First Shapeoko Project - Cigar case in Maple

My first project was a 3D carve with a double sided cut; ambitious for a first cut on my very first CNC, but its the type of project I wanted to build. It also taught a lot about working around the limits of hobby 3-axis machines and the need for processes & tools to ensure accurate 2-sided machining.

There are several defects which at that time I didn’t know how to fix in VCarve Pro. For example,

  • the cap doesn’t seal with the body because I used a raster operation with a ball end mill to machine the shape. That left a fillet inside the cap lip (good) and on the lip on the body (bad).
  • The two halves don’t align perfectly; which you can see inside the cap.
  • The raster operation was less than ideal, which meant the surface finish had ridges (too large stepover). Now I would just use Fusion 360 and any one of their 3D ops such as spiral.

Today, I’d get much better alignment thanks to

  • bitzero
  • a custom dowel-zeroing jig to allow bitzero to zero on dowels instead of the edge of the stock
  • accurate metal dowels (called Headless Shoulder Screws/Locating Pins) from McMaster Carr instead of wooden dowels from Homedepot. (link below)

Very nice first attempt. Everyone fails along the way. So your small issues are not failures but are learning opportunities. Sanding can be your best friend after running the cnc. Do not get myopic on your approach to woodworking. A cnc is still wood working and there are a lot of tools and the CNC is just one. I have seen people here on the forum that have not done any woodworking and get a cnc and try to do everything on the CNC. That is good practice but always use the best tool for the project at hand. When a carpenter has only a hammer everything looks like a nail. Do not get into that mindset of you have a cnc and so everything must be done on the cnc.

I like your cigar holder but unless that one is for a brand you like you might want to make it the biggest ring gauge size so make it universal to sell those. There are a lot of ring gauge cigars but the people that get the large ring gauge cigars spend more money and are more likely to buy a product like this.

Here is another project that I made a prototype for a cigar store that I have not made a production run on yet. I bought the glasses on Amazon and the little metal trays there as well. You have a spot to put a new cigar and a couple of places to put a burning cigar. I also bought some skull shaped ice cube trays to go with the cigar smoking stand.


Agreed. This is made for Robustos but really needs to fit Churchills.

I love your smoking stand; it has a place for all the essentials.

Great stuff! For those locating pins from McMaster… do you have a threaded insert in your waste board to accept these? Two-sided machining and tiling are really lagging in my CNC learning adventure. I need to get to learning to be semi proficient with it.

You can thread the wasteboard and use Helical coil inserts (McMaster-Carr). I got tired of messing with the wasteboard so created a fixture in HDPE that I insert those pins into. The fixture doubles as vacuum workholding so I don’t need to use clamps or painters tape. Here’s a pic. The pins are on the right. You can see the 4 threaded holes in the corners.


I also made this jig to align zero with the pins using the bitzero. I always center Side B of a double-sided cut on one of the pins; makes it easy to keep the sides aligned and I have a sketch of the hole layout on the jig I can just lay on top of my design to match the holes with the jig.


Really well done. Taking the time up front to think through and design like this really helps for productions stuff. You’d think I would know that by now!

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