Adding a Design To a 4 x 4 Post

Good morning All - Just an amateur here. Was wondering the best way to add a design on a 4 x 4 post with my Shapeoko Pro XXL?

I’ve tried to do this with a 4 x 4 scrap in the following manner.

  1. I add the dimensions to my “gear” setting the thickness to 4"
  2. I raise my router on the machine itself to avoid casually hitting the 4 x 4 post.

The problem is it seems to try and go much lower than it needs to and tries to hog out the post regardless of the settings. Probably something simple but I’m sure more knowledgeable Shapeoko owners can recognize the problem. Any advice related to this topic is welcomed. Thanks in advance.

Post your .c2d file and a photo of the stock clamped in place with the machine at the origin?

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FYI, a standard 4x4 post is actually 3.5" x 3.5" :wink:

As long as you are setting the Z zero in the same manner as your CC file, the heights should be right.

Make sure the retract height is not so high that the Z axis hits it’s upper limit. This would cause lost steps & the toolpath to try to cut lower than programmed.


Thanks for the quick response Will. I’ll try to add the pictures later today as i tried this sometime ago and have thought about it ever since. Will have to recreate what I tried.

I did the same and learned a few things ( almost ).
A 4x4 is cut from the center of the tree. The quality of wood and cosmetic look can vary a lot.
Note the core in the face .

I left a length of material on the top and bottom to hang on to the wood.

I cut the top length off to allow machining the Top surface.
Hanging onto the wood was a bit sketchy, but it worked.
The max height I found was 5.25 without a Dust boot.

I created the Toolpaths in Fusion 360. I have not attempted this in CC or CC pro.

Treated wood is nasty to try and machine. I’d stick with a cedar or douglas fir post.

And yes the pith (center) of the tree can be difficult to work with. It’s often soft wood.

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What is this? I’m having a hard time figure out what you actually carved!

Thanks Tod. I do know the nominal size for a 4 x 4 is 3.5 x 3.5. I “misspoke” when I said I set the thickness at 4". Thanks for your input.

It’s a weird face I initially created for 3D printing.

I used ZBrush core mini which is a subset or the full product.

Here is another view…

I will post the STL file, when I can find it.
Found it, but even zipped it’s over 7 MB.

Here is a jpeg

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