Just Ordered My Shapeoko XL

I just ordered my Shapeoko XL and pretty excited about it. Once Its arrives I’ll post some picture of it and the setup. I also ordered some extra bits to go with it. Can’t wait for it to show up.


The nice thing about a CNC is that one can do work on it virtually — have you begun to plan out what sort of projects you want to make, or selected an appropriate toolchain?

Are you familiar with vector drawing or 3D modeling? — both of those skills are pretty much pre-requisites for any projects which require more than geometric shapes.

Suggest you d/l Carbide Create and look through the user guide:

Let us know if you have any questions!

I been using Inkscape to trace out the Bitmap. I have already checked and made sure they load up correctly in Carbide Create. I just need to get the machine figure out cutting depths in Create and start making stuff. I have about 20 or so things made up to see what its going to come out looking like. What wood from HomeDepot would you recommend to get? I haven’t really made up my mind on what to get. Need to know whats best for cutting.

Don’t buy wood from Home Depot if it’s at all possible — the only places more expensive are Ace/True Value and Lowes and Woodcraft — the latter isn’t too bad on sale maybe, for specialty stuff — one can get construction lumber at the home centers and hardware stores sometimes which is a decent value, and every so often one finds something really nice in the stacks.

Learn how to calculate board feet, and buy from a local lumber yard if possible (I am probably spoiled in this, since I live in Penn’s Woods).

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Recommend any type of wood?

I use a lot of poplar 'cause it’s cheap, red oak 'cause it’s cheap and strong, maple when I want something nicer, walnut when I can justify the expense, and exotics when appropriate (don’t tell my wife, we’re going to be making our new front stoop out of Ipê and I have plans for the off-cuts, and entirely accidental excess boards),


There – you see Will? That was good for a chuckle.

All projects require a safety margin in excess of 20% plus an additional margin for error of 20% plus an extra percentage to accommodate for nature placing knots in inappropriate places requiring 40% more board feet and if you get a good price you always need to buy double. It’s not accidental but required to maintain a cost free wood working hobby, every board in my workshop is at no cost for my hobby which keeps me out of the way, non-complaintive, and happy. So every piece of wood builds peace and happiness for the family. There is no excess (just stow it in the wood shop quickly) ever.

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Yes, but Jude one-upped me, and, he actually intended to be funny (I think), so I yield.

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Congrats! @jordanhale

I don’t have any local lumbar yards near me. Homedepot and Lowe’s are about the only option. On the other hand… I have found with a bit more work I can get most lumber free. Just find someone in the landscape business and tell them to call you when they cut down a tree. You of course have to haul it and use a chainsaw and planer to get an actual board. Plus drying time but it’s actually free.


Getting my garage ready.

How accurate is the simulation? I just want to know if Im doing something wrong, or the simulation is wrong. I did a cut of just the outline at stock bottom.

I may have answered my own question changing the bit size changed the simulation out come.


Thanks for the mention of the local lumberyard. As an owner of a family lumberyard (100 + yrs old) that HAS to teach because all of the big box stores put us out of business. Local lumberyards (usually) have the superior wood, knowledge, and attitude you are looking for if you don’t know your woods. Hardwoods= oak, cherry, walnut, will mill better for details but have a higher cost. Softwoods = spruce, pine, fir, hemlock, will machine easier and have a lower cost and is widely available, but tends to have a less defined cut when doing intricate details. Either way it is all about speed and feed. Find what works best for each application. GOOD LUCK