Combining the CNC and wood lathe

I’ve only seen a few related posts here or elsewhere.

My woodworking focus has been woodturning, but I recently purchased a shapeoko XXl with the idea of combining the best of the CNC and my wood lathe. The CNC has proved to be a huge distraction from my lathe but I’m finally making some combined projects.

(Hopefully the photo link works?)

Anyway, first efforts include wood and resin inlays to shallow bowl and platters. All done with v-carve inlays to the round before turning. Minimal sanding during finishing doesn’t dig into the inlay enough to matter.

A bowl with an inlay in the bottom proved to be a disaster when the bit retract height didn’t clear the edge of the bowl. Not good.

I’m ready to try adding inlays to segmented turnings but think I’ll first experiment with v-carve inlays. I know, they can’t be turned down much without exceeding the depth of the inlay, that’s the experimental part. I think this may be a better as the full depth inlays are very hard to get perfect fits. My limited v-carve items have produced great detail with amazing results.

I’ll post updates as they happen.


While I am likely newer than you to the cnc part of the game. I applaud your results nonetheless.

Woodturning has evolved from simple bowls to art. I am a member of American Association of Woodturners (AAW) and get a nice magazine every month from them. The mag is full of turning that has evolved into a lot of post processing with textures and piercing. If not a member of AAW it is worth the membership for the mag.


VERY NICE! Just a touch of elegance makes the bowl attractive without being gaudy. Nicely designed too.

Very nice! The CNC has been a distraction for me too but I have more people interested in purchasing CNC projects over other wood related creations. Still, I have a few projects including both like a couple of 12-15 watch cases, one with a glass or acrylic etched top and an resin inlay beside table.

In regard to your bowl disaster, I know someone did an engraving at a certain depth at the bottom of the blank and then turned the bowl revealing the inlay/engraving at the bottom. I was trying to figure out how to do it so that you couldn’t see the engraving when you turned the bowl over. I guess you could glue another piece of wood on the bottom after it had been cnc’d.

Nice work. I’m in the same boat, combining segmented woodturning with CNC. My first attempt is in this post: CNC meets Wood Turning