Sign carved by my CarveWright

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Project by Don "Dances with Wood" Butler posted 05-14-2010 03:17 PM 3211 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Sign carved by my CarveWright
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After a long, cold Winter, (the CarveWright doesn’t do well below 50 degrees F.) I did a serious sign. Its 30 inches wide, carved in poplar and painted in acrylics and top coated with polyurethane.
The carving goes in a quarter inch in the deepest areas, but the large white letters are at the top surface of the board.
The CarveWright machine took about four hours to carve this rather complicated design, but it would take a week, more or less, to carve with hand chisels and it’s far beyond my skill level.
When the board comes out it requires a fair amount of clean up. There are lots of fuzzies and tool marks that need to be cleared up, but it still beats hand carving, for me.
I have no idea if there is a local market for this sort of thing, but I’m going to give it a try.
But a sign like this, given the materials, design time, hand work and painting, would run a customer about $350, so I’m hoping there are some folks with the desire to have a sign unique to their business.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

11 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

13921 posts in 2981 days

#1 posted 05-14-2010 04:00 PM

neat … nice workmanship

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 1984 days

#2 posted 05-14-2010 04:09 PM

A few years ago we purchased a similar sign (that wasn’t even made out of hardwood!) for one of the businesses I manage and it ran around $850.

After I got the CNC I’ve made a couple of signs myself and have sold them in the $300-500 range.

I’m not familiar with CarveWright.. but I managed to beat the fuzzies pretty well. The spindle needs to be going as fast as you reasonably can and then knock down the speed a lot. I usually run my stuff at between 12-22,000RPM and then the feed rate is between 50 and 100 ipm. The softer the wood, the slower you go. Poplar is a ##$!@* to CNC carve. It’s just very fuzzy wood.

One of the weirdest lessons I’ve learned with this game is – wood that’s good for hand carving is generally bad for machine carving.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1051 posts in 2393 days

#3 posted 05-14-2010 04:20 PM

Thanks for the pointers, Lis.
CarveWright is a small machine, only about 14” wide capacity, but boards can be joined to make a bigger carving. Length is limited only by the room for infeed/outfeed. Cutter speed is around 22,000 rpm. Feed rate is very slow, not sure of the actual number.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3745 posts in 2162 days

#4 posted 05-14-2010 04:59 PM

Looks good Don. There are definitely things a machine can do that one would not normally try by hand.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jordan's profile


1380 posts in 2123 days

#5 posted 05-14-2010 07:29 PM

Wow, a carving machine!!! How much do they cost? They sure make attractive signs. I probably wouldn’t use it for anything other than lettering but since letters are usually what slows you down, this would be nice to have.


View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1051 posts in 2393 days

#6 posted 05-14-2010 07:53 PM

Here’s a link to Normand, a Canadian Dealer for CarveWright.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

View Jordan's profile


1380 posts in 2123 days

#7 posted 05-14-2010 08:13 PM

Thanks Don – perhaps they’ll be at the tool show I’m going to. Probably way out of my price range.


View tinnman65's profile


1235 posts in 2412 days

#8 posted 05-15-2010 01:24 PM

Looks great Don!! “After a long, cold Winter” I didn’t know it got cold were you live, I thought it was a average 70 deg. in that part of the State ;-)

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1051 posts in 2393 days

#9 posted 05-15-2010 01:35 PM

I know you aren’t that far away, so I must have been telling some big lies about the weather here, 20 miles away.
Uh- Paul, did I misread your profile? Seems to me you have plenty of that cold stuff over there, too!

Actually, the “long cold winter” part kept me from doing any work at all. The oldest machine in the workshop can’t stand the cold and won’t pay the fuel bill to run the furnace.

The CarveWright shouldn’t be operated below 50ºF because of a heavy duty flex shaft that runs at 22,000 rpm. The cold makes the oil thicken and the flex can wear quickly under those circumstances.

So those are my excuses and I’m sticking by my story.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2113 days

#10 posted 05-24-2010 12:33 PM

nice business Sign
hope it will work out for you
and having the machine pay for it self


View a1Jim's profile


113592 posts in 2575 days

#11 posted 05-24-2010 05:08 PM

Nice work a very cool sign

-- Custom furniture

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