Thread: Xcarve

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  1. #1
    I am looking at taking an adventure into the world of CnC routers with me eventually building a 5 by 10 foot machine.

    But first i need to extend the workshop to fit it in

    I am considering the X-carve as a stop gap as it will fit in the shed

    Why?

    It is a one stop package
    It has support
    I gives me lessons to learn

    What are folks thoughts on it

  2. #2
    I have an X carve. I found it fiddly to set up but once the little niggles were sorted it is a great introductory machine. There is a lot of online support and the inventables forum is great for support. I have used it to V carve House signs. You can use the free online software "Easel", I use the desk top version of V Carve.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I also have a boxford machine which is a bit more robust. Currently up grading the spindle on that.
    Last edited by Diysurgeon; 15-08-2017 at 08:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by thinfourth View Post
    I am looking at taking an adventure into the world of CnC routers with me eventually building a 5 by 10 foot machine.

    But first i need to extend the workshop to fit it in

    I am considering the X-carve as a stop gap as it will fit in the shed

    Why?

    It is a one stop package
    It has support
    I gives me lessons to learn

    What are folks thoughts on it
    I looked at the Xcarve and shapeoko seriously before I started to build my own, I came to the conclusion it's overpriced for what it is and a bit too toy like. Reviews are skewed on youtube because they gave them away for free and the few reviews you see where people actually bought it are no where near as complimentary. You can do a lot with an xcarve seen one working in real life they're not atrocious but they are toys you build a lot better for not a lot more. V wheels make poor linear slides aluminium is softer than the wheels and ballscrews are better than belt drives. Xcarves have a lot of flex they can be strengthened but better to build properly in the first place.

    We support each other here and I've found it very educational.

    If possible find a member local to you with a working router they built themselves and go see them first before you decide on buying Xcarve you might just decide to build your own it's really not that hard if you outsource all the work like I did.

    KJN aluminium will supply, cut and drill the extrusion making the frame child's play. Design is not that hard, plenty of people will help you on here. You can get your aluminium mounting plates made by fellow members, Hiwin's & ballscrews from Alixpress.

    I managed to recover some of the parts I'm using but if I bought everything new I could build a router like the one I am building for 2-2.5k depending on if I used an arduino or proper steppers and how lucky I was with import tax from China. I have been real lucky and paid 15 in import tax on everything I bought should have been about 80. My work space is just over 1.22m*0.85m Z travel is ~15cm but you can easily get 1.22m*1.22m for 200 more.

    Where are you in the UK?

    On the 10*5 it's just not worth building yourself if you have the space for it to go as you can buy working ones (Or spares and repairs) cheaper on ebay even with fixing them than you can build yourself and often better quality. 8*4+ routers just don't seem to hold their value probably because they're too big for home users and most people haven't got 3 phase although you can get 1 phase to 3 phase converters it's normally easier to swap electronics over to single phase.
    Last edited by Desertboy; 16-08-2017 at 08:53 AM.

  4. #4
    I am near aberdeen in scotland.

    I'd love to go have a look at a machine.

    However

    The Xcarve is attractive as it will turn up 90% ready to roll as someone will of done the bit of spacing stuff already and it comes with a support line.

    It is under 2k and once i have used it i can either sell it on fleabay for not much less than i paid for it if it turns out to be not for me.

    If it does turn out to be what i am looking for then i can learn from running it and then build something better.

    I am not expecting it to be faultless and it looks about as stiff as lightly cooked spaghetti.

    I am not looking for it to do anything too heavy as for metals etc I have a ton of manual Bridgeport which can power through all manners of heavy stuff

  5. #5
    I have seen a couple of second hand Xcarve on EBay for under 1000. Mine has been a great starter machine. It has its limits a lot depends on what you want to use it for. I have had no problems machining hardwoods, MDF etc. I know some owners have made modifications to strengthen theirs and have the capability to machine aluminium. A must is to add or make a dust extraction for it. I made a dust boot for mine (on the xcarve) connected to the extraction system for my bench saw, belt sander etc. Also it can be very noisy as it uses either a dewalt or makita router. I haven't but again some have created elaborate housings to reduce the noise and collect dust. Might be worth looking on the inventibles forum/website.

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  7. #6
    Noise is not an issue

    I live in the middle of nowhere and have an air compressor that can wake the dead ( but not the wife)

    Dust will be an issue no matter what i buy.

    interested in what they go on fleabay but the issue is getting it from englandshire to the wilds of scotland as most folk shy away from getting stuff ready to ship.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by thinfourth View Post
    Dust will be an issue no matter what i buy.
    Make a cyclone and dust shoe pair with a cheap vacuum cleaner, you can use the X carve to make a dust shoe or 3d print one.

    Dewalt router will have more run off than a Chinese spindle I would definitely look into a spindle I know shapeoko's can be modified easily not so sure about Xcarves. Price is not a lot different between the Dewalt router and Chinese spindle but with a spindle you have speed control via the VFD.

  9. #8
    An Xcarve would cost you around 1500 specced with a dewalt router I'd consider doubling the budget and going for this instead if you really don't want to build one yourself.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-axis-cnc...m/182705914406

    This would be a far far more capable machine and turnkey.

  10. #9
    Saw that on eBay.

    The only way it could look more lashed together was if it featured duct tape and sticky back plastic. I have distinct feelings that is someone's abandoned project

    And it is double the cost of an xcarve for 100mm extra room.

    I don't see any advantage
    Last edited by thinfourth; 16-08-2017 at 08:27 PM.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Desertboy View Post
    Make a cyclone and dust shoe pair with a cheap vacuum cleaner, you can use the X carve to make a dust shoe or 3d print one.

    Dewalt router will have more run off than a Chinese spindle I would definitely look into a spindle I know shapeoko's can be modified easily not so sure about Xcarves. Price is not a lot different between the Dewalt router and Chinese spindle but with a spindle you have speed control via the VFD.
    Is runout a major issue with wood?

    If can see it being an issue with metal and tight tolerances.

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