What did you cut on your Shapeoko/ Nomad today?

I have the same issue. Creating a few things at a time or custom projects is a lot more interesting that trying to make a ton of the same thing and maintain any kind of consistency. I was about a third of the way through and I felt like it was never going to end. At times it was definitely a grind.

That’s a good idea on separate files for production runs. I usually just alternate between toolpath groups and label them so I know when I should be using them (and disabling the other).

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I’d say that you didn’t manage to get a great enough reward for you efforts.

I’m not sure about that, but maybe it was my process that started to wear on me.

I cut all the components first; left eye, right eye and face/ears. Once I had more than enough of all of those I started cutting the bases. Assembly happened near the end and seeing them complete was satisfying.

Rich, those look outstanding. Your learning notes are good for anyone exploring a small batch production run. There’s nothing like 100 of something to show you your small errors that cost soooooooo much time when multiplied.

On to the next run with that knowledge!

What did you charge? A breakdown of price and costs would greatly benefit many in the community.

Hey Kevin - Thanks!

Yeah, I certainly agree on the small errors costing a magnitude of time. I didn’t follow my own rules from my previous career and spend more time prototyping and instead feared a deadline and jumped into production. Another week of prototypes would have saved weeks of time.

I know this, but… :confounded:

Pricing is complicated and I’m not going to have a good real world example, because I undertook this for a friend and as a learning experience. There is no way I could charge real machine time, because I was not as efficient as I could be and I created some of my own time-consuming problems. We’ll recover materials cost (several purchased on-sale and with loyalty programs credits) and maybe some additional margin but that’s on me because I didn’t start this project with a profit in mind. I’ll use what I learned to make the next project (which is on deck) to be profitable.

I liked your video (social post I think) on pricing last year, or year before. I think we could all benefit from a whole topic area and more discussion on this area.

We had a bit of discussion on pricing previously:

which linked to my thoughts:


I cut (surfaced) my wasteboard today.That might might this the wrong topic to post under, oops. The wasteboard looks as smooth as a newborn baby (except for those ugly grooves :cry:). I kind of want to replace the wasteboard now. The nice circle and the arc over to the left were both done by doing what Will tells us not to do, cutting slots. Both were made worse by poor workholding and not so tight tools. The circle was a slot in acrylic with an upcut bit. A little too fast plus the plastic flexed up, it was a bit louder than normal but I did not realize what was happening until too late. The slot to the left was in oak not anchored well. Alot of tool/ work vibration when that one sucked the tool down out of the collet. It was very clear things were not well but still happened quicker than I could think. This all happened months ago. A week ago, I put a Z plus on, getting ready to cut some aluminum and brass. The wasteboard was low in the middle about 0.04 inch compared to the front and back edges and I want this half way level for the metal cutting.The sag was probably from me climbing up on it working on the drag chains. I have laid on it multiple times. I also trammed the Z plus it and got it within 0.001" over an inch span with no fussing at all. This should be good enough for what I’m doing (decorative type things) but how close can you realistically get it?. I assume tramming is mainly for smoothness of bottoms of pockets? For some reason I was not able to surface the back edge of the wasteboard which I was able to do previously.There is a 0.5 inch wide ridge about 0.04 " inch high remaining . I did mess with Grbl dimension settings when I switched to the proximity switches and Z plus or it could be the Z plus itself. I may just remove the back 0.75 inch of the wasteboard. Now maybe I can cut something for real.

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I’ve been known to grab a scoop of sawdust from my dust collector, mix it with some glue, and fill in such gouges.


Wish that would work for my most recent screw up. 4 inches, .5 deep. MDF, Pine, Cherry, Maple doesn’t look good together.

Tried sanding a piece of dark maple one time to fix an error that way. Stuck out like a sore thumb to me.

Good idea though.

What was the machining time?

I do this as well. I keep a labelled ziplock bag of each species of wood shavings in case I need to fix a small gouge.


Another boot jack.

This one for a moggy loving friend. She “collects” cats, having brought one back to the UK from her time working in Vietnam and another (plus the first one) from her job in Italy.

I just wonder if they can understand each other!


Thanks for the tip! I tried it out on my flight board, and it’s definitely more classy than a straight pocket.


Finished up my 3rd project. Getting better; having fun!


That looks great! +1

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I finished 25 of these today.

It is an event to benefit a camp for the blind. Originally he wanted them done in some pine that he already had. I did a prototype to show him that pine would not be a good choice. I even bought an acacia board to do another prototype as a demonstration.

I told him that if he spent his budget on better materials I would do the job for free. So he bought some acacia serving boards off of Amazon.

It’s a combination of contour on the line and Vcarve for the text. I probably should have gone a little less deep.

I spent a lot of time cleaning up the logo and car images that he sent to get an acceptable level of detail.

Coated with dark Danish oil to bring out the carving and then 3 coats of wipe on poly.

He has offered to show some pieces of mine to sell at the show but I don’t know if I will have any time to make something for it and get it to him. I will attach my cards to all of them in the hopes of drumming up some work. I am thinking of offering an upsell by proposing to engrave a brass plaque for each winner with their names for $20 each or something like that.

The bonus is I figured out what those stupid rails overhead in my garage are for :joy:

I haven’t opened my garage door in 10 years I think. Maybe more.


What does this button do? Haha

Great job. 25 count is a bunch of work!
They look really good.

Yeah, I unplugged the opener so that an accidental press of the button doesn’t affect anything.

I would rather have used epoxy for the fill but didn’t have enough space to lay them all out. I thought about black paint and then sanding the top surface but was worried I would lose more detail in the owl, tree and car.

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Total machining time was approximately 4.5 - 5 hours.

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Great job! They turned out very nice.

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