A monkey gets his hands on a Shapeoko (Regularly Updated)

One is never too careful with wood dust, and I dig your setup!


walnut dust is brutal for me, so not so unusual to me!

beautiful setup!!

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Where do you get your files of rivers like this? I live in another state and would love to make one for me oof lakes.

It took a good while to find a high resolution image of a map that had the rivers and lakes shown simply and clearly with little to no text or other info, which then could be traced with any number of different image-to-svg converters or auto-tracers. I considered purchasing Vcarve Desktop just to see if the auto-trace feature was easier than my past attempts using various websites and Inkscape, as I am not good at this sort of thing. I settled on doing a simple bitmap trace in Inkscape and after lots and lots of node clean up and adjusting, I saved it as an svg and imported it into Carbide Create.

Once I get to turning on my shop computer I will try and find the website I found the map on and post a link here. I do remember it having maps of all 50 states.


I am not sure which type I ended up using for the trace, but I got the map from:


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I have been using these 10mm barrel hinges for 5 years or so in my portable cribbage boards. I have purchased 235 of these so far (I had to look, just for fun). Yes, the odd number is from damaging a few learning how to install them. I now install them in the base and lid (with them open) simultaneously using an aluminum bar with a channel in it and hammer/tap both sides in at the same time.

They are solid brass (except for the steel pins in the hinges) and they work very nice. Since they are brass, the stamped plates that make up the hinge are easily deformed, but I like the idea that they will not rust, since they are solid brass.


Lol, of course I see your amazing 4" diameter setup after I finally made the purchase of a 2.5" hose for mine. :confounded:

Do you have a flexible arm above the machine helping to carry some of the weight of the hose after it comes off the dust system pipe?

Amazing is not a word I would normally attach to anything in my garage shop, but thank you for the compliment @AllCustomGifts ! I repurposed a bracket that I had made for my old belt driven z-axis and mounted it like a “hanger” relatively centered above the work table. There is just enough slack so it can reach all four corners without pulling on the carriage in any significant way.

My shop is a constant (and incredibly slow) work in progress. The intended layout and design seems to change week to week! :man_facepalming: Currently, the hose runs directly through the wall into the dust collector closet. After some more soundproofing and drywall finishing, double doors, etc I plan on running a 5" or 6" diameter hard pipe from the connection directly above the machine all the way to the dust collector for maximum flow. In all honesty, a “clean room” for painting and finishing with proper carbon filtration and/or venting will probably supersede any more work on the cnc setup. Nothing aggravates me more than getting dust/debris in the finish coat after hours of work…and an angry monkey is of no use to anyone.


I share this feeling 100%. I’m in the process of rearranging my shop (1/2 of a two car garage), also with a focus on dust collection. I need to keep the dust off the wife’s car to keep the peace :smirk:.

After seeing more of your setup, I stick with my original assessment of “amazing” for the setup you have developed. You’ve done a great job organizing and designing a solid work station. Looking forward to seeing more of your projects and ideas!


Out with the old:

In with the new:

On a side note, the Carbide Compact Router is the exact opposite of the Dewalt 611. Let me explain… the 611 looks and feels very nice in hand and you can tell a lot of r&d went into that part of the design. After running one for the better part of a year, I have come to the conclusion that the 611 has fallen prey to that “all show, no go” type of design that uses cheap internals and lower grade manufacturing on moving parts. It resulted in a router that is not only loud, but menacingly so when the bearings very quickly start to degrade. It also had an unacceptable amount of slop in the drive shaft that I could not remedy by replacing it with a new one. 3 dif routers, same stupid issue that caused more than a few headaches and hoops that had to be jumped through to get consistent results. The Carbide compact router is nice in hand, but it is a very “no frills” generic design that doesnt exude as much of that “high end” feel as the Dewalt. But when you turn on the CCR you can immediately tell the difference in the internals and moving parts by the sound, even more so when you crank up the rpm and start chewing through stock. It is not only quieter, (literally near half the volume of the Dewalt at 20k rpm) but the lack of “play” in the internals immediately produced a better cut (even before properly tramming my setup). I am so glad I made the switch.

Happy cutting everyone, and most importantly, stay safe! I’ll post the files for the e-stop and CCR signs later today if anybody is interested.


Yeah, I was quite taken aback when it was mentioned that the bearings of the DeWalt are housed in plastic.

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Id like to make the CCR sign. I have a laminated piece of paper now, this would be much better!

I’ll get it posted this evening!

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Did you ever get the sign cut out? Really curious to see the bridge detail. I am thinking of doing this skyline too for another city.

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Not yet, but I did get the tool setter and have done other projects with it. As long as the image is 18" w. or bigger I should be able to get the detail ok. I’m also doing the reflection of the skyline in the water , and that s tricky with the texturing. I’ll let you know. Here are a couple images of tests , I did both of these with the tool setter. After reading Micro Monkeys post Im beginning to feel my De Walt is not stable enough to produce smooth curve cut lines. Having issues with this on many test shapes and materials


@Rdevine, here is the svg:

CCR_Dial_Speed.zip (64.0 KB)


In the spirit of all the CC Pro 3d goodness floating around as of late:
With zero experience in 3d modeling and very little cnc experience I decided to keep it simple.
First 3d project (the robot) was made in July 2019 (I am not even sure 3d roughing tool paths were added to CC yet):

Which eventually led me to making some decorations for friends and their kids:

and a neat Christmas decoration:

Then I had a good friend of mine who happens to be an avid “tree enthusiast” request a box, and I took it as an opportunity to do something slightly more “technical” with CC Pro 3d modeling.
Step 1, Make a box:

Step 2, Use 3d modeling features to create perfectly sized reliefs for Mr. Skelly’s bones (cause nobody wants to carry around a rattling box of bones):

As always, more to come! Stay safe out there guys and gals!


Perfectly executed, as usual !

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More boxes:

(~aug 2019) :

One for my mother-in-law:

I had a very nice lady ask me for 2 boxes with the combination skyline and state outline on the lid around Christmas time:

The boxes are roughly 5in(4 3/4?) by 9in with just enough space inside for pens, pencils, money, gift cards, etc. The two boxes in the first picture have been in use at my wife’s workplace to hold various teeny-tiny measuring spoons, and I am not ashamed to admit how overly happy it makes me to know they are used daily. (even though she stole them off my workbench before they were finished :rofl:)

edit: Big thank you to the guys who put in the work and posted a bunch of box ideas and cut files months back. It taught me a ton (understatement) about sizing and offsets and clearance passes! ( :wink: @WillAdams and others)


Inspired by @wmoy’s C3d office hours on two sided machining, I decided to make a trivet as a birthday gift for my father-in-law who loves to cook.

Step one: Go through scrap bin and square up selected stock… thankfully I had a nice drop of pecan left over from a built-in shelving project. I had flattened it months ago and set it aside for a rainy day.


Step 2: Sand to 600 grit for the heck of it.


Step 3: Come up with a desired look and program tool paths in all the wrong order, and tack on numerous other mistakes (f&s, work holding, workflow) to get something that could pass for a trivet…

Super check! (:man_shrugging: :man_facepalming: :rofl:)

Thanks to all the mistakes (and a worn out 1/2" ball nose bit) I have a good bit of clean up to do, but thankfully my F-I-L is an engineer and loves “tasteful” machining marks…