Appropiate settings for African Blackwood?

Hi everyone.
I just bought a cutting board made of African Blackwood, and would like to carve something into it as a gift.

I tried carving the design I wanted in MDF, but as you know, blackwood is extremely hard, so I’m sure using the same settings would be disastrous. This is the design i made in MDF:

I used a 1/8" 30° v carving bit, and 15mm/s feed rate, 1mm depth of cut and 30000 rpm. This was the last board available so I really don’t wanna mess it up haha, which settings would you all use for african blackwood?

Thanks in advance!

If anyone looks this thread up, using a 1/8" 45º V-bit 7mm/s feed rate and 30000 rpm worked great on African Blackwoood (also known as granadilla). I’ll now try my luck with Tzalam wood, as well as Chechen, and more immediately, Acacia.


Glad it worked out pictures please :pray:


Sorry for the caption haha I just took a ss from IG
There’s a looot of room for improvement, but I’m glad the 1/8" v-bit works well for fine details on hardwood.


Very nice you do good work :grinning:

Thank you so much!

Can I ask was software / workflow you used?Nice work!

Of course!
This is the how it looks now, after I used a pyrography tool for higher contrast. This was my first complete project with the mpcnc and I’m pretty glad of how it turned out!

The table is made of Granadillo (african blackwood) and maple, it’s about 33x25cm.

The process for the carving with a 1/8" 45º v-bit was:

  1. I downloaded a free vector for the ornamental divider/border and then edited it with Inkscape to my liking.
  2. I then exported it to dxf and edited it with Estlcam, and added a font that i liked (I downloaded it free as well; it’s called Imprint std. Shadow Regular).
  3. I selected the toolpaths for engraving the ornaments, and chose Pocket Inside carving for the larger letters, with 0.5 mm depth
  4. I tried a few different feeds and rates and ended up with a pretty standard 7mm/s feed rate and 30000 rpm (the router I used is a Bosch Colt 1HP)
  5. Finally, I made some passes with a pyrography tool (about 10 bucks in Home Depot)

Things I learned:

  • This machine is awesome and this community too.
  • I should have probably used a larger bit for the larger letters.
  • A personalized cutting board for meat/BBQs is a prety cool gift for a grilling enthusiast
  • I should learn how to choose the right varnish (skipped that step b/c of time)

To make African masks, figures and figurines, craftsmen use hardwood. Masai statuettes are made of a very hard wood, iroko, which is called African oak or African teak with the help of After cutting, the statuette is painted with natural colors. Despite the high density and hardness (density is more than 1000 kg/cm3) ebony is well processed and polished, after which the treated surface becomes perfectly smooth and shiny, making it similar to the metal. The tradition of making figurines, statuettes to decorate the interior of the nobles and rich nobles comes from ancient times. Archaeological finds and descriptions of ancient authors testify to it. In the burial chambers of the Egyptian pharaohs, among the items and ornaments made of precious metals, there were very often items made of ebony. According to ancient beliefs, ebony was attributed the ability to resist poisons, so it was used to make beautiful and expensive dishes.

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