Just curious if anyone runs an X-Carve along side of their GF. They are very similar in abilities, albeit one is a rotary engraver and a router, but the X-Carve would allow for bevels. I wouldn’t plan on a ton of woodworking as personally I think my skill set isn’t on par to be fooling in that field, but the idea of having the ability to easily add a bevel or joining edge prior to lasering intrigues me. Also if you think about it, you could greatly expand your anodized aluminum engraving field (if you didn’t want to rotary engrave it) by being able to router cut shapes in aluminum.
Like I said just curious if anyone uses a duo set up as such, and if you do how much you use it or like it.
I’m not an XCarve power user but have both machines. Like my XCarve a lot but I don’t use it to it’s full potential. An occassional sign or simple design. Most of my XCarve use was before receipt of the GF. Purchased it because the wait for GF delivery was killing me. There are plenty of people here that have both machines.
Have you put yours to use on projects aside from wood or acrylic? Like metals, PCB boards etc?
I feel like if I added the X-Carve to my GF I would be in the same boat of not using it to its potential. That and I would probably have to be buried with it upon receipt once the wife found out (I tend to buy toys outside of “normal/frequent use” that are expensive). Currently proving the worth of the GF, so until then I’m just pondering things like the X-Carve.
Once carving is done I take them to the Glowforge and use it to sign the back of them. I used to carve into cutting boards with the X- Carve but now I do all of them on the Glowforge. The possibilities are endless if you have the imagination.
A major thing I would want to put an x-carve to (I dont have one) is all the things that are problematic on a Glowforge. PVC (Especially Foamed PVC), sheet Aluminium, Mahogany, Thicker woods (even when you can fit it in many become charcoal if that thick.) really deep engraving on thick wood. larger scale stuff like furniture… If I keep going I will talk myself into one.
They cannot begin to do detail as the min diameter of the tool sets the scale available, and half the diameter takes at least four times as long as it has to go slower and four times the distance to cover the same area, and probably more passes. Thus also takes more effort cleaning the work up after as well.
I am also wanting to try thick PVC sheets but have trouble finding it here at a decent price. Closest I have found is about a 3 hr drive. Yes it is slow the sign posted above took about 2.5 hours doing a 2 stage carve with bit change. I have no clean up on these pieces using a downcut bit, 1/8 bit for roughing pass 1/16 for finish pass.
I’ve got the x-carve’s little brother - the Carvey. I think it’s an ideal companion to the GF. It has the same ready-to-use “appliance” quality as the GF and is about the same size.
For cutting anything thicker than 1/8", the Carvey is my go-to. Fairly fast and don’t have to worry about charred edge. On the other hand, the GF is the hands-down winner when talking about engraving. Of course, neither of these are hard and fast rules.
For 3d engraving, both are great. The Carvey allows for great relief carvings that just have a “rich” feel. The GF’s ability to capture detailed carvings is amazing.
I’m really happy when I can combine technologies. For Christmas, a friend wanted his mother’s recipe engraved on a cutting board. Instead, we went with a GF-engraved 6"x8" ceramic tile inset, flush mounted into an 8"x10" walnut plaque. Strengths of both machines. The walnut was cut to size in the carvey, along with a carved pocket. The GF burned an amazing facsimile of the hand-written recipe. Finished off with a small brass plate was inset on the back done on my other toy - a Roland rotary engraver. (I have not used the Carvey for drag-engraving on metal yet, but it is very possible. Just too easy to use a dedicated machine like the Roland.)
Some woods burst into fire easier than others. You can cut 1/2" paduk with two passes at 120 speed full power and have a reasonable cut, Long before that the mahogany will sport a fire and a coal once started will turn it all to ash, Zebrawood and even Ash will become ash if you do not take enough care, but all the mahogany I bought with high expectations is the worst…