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Narrowest wood you can use in a CNC?

1362 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  gdonham1
Just getting started, in planning stages now.

I have my eye on a Shapeoko XL. Any feedback on this machine?

I am training on the Carbon Create (Shapeoko software) and have run into a problem which brings up a question:

How narrow a piece of wood can you set up in this CNC router? What I want to do is turn an (actual size) 3/4" by 1-1/4" piece on the 3/4" edge to drill a hole (clamped).
Yet when I try to set the job up in CC and put stock size of .75 in. by 12" (the length of the board) the 0.75 in. keeps defaulting to 0.9899. Does this mean I am limited to 1" wood or wider? If so, is there a way around this?

Any help appreciated!

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Welcome to the forum! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel. Add your location, as well.

I don't use Carbon Create but in Fusion 360 you can set any size stock. I would imagine it to be the same in CC. However, if your hole is to be centered then the width of the stock is really not relevant as long as you set your XY zero on the center of the stock. Or if the hole is not centered then set your XY zero centered based on one edge of the stock.

Welcome to the Router Forums. The software needs all 3 dimensions of your stock, thickness, width, and length. You are the one that tells the software how the blank will be located on the bed of the CNC so you thickness would be the 1 1/4" and the width would be the 3/4". Length would be 12"

I'm not sure where you are getting the default measurment from.
I've got a friend that engraves text on chopsticks, so it is not a limitation of the CNC or g-code. It may be a limitation of carbide create.
I drilled some holes in several pieces of 7/8 inch dia dowel rod that was cut to length. I had the workpiece sunk into the bed of the machine, and a piece of 3/4 inch plywood with a hole in it. I zeroed the x and y axis to the center of the dowel. Then zeroed the z axis to the top of the dowel which was sticking above the plywood by about 1/2 inch. When I run the program, it drilled the holes perfectly. Hope this helps.


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I have a Shapeoko XXL and from what I understand what you are asking it may be that in Carbide Create the default for the setup is incorrect. After opening Carbide Create and get the file open go to the upper left side and there is a Gear icon. That is the job set up and check you dimensions there. When creating toolpaths there is a default cut depth and that may also be your problem. When you edit a tool path check for the cut depth. A Shapeoko can cut up to 4 inches in Z direction. It is hard to actually cut to 4" due to the tool length and other limiting factors for a Shapeoko. A 1.5" depth is more reasonable but other depths are possible with specialized setups.

If you are not already on the Carbide 3d Forum I would highly suggest you go there and register. They have some very knowledgeable people and they are all ready to help. This forum is very good but the Shapeoko knowledge if limited.
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