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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Default Newbie looking for some bit sense

Hi all -

Brand new to this, my wife got me a Bob's CNC E3 for my birthday, and I've gotten it assembled with no issues. I'm pretty competent with design software, though I'm leery of spending on vCarve until I've managed to produce something of value from my machine.

I can do some carving in general relatively well, but when I try to do a project of my own, I'm failing pretty hard. I assume it's because I genuinely don't know what bits to use.

For example, I've tried a whole bunch of different bits, but am unable to get this project (which can be seen at to get quite right. Either the words are barely legible (60 or 90 v-bit) or they get ground into blobs (say, fluted spiral up/downcut). The one that seems like it might work is a 10-degree v-bit, and according to software I'm looking at ~55 hours to carve it.

Which is obviously nuts for a 4x4 coaster.

So, I'm just looking for advice on bits. Once I have that going well enough, I'll probably be asking about the best way to securely mount a piece.

Thanks for any help!


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Last edited by Cherryville Chuck; 11-12-2019 at 12:31 PM. Reason: Supplied a working link
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 01:23 AM
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hello and welcome to the route forum

Looking forward to your participation.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 07:53 AM
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Welcome to the forum, Joe! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel. Add your location, as well.

We do like photos and we'd love to see your CNC, shop, tools, projects, etc. In this case, photos of the failed work pieces may help in getting good responses for you. Also give us the feeds/speeds/depth of cut/percentage of step over, etc.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 09:41 AM
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Are the bits you are using set up correctly in the tools database? A 60 degree V bit should work fine. I also use a 30 degree V bit with a .030" flat at the tip.
One time I did have a 60 degree bit labeled as a 30 degree and could not figure out what was happening until I noticed my mistake.

You might also be able to use an 1/8th inch to clear it out then the V bit to finish it off. That coaster should not take more than about 6-8 minuets to carve

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 10:28 AM
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 11:31 AM
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 12:32 PM
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Hi Joe and welcome.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 01:15 PM
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Welcome to the Router Forums Joe.

I would use a 30 degree bit for the edges of the pocket and a small end mill to clear the remainder of the waste. I'm not sure what feeds or speeds you CNC is capable of so I can't say if they are correct.

Another thing to consider is the material you are using. If it is soft you might get a lot of fuzzies or chip out.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 01:27 PM
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Welcome, Joe, there are a several experts on CNC here ,and they love to help out a newbie.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 12:50 AM
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Welcome, Joe.

I looked at the coaster. Unless I'm missing something, it's not designed for V-carving. I has a pocketing toolpath and raised letters for the ring, and the center "A" is just pocketed. I zoomed in on the image and it doesn't use a v-bit anywhere. The bit apparently used for the coaster is 1/32" straight end spiral. If you can program it with your software, I'd try roughing with a 1/8" spiral bit, and using a 1/32" spiral for finishing.

As far as cut time, I'm no help. The smallest bit I have is a 1/16" taper, but I don't usually go smaller than a 1/8" straight or ball nose spiral. 1/32" is pretty fragile and can't be pushed or it will break. 55 hours can't be right, but I'm guessing it will take a long time.

The attached 3d rosette is 3.5" x 3.5" and is cut with roughing and finishing passes. The bit is 1/8" spiral ball nose. It takes around 20 minutes to cut. I designed it in Aspire.

Finally, as far as holding down small pieces, try the blue tape & super glue technique:

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