What did you cut on your Shapeoko/ Nomad today?

The teachers got the coasters today and others at the school immediately started asking for some and a price.

So, giving some to generate word of mouth was successful. There is no way to price those enough to cover my time unless I streamline the processes. Removing the kids names will help.

I can’t really see charging them more than $10 or $15 for these. What do you guys think? Wood is not an expense for me so it’s really just time. I could cheat and make the eagle a sticker but it wouldn’t be as cool then although they may never know.

I am tempted to tell them I will make them for all the teachers if they quit bugging me about fundraising :blush:


My advice from my experience with same, make things for the teachers that your kids are involved with as they go through school. Anything else and you’re sucked into the Chinese pricing trap. :smiley:

That’s great that they were such a hit! I had no doubt they would be. In terms of time, just to throw out an idea, you could do a mix of simple paint and epoxy. I tried that and received a positive response. For example you could leave the white or yellow sections just flat wood and a quick paint, then fill in the black epoxy (or vice versa). Just a possible time saving idea to ponder that seems to have worked for me in the past.


Thanks. I may give that a try. Seems like I would have to do the epoxy first and then paint later so that I don’t mess the paint up when smithing out the epoxy.

I have hard time pricing as well, in my experience if I can batch complete I am able to save time and money. With that being said if you remove the kids names as mentioned and keep it a bit personalized by just teachers names that saves time and money. On the items that I have sold I try to double the cost of the item to cover any mess ups. So the little epoxy (not the full bottle) and wood if you were able to just buy that and the cost would be $5 I would charge $10. As for the time that is where I struggle, most of the time I price to get 5-10 per hour. Ultimately if u could build just one for $5 and actual machining time is 1 hour I would charge $20. Hence when you can make multiple at a time you can save time with the curing process by doing multiple vice one at a time. Hope this helps but as others will tell you it is all about the market how much are ppl willing to pay for a custom piece. Teacher’s budget that puts a few bucks in your pocket is probably $15 to $20. Which means the machine is hobby use and you enjoy the process not trying to get rich.

Yep, not looking to get rich, just have fun, learn and not make it drudgery. Bonus if I make a few bucks to make the hobby pay for itself or help fund my daughter’s horse hobby.

$20 sounds like a lot for a coaster but my boys sell popcorn for Cub Scouts and a bag of that costs $20 and it isn’t even customized.


Agree sounds like a lot but custom is custom and that is my struggle then I remember like you said popcorn is $20 and doesnt last lol. My process is always to at minimum cover me if I mess it up otherwise I am paying you to take my product. If I mess up and eat in to “profit” then it is if I did it for free, but if I mess up and have no profit I am paying you for what I made, if that makes sense!


I could make more per hour flipping burgers but I wouldn’t enjoy that as much. Not that I enjoy all the mess ups that I do. They are only really stressful when on a schedule though.

Absolutely I try not to have schedules because i love the hobby and not trying to make it a full blown business as I fear I will lose the fun and passion for it. My method has worked pretty well for me as over the last 4 years of having the shapeoko my wife and I have paid for the machine, lots of bits, a trip to NYC, 2 trips to Destin a trip to Cape Coral, and an upcoming trip to Boston all from items we have sold! That is the gas/airfare and hotel costs!

Excellent. That is more that I could hope for. Horse lessons and shows are expensive. I am going to try and find a niche with that crowd for custom horse stuff. If only my day job didn’t get in the way.

I am going to be away from my machine for the whole month of July and already I am panicking over it. I use a desktop now for design but thinking about getting a laptop so I can do design work while out of town. Maybe work on some 2
Sided and 3 D stuff that I never have time to do now.

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Very nice signs. The Raiders have single handedly saved the sign industry. They have moved so many times they need to change their name from Raiders to the Movers, or maybe the Raiding Movers. The Raiders move into a city and raid the local government for a stadium and then move on to another city. The NFL has quite a racket. It is one of the few entities that get their place of work paid for by others. Most companies have to buy the building they are in but the professional sports teams get the taxpayers to pay for their place to work. Pretty sweet deal if you can get it.

You made some nice carvings and great paint jobs.

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Ha! Very true. Certainly was not for me, and also probably the most complex NFL logo, so I’m glad they asked for a largish sign. Probably shouldn’t have used oak though, rather heavy. Hopefully it doesn’t break off the wall and land on someone

Horses do sound like an expensive interest/activity/venture :sweat_smile: I’ve recently been having fun with the curve/3D cutting with Pro. Be sure to share what you come up with!

Like your work, what are the sizes?


My take on an Andy Byrd sign for the 4th of July.
3/4" MDF, 60 VEE, and airbrushed the colors.


Missed the chance to color one larger area, though. Maybe you can still roll some paint on if you’re careful.

I use 4.75". Fits a big mug nicely.

Here is a .c2d with some extra graphics.
Coasters - Military.c2d (1.0 MB)



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I have not tried airbrushing yet but want to give it a go. How precise is it? Did you have to mask all the areas not being painted with a given color?

Yes and no. I couldn’t really decide on a background color. But I think with a foam roller I could still get a decent result. What color would you make it?

If you’re good (I’m not) you can be very precise. When I do it, I only overspray the edge about 1/4" and then I sand it off. It’s also a very light coat so it’s easy to sand off. I did spray the whole thing with shellac before I painted the details.