what that is on the dial of a Dewalt or Makita, but close should be good enough).
Feed rate 35ipm
Plunge 18ipm
Final pass stepover 0.01"
Clearance pass step over 0.06
Wood cherry
The hangy hole I drilled with a 1.5mm drill bit by hand
Took about 40 minutes I think to run all 4

I think mother in law will be pleased, and if she hates them she can hide them on the back side of her tree, or in the closet, haha!!!


Engraving letters - what bit? Depth?
(Raphael E Gilmore) #2

Thank you for posting and offering your template. I will message you for more info. I am a noobie to this site and with my Shapeoko. This was perfect idea in time for Christmas and simple project to get more acquainted with my CNC skills

(Dan Nelson) #3

Here’s the basic file with others artwork removed:

smiley_orn.zip (148.4 KB)

This could easily be done in Carbide Create as well by following the settings above.



(Dan Nelson) #4

I just realized in the above file I changed the flat depth to 0.030", so you may have to adjust accordingly. Reason I did that is because my wife has started filling thee with:

1 part 30 minute epoxy resin
1 part epoxy hardener
red powdered dye as needed till you get the color you want. (This is a dye I bought specifically to mix with epoxy, can’t remember the brand)
and 2 parts micro balloons (to make it easily sand able)

Seal the V carving with Minwax spray poly (3 coats, let dry overnight at least)
Mix epoxy/dye/balloon mixture.
Smooth on with a popsicle stick (let dry overnight)
Sand from about 120 to 400 grit
Apply more spray poly to your liking

This one still needs a little more sanding and a final coat of poly:


Vinyl Paint Masking
(Dan Nelson) #5

2 more for some friends at work fresh off the XXL. Not fully buffed and fluffed, but should make some nice ornaments.

I cut 4 at a time from 3"x12"x0.250" stock I found on Ebay. First one is cherry wood, which cuts fantastic for this application. Second is maple, a fairly soft variety, leaves some fuzzies, but they’ll come off with a little light sanding and a wire brush. These ones I didn’t spray with poly before cutting, I think that may have helped with the fuzzies, at least on the maple.


(Dan Nelson) #6

Made a special fixture to do the backsides with a message to who ever we gift these out to. Simple pocket in MDF, located using the same 1/4" pins I used as zero everything else, two wood screws to hold each ornament down during the cut, MDF is just 2-sided taped to my waste board. I can engrave a message (as shown below) in about 5 minutes including swapping out ornaments, I never even turn the router off (it just goes to the back of the machine after cutting). This makes it easier than doing a regular 2-sided flip job and I can do personal messages to whoever I’m gifting it to. The top “hangy hole” is used to index the correct rotation, the pocket at the bottom is simply to make it easier to remove the ornament. I use 1/4" steel pins and drill the holes using my XXL so they are true to the spindle even though my machine base is slightly out of square. Fixturing holes drilled using a 1/4" drill bit at 5000rpm (I use SuperPID), peck drilling coded from VCarve Desktop:

This isn’t my idea straight away, I got the idea from a post @ApolloCrowe made last year to hold pennies for engraving, works great!


Christmas Ornament and Adhesive Residue
Workholding help, milling a finished product
(Dan Nelson) #7

I hate Christmas ornaments, but (sigh!) they’re nearly done!

Thanks for looking!


(Carl Hilinski) #8

vecteezy.com has a lot of free vector images that can be used commercially (with a couple of rules) and they have “premium” stuff as well for commercial use. I believe I’ve seen the tree of life image there; I know they have several.

(Dan Nelson) #9

Another one for the grandparents:

Thanks for looking!


(William Adams) #10

Please consider using a typographic/curly apostrophe rather than the stick one intended for computer code


(Dan Nelson) #11

Haha, I know @WillAdams this probably makes someone with your background absolutely insane!! It is actually the apostrophe that was supplied with that font, and I didn’t pick it, this you can blame on my wife. I put in the text fields, she picked the fonts, I did the layout and tool paths. This probably makes you crazy like me when I see someone grinding away on some aluminum with a bench grinder :open_mouth: or better yet running a mill with gloves on (old workmate almost lost his hand thinking this was a good idea).

Sorry man, this is just one of those things


(ray) #12

The ornaments look great, nice job.
I finally got my youngest daughter to want to make something. We made 8
of these ornaments.

She’s painting them tomorrow.

(Dan Nelson) #13

Those look great Ray!!!

There’s so many “useful” things to make this time of year, my wife and I have been having a blast! Cool to get the kids involved.