Montana Carved

  • Advertise with us
Project by oldnovice posted 01-22-2013 03:02 AM 1852 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Other than mounting my spoil board this is my very first CNC project. I had some 15/16” thick 100 year old native Iowa red oak and I thought this might be a good project to start my trek into CNC routing and make something novel for my brother who lives in Montana.

I was surprised at the difference between the surface of the wood and the inside of the wood. The inside looked more porous, “dried out” (for lack of a better description), and the color appeared faded. I think the difference can be seen in the photos of the front and back. This particular piece was a stair tread which I had previously planed down, to remove the finish and wear, from 1-1/16” to the 15/16” but nothing else had been done to the newly machined surfaces.

I added some Timbermate grain filler to the more open grain on the inside (none on the outside) and finished is all with three coats of satin Minwax rub-on-polyurethane.

I have to learn to look more closely at the images on the web. The image I used had a mistake in the lower right hand corner which obviously ended up in my project. I also found a lot of images with the northern border as a straight line as on a flattened map. Next time I will check the web images better!

I used a vector image as the input for the tool paths for the pocket and then the outline which included tabs to hold the work in place for the three passes to cut it out.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

11 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14178 posts in 4124 days

#1 posted 01-22-2013 04:11 AM

good looking project posting.. fun read

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

View a1Jim's profile


117229 posts in 3718 days

#2 posted 01-22-2013 04:57 AM

Cool Idea nice work

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29862 posts in 2479 days

#3 posted 01-22-2013 09:09 AM

A whole new adventure. Good job.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

586 posts in 2342 days

#4 posted 01-22-2013 02:08 PM

Looks fine to me and, Hans, here is the good news! Everything you make on your CNC after this is free!

It is like my backyard bug zapper when it was new. The first bug that died cost $60. After that, no charge!

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3007 days

#5 posted 01-22-2013 02:39 PM

Very clean looking and nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2808 days

#6 posted 01-23-2013 03:53 AM

Nice !
Now the next province at the top left of Montana is Alberta where I live , so if you get bored that could be another project .

-- Kiefer

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2977 days

#7 posted 01-23-2013 04:17 AM

Very cool, only 49 more to go. A CNC machine would be a lot of fun to play with.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View oldnovice's profile


7186 posts in 3509 days

#8 posted 01-23-2013 04:54 AM

Thanks for all the comments on my very first CNC project. I have my next one ready to go and in the words of Monty Python, ”and now for something completely different”.

Alberta looks a lot like Montana except where Montana has the Western lump, Alberta has a Southwestern “cavity”. If I made to the same scale I would need a lot more wood!

Russ, I was wondering how long it would be before someone said ”only 49 more to go” and now I don’t have to wait any longer. I have thought about that and some states like Colorado would be very simple but others like Florida with the panhandle or West Virginia and Maryland with some of the very small cross sections might be prone to breaking very easily.

Considering this is the first, I was pleased at how well it really worked and now I can do the same thing over and over because I kept the tool path files. I need to get some round over bits without bearings so I can use them with the CNC. The round over on the project above was done on my router table with a bearing piloted round over bit, hence the burn marks. According to my sone, a certified CNC machinist, that won’t happen with a roun over on my CNC. We will wait to see about that!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View DS's profile


2994 posts in 2561 days

#9 posted 01-23-2013 11:31 PM

Well it looks like you are up and running with your CNC router. Fantastic!

It will be interesting to see how you challenge yourself with this new tool.
I’m looking forward to seeing all your wonderful projects!


-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

790 posts in 3974 days

#10 posted 03-03-2013 03:33 PM

Nice job. How clean did the cnc leave the surface? Did it require much sanding? Did you use several different bits? I know very little about the cnc routing process but it is fascinating?

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View oldnovice's profile


7186 posts in 3509 days

#11 posted 03-03-2013 05:34 PM

Rob, the pocket did not require any great deal of sanding but the perimiter required some. I think tat was due to the number of passes with the cutter. Eight for the pocket and four for the perimiter.

CNC routing take the router out of your hands (the main reason I use a CNC) but requires a lot of mental effort before you start the bit.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics