Lots of hours on toolpaths...

Say what you will about Estlcam, but the program works if you have the patience to deal with it (especially after using it for months for free… is there a limit on that counter?)


I thought some of you might like this. This is easily the most intricate piece that I’ve done on the MPCNC yet. Tools used were 1/8th inch single flute flat, 1/8th inch three flute 100(?) degree pointed, and 1/8th inch 10 degree engraving bit. Z step limit on all tools was set to 2mm, except the engraving bit which was set to 1mm. 15-30 mm/s feed rate. The material is ‘Select Pine’ from Loan Depot. Only one coat of poly in this pic.





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That is really great detail, especially in pine. Too bad the lower right got all blue and blurry :).

Is all of that from a 2D drawing? Even the eagle’s wings?

Boy, I sure would like to see some step by step instructions on how to do a project like that. I think a lot of people here would really get into it.

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Very nice! Excellent work.

I bought that svg a while back and put that project on the back burner… After seeing this, it’s coming off the shelf for a Christmas present.

Thanks for sharing!


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I really wish I had time to do a full write-up. Honestly, the wings came out that way on accident - I didn’t realize how much material would be left behind by the 10 degree bit. I did step the pocket down about a millimeter per horizontal row of feathers… more or less. In the end it turned out to be an impressive effect with the particular grain of the wood. The feathers near the top of the eagles head were set for a carving depth of 0.5 mm - I almost stopped the machine because I thought it would be too subtle but I let it go and things worked out well once the poly hit the wood.

I had to create the vector image myself by tracing it out in Designspark Mechanical from another image found courtesy of google and wikipedia. That took a lot of time but worth it I’d say.

The deepest cut was the profile at 21mm. The deepest pocket (between the emblem and the rounded text) is 7mm.

I had one failed run before carving this one. Wrong toolpaths with the wrong tools.

(I thought I posted this yesterday - looks like I forgot to hit ‘submit’…)

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So you used a 10 degree bit… can you tell us what other tools and sizes you used. Did you do a pass with a larger end mill to hog out material?

Thanks for the depth info and thanks in advance for all the info!

Actually, on my first run I had a serious derp moment - I ran a carve toolpath on the larger areas to a depth of 7mm with the 10 degree. It was unnecessary and time consuming. After the whole thing had been carved I ran the 1/8th single flute flat end across the background plane at 6.5mm - thats why there’s a horizontal line texture across the background. You could get a similar result from running the flat end mill first and then switching to the 10 degree at a depth of .5mm deeper than the flat cut. It would be much faster.

The topmost plane of the piece is untouched and unsanded until after the poly went on. That includes the rope, the top of the eagles head, his talons, the ribbon, and the surround.

Most of the cuts are done with the crazy sharp 10 degree carving bit. The three fluted bit, I think came with my Makita Router (could have been the dewalt though…) 1/8th inch diameter - it’s got a very shallow point but I don’t know the exact angle. I just used it for the profile cut around the outside. I ran engraving toolpaths for the detail in the ropes - I think doc there is 4mm or so. Also for the outline of the talons and legs, but not as deep - maybe 1 or 1.5mm.


You guys really deserve a full write-up. I’ve got to refine my G-Code and put everything in the right order. As soon as I’ve got it squared away, I’ll start on a well documented breakdown. I’m just crazy busy at the moment and gotta pay some bills.

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The three fluted mill.

Single flute top (source: V1 shop)

10 degree carving bit bottom (source: somewhere in China)