What Bits should I use

Hi I am trying to create a small light box with a Japanese letter cut out from it to show the shape but not completely removed if that makes sense.
I’m in the UK if there are any specific UK suppliers anyone could recommend that would be cool.
Many thanks.

Is this a one-piece (bandsaw-style?) box? I was able to do a basic one with a #251 endmill (but with a plain lid):

Here’s a design which uses a #201 and #302 for the design:


Thanks for the reply.
Sorry I should have posted an example of what I am trying to achieve.
Here’s a picture.image

What style of joinery will be used?

I’ve not decided yet but there would be four pieces of wood each glued together after being cut.
Maybe some kind of finger join.
I hope to make it from some kind of metal too but scratching my head over how to join the metal.

For finger joints please see: CNC Finger Joint Box

For metal there are lots of options — mechanical, or you could cut a V groove and fold, and/or solder or weld.

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Thanks Will, and would I still use the same router bits you recommend above for this?
I think I will do a test run on MDF first though.

I used a #251 for the finger joints in the bamboo box, works well — my new most favourite endmill.

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Assuming that you have a Shapeoko, you should watch the Cubism videos posted by John Clark. He has all the instructions to create boxes like the one you are trying to make with very simple joinery.


Thanks I will have a watch although I have a Nomad but once I’ve got into this machine and learnt more I am definitely getting the larger bed machine.

If you cut the boxes from metal you could just solder up the inside seam. You can use a propane torch to solder the seam. Since the seam is on the inside no one would ever see them. Just be careful when you play with fire. Keep an extinguisher sitting close by and try to do the hot stuff outside away from your home and shop.


In fact if you use metal, you could do all sides in one strip and bend them then only solder the bottom if there is one. The trick with soldering is to get the right solder and flux for the material at hand.


Can anyone show me some pics of the kind of bits I should be buying for this project please?
Can I buy the ones off eBay that are cheaper ?

Please see: https://docs.carbide3d.com/support/#tooling-support

I used a #251 for the finger joints, and a #102 to cut out the balance of the design.

Anton, it depends on the level of detail you want but judging from the picture you posted, a 1/8in flat endmill like the 102 would be appropriate. I don’t know if the character you want to carve has smaller features. You will need a 1/8 in collet for your router to use this endmill

You can get the endmill from other sources on Amazon and e-bay like Drillman1 and Online Carbide but since this is your first time, maybe you want to get it from Carbide. The collets you can get from Carbide or from Elaire corporation or precise bits that sell precision collets.

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Thanks, I have the nomad so I already have the 8mm collet, it was the # references I was struggling with but the link Will gave above shows the pics so I should be able to work it out now, but yes you are right I want something that will enable me to get really good details.
Many thanks for your help guys it’s much appreciated :sunglasses:

The 102 bit has a 1/8in (0.125in)cutting and shank diameter or 3.175mm and would not fit an 8mm collet. If you are going metric, you would need an endmill with a 3mm cutting diameter and an appropriate size collet that would match the shank size of that endmill. The shank size and cutting diameter may be different but I don’t think you can get a 3mm cutting diameter endmill that has an 8mm collet.

Would the following work?

The only bit there that has an 8mm shank is the 8mm cutting endmill. You will have to get a smaller collet for precision stuff. The 1,1.5,2, 3 and 4mm diameter cutting endmill in the page above have a 4mm shank therefore, you should get a 4mm collet for your router then you can buy these endmills. The bits above are AlTiN coated and are made for cutting steel. A 2 or 3 flute solid carbide flat end upcut endmill with no coating is what you should get for this project probably 3mm cutting diameter and a 4mm shank plus a precision 4mm collet (not a reducer). BTW, are you sure the collet is 8mm? You have posted in the Nomad forum and 8mm seems big for this machine. If you have a Nomad, I just checked and the Nomad ships with a 1/8in collet not an 8mm collet. so you need to get a bit with a bit with a 1/8 shank (3.175mm).

Before undertaking this project, maybe you should watch several YouTube videos on channels like Carbide 3D, Stufftokeepyouentertained or John Clark where they explain how to make basic projects using the Shapeoko/Nomad and Carbide Create. This way you will get most of the information required to operate your machine and plan projects.

Thanks, but even to do and video tutorials or the tutorials from Carbide I need to buy some bits.
I am based in the UK, is there a supplier here who could help me perhaps or could someone point me in the direction of what I need to buy off eBay to get started please?