Working stock longer than the table

I.m not sure where to ask this question so I’ll just throw it out here…

I’m a newbie to my Shapeoko Pro and to Vcarve and Carbide Create. I’ve gotten familiar with the basics in both programs and could use some advice as to where I can read up on what it is I have in mind to do.

I want to carve a repeating cut-out into a 3" x 3" by 72" long by 1/4" thick aluminum ‘L’ on one side along its entire length. The cut-out will be centered along the x-axis and be approximately 8" long and 1" wide with 1" diameter ends (rounded ends). Naturally, I will need to reposition the piece at least three times to accomplish this. Of course, I will begin with wood before moving on to aluminum. If it matters, I’m making a custom roof rack for my vehicle and these will be the side rails.

Can anyone offer some advice or recommend some videos where I can learn the best way to ‘register’ or re-zero the piece each time it’s moved with the table and spindle so as to maintain a very close X and Y-axis alignment; It doesn’t need to be dead nuts perfect, just as close as is practically possible.

Thanks for taking the time to help :slight_smile:

One very good way is to drill index holes as part of your cut, which mate with pins in your waste-board. If you don’t want to/can’t drill holes in your roof rails, then perhaps marking an alignment point with the CNC and clamping a block to that mark which you then use to move and realign ready for the next cut

Check out “tiling” section in the Shapeoko wiki:

It references a video, too.


Another option, produce a template with your machine, then use a router with a bushing or bearing to process your material.

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The video was interesting, but what caught my eye was Vectric’s "Trim Vector Tool" — CC NEEDS THAT!

I did figure out how to mimic the behavior of that tool - at least for the straight line example, but it’s rather kludgy and expensive in terms of keystrokes. It would be nice to have CC have that tool. I’ll post a separate thread on that discussion, rather than derail this one.

EDIT: Here is the link to a description of how I emulated the trim tool (and the problem I encountered)

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I can only agree, I use the trim tool all the time in VCarve.

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