Just wanted to post a quick “Hello” and re-introduce myself.

I bought a Nomad back in September 2018. I have no knowledge or experience with CNC’s and thought that the Nomad would be a good out-of-the-box machine to learn on, rather than buying and building a Shapeoko.

However, I was sadly mistaken. Due to the complete lack of documentation and tutorials for the Nomad, I gave up after about 2 months.

But one of my New Year’s resolutions was to blow the dust off of my Nomad and finally teach myself how to use it. So I just downloaded and installed the latest versions of Carbide Create and Carbide Motion.

My goal is to work with metals…copper, brass, aluminum, sterling silver, and stainless steel.

I’m planning to push the “ON” button on my Nomad tomorrow (hopefully it will fire up after a year of no use) and attempt to cut out a 1" x 1" square out of 360 brass.

Wish me luck!


Did you see/try those Nomad tutorials?
There are a few videos on YouTube too.
In terms of general CNC knowledge, Shapeoko resources apply.
There is a learning curve, but shoot questions here and you should be in a much better position soon to enjoy your machine!

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Hi Julien,

Yes, I did see and try those tutorials…but it’s pretty pathetic that those are the only ones they have.

The best tutorials that I have found were the Myers Woodshop ones showing how to use Carbide Create and Carbide Motion. But it baffles me why Carbide 3D doesn’t have a whole library of these videos showing how to use THEIR software and THEIR Nomad…everything from unboxing a new machine. to how to change a bit. to how to install and use the low profile vice. How hard would it be to get an intern to do a quick video showing how to cut a star out of wood, aluminum and 4 or 5 other materials? If they could show people how “easy” it is to use their machine, they could probably sell a lot more Nomads.

One thing I will acknowledge…the people here are super helpful and knowledgeable. Thank you for that.

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What would you like to do that you aren’t finding a tutorial for?

Please note that we have a standing offer on — of you get stuck on a file or project send it in to us and we will do our best to work through it with you — that’s where a lot of the public tutorials come from.

there is also a lot of videos on youtube from winston moy (works for carbide 3d) with a lot of educational material

Hi Will,

First, I’d like a central location to find tutorials, specifically for the Nomad, so I’m not searching all over the web for various bloggers who may or may not be giving good advice. I also don’t want to extrapolate information about the Shapeoko and apply it to the Nomad, which apparently is the ugly step-sister of the Shapeoko.

How about a tutorial on how and where to install the low-profile vice and how to incorporate it to Carbide Create. This may seem like a really stupid question to you, but it’s not for someone using it for the first time. Yea, I’ll figure it out…but it may take me an hour or two. It sure would be nice to see a quick 5 or 15 minute video from that Carbide 3D intern showing how they used it in some way.

Have you seen the Myers Wood video showing how to cut out a star on the Shapeoko? After watching that video, I’m confident that I could cut out a 12" star on a Shapeoko…the problem is, I don’t have a Shapeoko…I have a Nomad. And you can’t cut a 12" anything on the Nomad. Why can’t that Carbide 3D intern create a video showing how to cut out a 1" star out of wood on the Nomad? You obviously wouldn’t use the same 0.25" bit that Myers used. You could discuss what feeds and speeds you would use for a 1/8" bit verses a 1/16" bit. Then they could show how to cut that same star out of brass, and aluminum and copper and other materials…with the main discussion involving speeds and feeds. Again, why should I have to search the world wide web to find feeds and speeds and extrapolate them to apply to the Nomad when someone who uses the Nomad on a daily basis knows exactly what speeds and feeds work.

I watched the Winston Moy Video on how to make a brass die about 100 times…but I still don’t know what Plunge Rate he used. If he had made his video like Myers Wood shop, I would have seen the Carbide Create tool settings screen where it asks for Plunge Rate.

Could I eventually teach myself everything I need to know myself? Sure I could. Could Carbide 3D make it 1,000 times easier for me to use the Nomad? You bet they could.

Your central location is to e-mail for anything which you can’t find. We can’t help folks who won’t ask for help.

The low profile vise bolts to the table — the hole locations are keyed, so it’s not something one can get wrong.

Carbide3D Low Profile Vise for Nomad- Click to Enlarge

I don’t watch videos — I’m not patient enough for them — the plunge rate for brass should be in the feeds and speeds listed at: — if not given for a different tool the usual guideline is 1/4 or 1/2 the feed rate. If you have an issue with @wmoy’s video, I’m sure he’d be glad to address it in a comment on the video or here.

Hopefully there will be feeds and speeds for brass added to those in Carbide Create presently.

Hi there. What we’re your expectations going into learning about learning CNC? Besides a goal to learn the system, and cut with the materials you listed, what do you ultimately want to do?

I’ll also add that I’m currently scripting tutorial videos for Shapeoko basics. Like you, I also own a Nomad but wasn’t intending on making content for the Nomad, as I don’t see much of a demand. What would you like to know?


Not exactly sure which video you referred to, just making sure you hit the Nomad Material Monday (Brass) video with the feeds and speeds included.


There is also now:


Hi Will,

First, I did not know that Carbide had a YouTube channel…so I guess my question is…instead of e-mailing Carbide 3D to ask for a video, why don’t they simply upload all the videos they have to YouTube? Short little videos like this one for installing and using the vice would be perfect. Again, having an unpacking video or how to use the flip jig would be perfect for new owners.

So to give you an update…using Winston Moy’s settings, I was able to easily cut out the square. But I have a few questions right off the top. I ran a second file to cut out a circle. I did not re-zero when I did the second file and it seems that there was no need to, since I had not moved the material. So my question is…I turned off the Nomad and I left the material in place…so when I turn the Nomad back on…will it “remember” where it last was or should I definitely re-zero it all over again?

Second, if my material is a square or a rectangle it’s easy to zero the XY at the bottom left corner…but what if my material is round? In other words…what if I want to cut a hole in an exact location on a real US quarter…do I need a jig of some sort?

Third, I secured my material to the table using the painters tape and super glue technique. I did cut slightly into the tape and some tape did get stuck on the bit. How important is it to remove ALL of the tape? Is there an easy way to “clean” bits?

Lastly, my third attempt was to do some text. However, the text appeared to be too small to be done with both the 1/8" bit (Carbides #102Z) and the 1/16" bit (Carbides 112Z). So it appears that I will need to use either a 1/32" or 1/64" bit. So two questions: Does anyone have any recommendations for the ZRN coated endmills in these sizes? A quick Google search only turned up ball end mills this size (not flat) and they were like $50 each (I think Carbide’s #112Z were like $30 for two, so that seems to be a big jump in price). And secondly, I have Winston’s speeds and feeds for both the #102Z and the #112Z (which obviously worked well)…if I try to use a 1/32 or 1/64" ZRN coated bit, is there a simple way to calculate feeds and speeds for these new sizes using his feeds and speeds for the larger bits?

Thanks for all your help so far!

if you are cutting material that’s a circle… my strong suggestion is to use the “zero at the center” option in all the tools, and zero at the center. with a ruler and a pencil it’s usually not to hard to create a little mark at the circle of your material, and then zero on that.

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All the videos should be up on YouTube:

For a circle and center, the best thing is a fixture (a device for holding stock so that it may be cut, as opposed to a fixture which guides a tool to the material)

Endmills should be cleaned as any tool — I’d use rubbing alcohol to clean the adhesive.

For endmill selection see: — fine detail and engraving is more easily done using a V endmill and V carving:

Sounds like a good (re)start so far! Don’t have speeds and feeds easily to hand, but just wanted to throw out some thoughts on the 1/32 end mill situation. Once you get down to that size end mill the chances of end mill breakage go up sharply. Not sure if this is technically ‘micromachining’ but its heading in that direction.

(1) make sure your stock is perfectly flat before using the 1/32 end mill by doing what is called a ‘facing cut’ or taking a small amount of material off the top using something larger like the 1/8”. A little variation in height from one end of the stock to the other can spell disaster as evidenced from several previous posters here.

(2) Settle in, order several 1/32 endmills at a reasonable price - think Carbide3D still sells the uncoated - (skip the ZrN coating for now to save on the price) and accept you will probably be breaking several of them. Once you are perfectly dialed in, then spend for a quality end mill with ZrN

Not sure if @JamesC is still about but he would probably be the Nomad brass expert.


Thanks for the tips Phil!

And I’m just starting with brass, once I get that perfected, I’m planning to move on to other metals like copper and sterling silver. I figured I should master one material at a time.

Are there any resources for “micromachining”? Due to the bed size on the Nomad, I’m assuming that’s mostly what people use it for.

To answer the question “will it remember where is last was?” the answer is yes. After turning the machine off, then on again, it will remember where you last zeroed your machine. If you look at the Jog options, then rapid moves, you have the option to go to the last X,Y postion it was zeroed, ans the option to go to the last Z position +6mm. Keep in mind that you most likely want to rapid move X,Y first, then Z. Or I should state that you would likely NEVER want to rapid move Z first.

If you wanted to drill a hole in something circular like a quarter and only quarter sized objects, I would definitely make a jig. To make things simple, make the jig so that is is mounted in the same spot every time. Preferably in the middle so you can use the rapid movement feature to center the spindle directly over the jig and centered on your stock.

Clean your end mills. Depending on what your are cutting, material on the end mill will likely be removed once it starts cutting, but I wouldn’t rely on that method as material can stick to the end, and therefore change the geometry of the end mill which will cause unwanted results.

I use a 1/32" end mill on brass. It’s made by Kodiak (KODIAK132449) and can be found on Amazon. I use a 1/16" for most of the work, but finish with a 1/32" with no issues.


Thanks Jimmie! That information was so helpful!!!

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