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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, I'm VERY new to CNC routing. I do not have a machine of my own yet as I am trying to get as much info about them as I can before I decide to buy one. Right now I have a vinyl cutter and like to make painted wood signs with words and designs on them. Usually I'll paint the entire sign with whatever color I want the words and/or design to be, then I'll lay the vinyl design onto that and paint what color I want the sign to be after this. Once this is done I just remove the vinyl and have my sign all finished. However, this can take some time and sometimes ends up a little sloppy.

Now lets say I paint a piece of wood black and then paint white on top of that. Would a CNC router be capable of removing the top layer of white and reveal the black or would it just remove both layers of paint? I'm just trying to find a quicker way of making these and the fancier looking fonts can sometimes be a pain to use with vinyl.
 

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Would a CNC router be capable of removing the top layer of white and reveal the black or would it just remove both layers of paint?
Technically, yes, but in reality, no.

1) The paint would need to be really thick to not cut through the second layer.
2) Your boards would need to be perfectly flat, and uniform in thickness to within about .001". This is the main problem, as it would be almost impossible to pull this off. Just putting paint on the wood may cause it's thickness to change, due to moisture in the paint.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Hello, I'm VERY new to CNC routing.
Welcome to the forum! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel and so we'll know what to call you.

I agree with Gerry in that this would work in a perfect setting but you're not likely to have that in reality. But, having said that, if I had that same scenario and needed the same result I wouldn't hesitate to try it at least once on the CNC. However, I wouldn't buy a CNC just to try this little experiment. If you're getting one anyway then be sure to post photos of your test whether it passes or fails.

Good luck with it!

David
 

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Welcome to the forum,
I have never tried it on the CNC but don't think it would work for the reasons stated above. I have done something like that with the laser, just have to get the right settings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welcome to the forum! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel and so we'll know what to call you.
Just changed it.

Okay, so would it be better to remove everything except for the wording then? Instead of my first post where I was asking if I could remove a layer of paint where the wording is and leave the rest of the sign untouched I'd be doing the opposite and just leaving the area where the wording is untouched. Like you guys have said it would depend on how the wood is, but I would be able to adjust how deep it goes, correct? I just want it to be as flat as possible without having too much of a 3D look. I plan on doing more advanced things in the future, but for now just trying to keep it simple. I know I'm probably confusing with the way I'm wording all this. haha I attached a picture of what I'd be going for, but maybe not as deep.

Also, where is the best place to learn about all this? What is a good CNC router for a beginner for this type of work. I don't want to spend too much right now, I've been looking at the Shapeoko XL.
 

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Most people do the staining by hand.
I'm sure you could stain the whole board then cut the first layer, then stain again and then cut the second layer but you're still gonna have a lot of touch up.
https://youtu.be/PtDx01kjmn4

Some people (myself included) have attempted multi-species laminations using Oak background, Walnut middle layer and maple top layer. It works perfectly and no staining (But) it ends up looking like stick on letters (which it is.) Good luck!!
 

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Mike
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Welcome to the Router Forums Kevin.

You could carve away everything except the lettering or just carve away the lettering but you can do a lot more than that with a CNC.
 

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Keep in mind that the first layer, the primer in effect, will penetrate the wood to a certain depth. In addition, the second layer should chemically bond to that first layer. If it didn't it's not doing its job.
 

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I have a Shark Pro HD and do not care for it. I am about to sell it. I bought a used Shapeoko XXL and love it. I am on a number of forums about CNC and some are from the manufacturer. The Inventables make the Xcarve and I feel that the rigidity of the Shapeoko is superior to the Xcarve. Additionally the CNC is only about a third of the equation.

So the machines is 1/3 of your budget
The Router bits, the various other tools needed to prep and finish your projects is another 1/3.
The CAD/CAM software can be another 1/3. The Vetric brands are expensive but many people like them. The Fusion 360 can be free for a "Startup License" but is quite expensive if you buy a license. The Shapeoko uses Carbide Create and Carbide Motion which are free and Carbide 3d will soon have a pay Pro verison of CC. The inventables use Easel which is free with a Pro option but is all internet based. You must be online to use Easel. Fusion 360 is also on line but a reduced version is available if you are not online. There are probably another 10 or so pay and open source programs available but all have a learning curve and are not really intuitive.

So if you are thinking about buying a CNC Router I will give this advise. If you have a purpose for it when you buy it you will likely be successful. If you buy a CNC Router and then try to think up something to do with it you will most likely not like it. There is a very large learning curve you must go through when learning a CNC Router and CAD/CAM software. So if you are not willing or able to commit to the time and financial outlay I would recommend you not get into CNC routing. If however you are will to to commit then by all means spend your money and enjoy the hobby.

So to be clear I am not discouraging you but want to go into the CNC Routing hobby with your eyes wide open and realize CNCing is much like potato chips, one always leads to another.
 

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So if you are thinking about buying a CNC Router I will give this advise. If you have a purpose for it when you buy it you will likely be successful. If you buy a CNC Router and then try to think up something to do with it you will most likely not like it. There is a very large learning curve you must go through when learning a CNC Router and CAD/CAM software. So if you are not willing or able to commit to the time and financial outlay I would recommend you not get into CNC routing. If however you are will to to commit then by all means spend your money and enjoy the hobby.

So to be clear I am not discouraging you but want to go into the CNC Routing hobby with your eyes wide open and realize CNCing is much like potato chips, one always leads to another.
Pretty much spot on. If I'd have known what was all involved I probably wouldn't have gotten into it. I watched one run at a ww show and said "That's cool! I want one of those." The operator had everything programmed and made it look so easy. All the computer work and electronic stuff wasn't mentioned. But after spending a bunch of $$ I figured I better do something with it cause the wife wouldn"t be too happy with it sitting in the basement collecting dust, instead of making dust. Now I got 2 - a Probotix and a CNCRP Pro. It can be a bit addicting at times I must admit. It was a wake up call trying to learn even the basics. Now I know just enough to be dangerous and am my own worst enemy at times.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the replies.

At the company I was previously employed at I worked with a lot of various machines. Fanuc Robodrill vertical CNC mills, a Sheffield CMM, and a bunch of Rofin laser machines. So having a CNC router and doing this type of stuff is definitely something I'm interested in. I think it would be more enjoyable for me making signs and other things this way than the way I've been doing them with my vinyl cutter.
 
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