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

I can tell you are proud of Tennessee but as Davey Crocket, a native son of Tenessee said, You May All go to Hell, I am going to Texas.

Nice work.


Not so much proud (I do love this place, though) but it was a set of designs that I knew would sell year round after the initial “side income generating” idea that I was working on with another guy (that prompted the purchase of my Shapeoko) fell through. And I am a total sucker for iconic images/logos and maps of all kinds!

Hi Scott,
Is that valchromat there for those coaster? Your stuff is so crisp by the way, I like it a lot.
Edit: lol just seen the reference to it! I need my mince pies tested.

1 Like

Thanks @MarkLince! Yes sir, it is Forescolor mdf. There is a manufacturer close to me where I can buy it in full sheets.

I spent 6 months in Millington(?), outside Memphis, in Navy A school in ‘69.

I quickly discovered the countryside and rivers in Tennessee, spent all my free time there. On one occasion, got bucked off my rental horse, spent a few hours trying to catch it up, a couple of good old boys took pity on me and got me back on board.

Anyway, what a state!

1 Like

Little update:
I have been having fun with my new laser (learning a lot)!

Among the gaggle of logo/map replication requests and other not-so-interesting projects, sometimes I get to have fun with them:
A little dual CNC routing/Laser engraved project…

And I love how this map turned out (all done in CC):

As always, there is more to come… I hope everyone is doing well during this odd time. Keep those chips flying!


This map looks awesome (I mean all pieces do)!
Did you sand the top of the wave texture slightly, or how did you achieve this look of foaming waves?

  1. inspiring as always!
  2. that map may well be the nicest use of CC textures I have seen so far
  3. what laser do you have, how is it attached to your gantry, and have you had any micro-wiggle issues (as in this) when lasering small features ?

@nlichtenberg, Thank you for the compliment! You hit the nail right on the head! I ran the texture path and then stained it. Let it dry and came back with a fresh 220 grit sanding sponge and a couple small folded pieces of 180 grit paper to get in to the tight spots, and went to town on it. After that I mixed up some of the same blue stain with a healthy dose of green and a couple drops of white and applied it to the sanded areas. I kind of “stumbled upon” the idea (I am sure someone has done this already and I have seen it in some form, just forgetting where) while working on another project that required a similar workflow and final look, but for a completely different reason. I thought it would make a nice compliment to a map with a lot of open water, but it turned out even better than expected. While working on that part specifically, it brought back memories of the hours my older brothers and I would spend painting Warhammer(and 40k) minis and terrain features for our tabletop (which I will have to find pictures of, it was soooo cool)

@Julien, as always thank you for your kind words! I’m not sure about that second statement, though! I chose to buy a wholly separate laser setup (Ortur LM2 “20watt”, G8 lens, adjustable z-axis). Partly because of that exact thread you started (and this one:Talk to me about adding a laser to my Shapeko) and partly because I thought my shop would benefit from being able to run both the Shapeoko and laser simultaneously. All the things I posted were engraved between 2400-3000mm/m (roughly 90-120ipm) and 60-90% power, but I am not sure what my accels are set to (I’ll let you know). I will add a little write up on my short laser journey soon with examples of some of the testing I have been doing. I have done lots of small adjustments in Lightburn trying to figure out how to get the best burns (still not there yet).


Thanks for detailing this out. And I repeat: This looks so cool, I wanna do this too if I find the right motiv!


Nice job on the map- Can you tel about the tool, set up and texture setting for the water pattern?
I’ve considered getting a laser , but dont have room for a stand alone.
I’ve used nice powerful Epilog’s in the past, cant afford and don’t have space for that .

1 Like

@aaronz, thank you! It is nothing too crazy. Just a .125" 2 flute ball with something like a .050" step over, .040" min depth, .080" max depth. I can’t remember the overlap and stepover percentages off the top of my head, but I will get the full info posted soon.
I have currently been drowning in a sea of coasters…

And trying to knock out more customer requests…

I got some gnarly tearout in one spot (:rage:) that I have to deal with. Once I spotted it occurring, no adjustment to speed or feed was stopping it, and everywhere else was cutting wonderfully. Just a little bad luck (really a combination of grain direction vs endmill direction, moisture level, and lack of a real “finishing” pass, and… impatience in my tool path programming and dumb tool choice, etc which came back to bite me. Still soooo much to learn). I have one more “layer” of carving to do, so hopefully it removes the worst of it and the rest will be delicately filled and sanded out. Eventually, it will look something like this…

As always C3D family, stay safe and keep the chips flying!


You kind of sound like Red Green, We are all in this together so keep your stick on the ice.


That’s a LOT of coasters indeed, wow :slight_smile:
Also, what’s that black wire coming down to the bottom of your dust shoe ? power for an internal light ?

1 Like

I think it’s power to a light, see this earlier post in this thread.
You can see the light reflected in the gif.


Yeaahhh, I took a perfectly good dust shoe and hackjobbed a window and light into it. Its not pretty (like most of the stuff I make for personal or shop use) but it has saved my butt once or twice being able to see what is going on.

1 Like

Hey I just learned a new word for what I’ve been doing all those years, thanks ! :rofl:


Thanks Scott- I appreciate you taking the time to answer. I bailed on my SF Skyline project, the bridge and all the other fine detail just didn’t seem to be worth the time and use of costly material I had planned to use. You can see the test I did in MDF here. I may get back to it. I experimented with a bunch of water textures at that time. i.e especially in the reflection. Tramming is critical for an even textured surface, I found.
Is this a "hobby’ or full time work now

for you?


I really like what you are going for there! I have been running my own “carpentry business” for a few years now, but as of the last year or so my Shapeoko has taken center stage in the shop and I find myself doing more custom signs/maps/etc (and tons and tons of coasters) for folks than anything else these days. That being said, I am looking forward to getting back to more furniture/cabinetry type work to see what I can do now that I am more confident in my cnc skills.

p.s. I need to send you a chunk of Forescolor MDF to try that skyline on.

1 Like

Given your skill with CNC creations I, for one, would enjoy some examples of your other work. If not here, do you post elsewhere?

1 Like