Holy newbie batman

So my machine arrives on the 11th! I have researched and researched, and finally pulled the trigger. Very happy…but now I have to figure out how to make stuff and finding my imagination far outpaces my skills (read none!) I am looking for advice. I have been reading and watching vids, but now feeling overwhelmed. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

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We’ve tried to put everything up here: http://docs.carbide3d.com/tutorials/#shapeoko-tutorials

and there’s a wiki with some additional information: https://shapeoko.com/wiki

if you get stuck on a file or project feel free to post it here or to support@carbide3d.com and we’ll help you through it.


Hi Gary,

At the time I jumped onboard the Shapeoko adventure (equally overwhelmed and underskilled) I documented my first steps, in case it helps figuring out how to start:




Welcome to the Carbide3D family! I started using mine earlier this year, and every project is a learning experience. It’s a whole lot of fun to design things and watch them get made. Two absolute necessities for me have been getting dust collection in order and figuring out feeds and speeds. I highly recommend the suck-it dustboot and g-wizard for those things. Both very valuable to my continuing enjoyment of my machine.


Thank you for the advice, I am going to look into those.

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Great post. Thank you.

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I’m about two months in from starting all this. Ran into a bunch of issues but a little patience and thinking out of the box will get you places. Here are some tips I could come up with:

  1. Make sure your machine is square and level. It takes time (patience) don’t rush and your future self will thank you. When that first pocket cut happens and you see a super smooth flat area that your machine made it’s super rewarding.
  2. Find some decent endmills to start with. Drillman1 on eBay is my go-to for alot of them. Upcut /downcut 2 flute are my go-to. Vbit alot more lately. But if your going to cut plywood use that down cut it’ll save you alot of sanding.
  3. Set yourself up a process before you even start the cut.
    3a. Check power / check your file (making sure it’s the correct length, width, depth), make sure what you want to cut is strapped down to the wasteboard securely, check for other crap laying around on your machine that the bit could hit. (Laid my phone down while leveling a board and it launched it by my head when I turned around, phone suprsingly survived)
  4. The search function on this website is awesome, use it. Also the wiki is thicc with information. If that doesn’t work just ask, everyone here is super friendly and Will I honestly don’t believe sleeps ever.
  5. Enjoy it and just take mistakes as a learning experience and get it right the next time.

I’m sure I’m missing something but that’s all I got for now.


@Stari Are you Stephen Taylor Woodworking?

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Haha yep. Which is odd you ask since I just “opened” it today. Now you have my attention.

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Julien’s blog is awesome and was a lifesaver to me while setting up my machine. I’m confident it saved me a few headaches.


@Stari just happened to see your new logo on IG, I follow the #carbide3d hashtag. Congrats on going pro

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I noticed right after you asked. thanks too! I’m stressed out but as soon as as I announced I got 5 orders so just need to refine my process. Tonight was going over the 31in on the x at the rear of the machine and it driving a bit through several letters. :frowning: Only lost three and will have to recarve them tomorrow.

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