Posted on August 17, 2021

Considering getting a CNC machine to carve wood for projects. This could be a really nice thing for my work. I am am a little excited about it. Not quite excited by the price … but that is fine. Need to clean up my garage so that I can set one up. Then buy a bit of wood to put it through its paces. Hoping to create frames and other work related to retablos. Oh, I hope I can get it done!

Shapeoko 4 XL
Cutting Area: 33″ x 17.5″

Probably going to go with the Fox Alien machine. It just seems to have the right price point for getting started. Yes, the motor is not that strong. Yes, it isn’t as robust as the other options. Hopefully the software I use can make the things I want to happen work. On one level I want it to be able to carve out relief characters and designs for retablos. Sometimes these panels have carved elements along the top or framing the work. Other the times, the figures themselves are carved out to enhance the entire piece. It seems that the basic software that comes with these machines is usually only capable of creating outlines. While the hardware is capable of more, things are simplified for users. Apparently using this sort of equipment is quite a technical hurdle for most people.

The Fox Alien machine has about 2″ of depth available to the router. That seems just fine for the products I have in mind.

Fox Alien
An example of a carved retablo.

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