December 22, 2021 Shop Log

Because of the size of the Big Island, I had to be a bit more creative in getting a piece of material large enough. I found some 2.25” thick black walnut stock, cut it in half, square off one of the lengths on each piece and glued them together to create a large enough work piece.

While shopping at Goby, I decided to stock up on some beautiful pieces I found in the end cuts section. I will allow ideas to marinate.

Now while carving the Big Island, I encountered catastrophe. The belt pulley on the X-axis ball screw of the X-Carve broke off, leaving me with no movement on the X-axis.

I quickly made a call to Inventables, and it looks like the fix will be a swapping out of the entire gantry. Inventables is shipping out a replacement, but the disappointment is less than palatable. I am going to need to figure out how to change out the gantry.

December 18, 2021 Shop Log

My first attempt to carve the Hawaiian Islands Chain was to have it fit all on the bed of the X-Carve Pro, so it had to be scaled within 48”x48” area. However, I felt that some of resulting islands were too small, and the overall look felt underwhelming.

The problem in need of a solution was to figure out how to accurately position the islands in a space that was larger than the bed of the X-Carve Pro. My solution was to create 30”x22” indexed tiles with cut-out outlines of the islands in their respective locations. The tiles could be laid out onto a surface (such as a wall or table) and the individual island carvings would be placed in the cut-outs. I chose 30”x22” tiles because it with the size of my shipping boxes (if I ever got around to making them available for sale). This way I could scale the islands as big as the bed of the X-Carve Pro if desired.

My first attempt will be the island chain scaled at 72” wide. The results are impressive.

I have not gotten to carving the Big Island yet, which when completed will be about 16”x19”.

December 14, 2021 Shop Log

I made my first attempt at carving the Hawaiian island chain idea I had.

When I first ran the carving job, I did not properly set the XY Zero (starting point) and did catch it in time before cutting into the block for the Big Island. This explains the flat spots at top of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

I went through various stepover settings on the finishing cut:

  • 78%
  • 50%
  • 25% (which I finally settled on)

Here are some takeaways:

  • I would make the base only 1/16”-1/8” thick, not the 5/8” shown.
  • In order to ensure proper alignment, I would laser engrave the outlines of the islands on the top of the wooden blocks.
  • I hot-glued the wooden blocks to the sheet of luan, which held the blocks down great.
  • I would cut out the island outlines with the laser cutter in the luan, so that the sheet would later be able to be used as an alignment tool.

December 13, 2021 Shop Log

I got off the telephone with tech support and they told me to check my machine firmware settings, sending me the following link:

It turned out that I had one improper setting.


It should have been:


With the change made, the X-Carve Pro was up and running again.

I ran my first tiling job on the X-Carve Pro with Easel, a plywood Christmas tree for McKenzie. I found the plans on Etsy.

Though not perfect (I have to work on my alignment), I am pleased with the results.