Community challenge #18: Unusual stock (closed)

Ok then, edited to March 7th :upside_down_face:


Are you going to carve a gopher?

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Maybe this will help?

You may have to check the box to receive notification as to when it is back in stock.

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Ooooh…Caddyshack references!!! Nice!

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And Back to the Future!

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First project to sort of test the waters, as it were. I’ve wanted to do stone/marble something for a while. I know soap stone exists, and a few people have done that, but it’s soft…and also already been done.
So we have a family friend who had a dog pass not too long ago, and figured this would be a pretty neat/unique thing to give them. I went to Lowes and grabbed this marble tile piece for like $4, got a dog bone shape online, and did some fancy looking text for the dog’s name.

Here’s what I started with:

Using these tools (That I apparently got from amazon like 3 years ago

At first I was doing the vcarve on the text. Also was going to vacuum the dust:

Vacuum dust worked okay, but the bit was cutting terribly. Eventually I swapped over to the using a pipette to drop water in.

Things got SUPER MESSY

Still though, concept worked (mostly) and I got some decent brownie points from the wife which is always important. I’m going to take the machine apart and clean it (it needed it anyways), and then make a wasteboard thingie that I can submerge a part in for the next project. Main lesson learned here was water makes things go way smoother. Was running at ~30% aluminium speeds without water and the machine didn’t like it too much. With water it was comfortable at ~140% speed and didn’t sound awful. Neat thing with the water was that I could feed water infront of or behind the cut and the water would run towards the bit.


Marble! Great way to kickstart the challenge.
It seems like flooding/underwater milling is definitely the way to go for milling hard stone.
Last year we had a cool thread about milling concrete, the discussion starts around here. And surprisingly (for me), with diamond grit tools and lots of water, it does work. Which you have just proven again :+1:


Hi all,

it’s probably due to the fact that I’m German, but after producing wood chips when using the shapeoko for almost a year - that go to waste - this challenge opened my eyes: Potato chips are the better alternative.

Get a 6mm slice of a local potato.

Engrave the Carbide logo with a 3mm end mill at a feedrate of 500mm/m and 14k RPM.

After rinsing thoroughly, put the chips in garlic-rosmary oil and fry for about a minute.

Apply salt and pepper.

Guten Appetit!
potato.c2d (2.9 MB)


That potato chip entry made my day :+1:
Also, thank you for proving that blue tape is the universal workholding strategy!


Potato feeds and speeds, food safe oil, workholding - this post has it all!


Hahahaha! I had been joking about doing this a few months ago. I’m glad you actually did it.


Oh hey. Not sure if anyone is looking for inspiration, but bantam tools podcast had someone on from project called Materiom. Might be something usable on their space.
podcast episode: The Edge Podcast — The Edge Podcast, Liz Corbin: Expanding Our Materials Library

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Might as well just stop right now and send me the prizes. My stock? Air. I cut air all the time on my XXL. Not only that, I can cut the most complex shapes, even the bottom and overhangs without damaging the surface. You don’t need photos. Just hold out your hand and look at what you’re holding. Air. If you don’t like my air project, how about my stock being wasteboard? I’m always cutting into it by accident. It has the scars of many projects where Z was set wrong or even forgotten to be set after a bit change.

If nothing else, these two deserve recognition because of how universal they are. Any design or GCode file can be used and they will work on any machine using any software.


It’s probably a little too vague for this competition. For specifics, I specialize in cutting air guitar and air drums.

On second thought…You know, you could always actually submit an air cut but play music through the steppers…

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In that case I have you beat. I regularly make dumb mistakes and cut into what should be my final piece:

Anyone need a tool holder with a lovely gouge out of the corner?

In this piece I “purposefully” left off the tabs from the contour cutout in order to make this organic notch in the corner.

Should go without saying this is not an actual submission. lol


Air is self-healing if you make a mistake, so there’s that feature, too.


Sounds like I’m going to need a machine with a LOT more Z travel to cut some really long hip waders…


When that happens to me, I just fill in the scars…with air.


If you guys are playing air instruments you gotta post videos:
Also relevant link: