what do you think about the compucarve?

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Forum topic by bubbadave posted 03-07-2008 05:47 AM 9806 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 3973 days

03-07-2008 05:47 AM

i have been thinking of buying a cumpucarve from sears. what do you think? i am definitely leaning toward the purchase. the work it does is beautiful and easy, but kind of cheating in some ways.

23 replies so far

View Jim Boehm's profile

Jim Boehm

40 posts in 3978 days

#1 posted 03-07-2008 05:58 AM

I have been toying with that tool as well. It sure would make some nice accent pieces. I just saw an infomercial for another machine (I forgot the name) similair to the Craftsman one. The work they do for the woodworker looks great. I wonder how long the bits last. Thanks for this topic Dave!

-- "Knowledge is King! It is never too late to learn something new." - Jim

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Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4222 days

#2 posted 03-07-2008 06:31 AM

send cajunpen a question. he’s got one

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

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4326 days

#3 posted 03-07-2008 01:32 PM

While I do not have one a good friend does. He carved a few rosettes in pine as practice then he scanned in a picture of his dog.
I know that there are 12 bits, but he only has two, so far.
I was blown away by the detail it was able to do with the picture of his dog! Even had a 3D effect.
Unfortunately one of the axis’ “broke” and he had to send it back to be repaired after only three days. We’ll see what happens when he gets it back.
It takes about 40 minutes to carve a 4”x 8” area.

Carving is not my cup of tea but I was very impressed by the detail. Still requires LOTS of sanding.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4290 days

#4 posted 03-07-2008 04:02 PM

The other one is the Carvewright n01 system.

-- Hope Never fails

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4227 days

#5 posted 03-07-2008 04:12 PM

Carveright makes the compucarve for Sears. It’s the same machine Sears just renamed it.

It looks nice, but the thing I don’t like about it is that is cuts in a raster fashion.
Raster basically “scans” the entire workpiece so carving a simple circle or a complex
pattern of the same size will take the same amount of time.

You can probably make a jig and cut a circle faster then the machine.

Still, it’s pretty nice.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 4029 days

#6 posted 03-07-2008 04:37 PM

I saw the Carveright in action at a woodworking show. I talked to the rep and GaryK is right, it’s the same machine as the Craftsman. Be prepared though, IT”S LOUD. You could hear that thing running from the other end of the show. Also, I recently read a review on it and I guess there are different levels of detail you can choose and if you want really fine detail on a piece, it could potentially run all day. Hope that helps.

-- Tony, Ohio

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 4196 days

#7 posted 03-07-2008 04:59 PM

The thing allot of people don’t understand about this machine…it does way more than just carving and 3D stuff. You could use it to cut complex curved pieces, joinery of all types, even as a precision drilling machine. Ya, the setup time for simple tasks might inhibit its use for some operations, and it’s price certainly is a substantial factor to weigh against the machines real usefulness….but I think it’s a pretty cool way for a regular Joe to get involved in CNC!


View bubbadave's profile


5 posts in 3973 days

#8 posted 03-07-2008 09:42 PM

David, you are absolutely right regarding the cost! i was playing with ebay and there are some listed that are supposedly still in the box for a little over half the cost of one from sears. i really dont trust all of the namebrands that are all that inexpensive from ebay as they could very well be china knockoffs.

actually i am going to sell my old gmc pickup so i will be able to get the machine with all the bells and whistles.


View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4007 days

#9 posted 03-07-2008 10:37 PM

i saw a review on it and it says that it does get the good detail bit it is a pretty rough cut and requires a lot of finishing work to get it nice and smooth in the commercials they probably use a fresh bit so it cuts better but after a few cuts it starts to get a rougher cut.

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4326 days

#10 posted 03-12-2008 11:59 AM

Here is a video on the Sears version

And there was a video on the Compucarve right neat this one.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4113 days

#11 posted 03-12-2008 01:01 PM

I don’t think I’d use one enough to justify the expense. The repeatability of pieces is what would sell it to me.

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4104 days

#12 posted 03-12-2008 03:19 PM

I don’t know about this. For some reason I feel like it is automating one more aspect of an art that we should be learning more about rather than getting another new machine to do the hard work for us. But that is just an initial reaction.

I’m obviously not a truly experienced woodworker so much of what I see in the world is just on the surface. This product seems to me to be similar to the long lasting argument of machined vs. hand cut dovetails. Maybe in the short run if you are doing one piece a machine like this doesn’t really make any sense. However, if you are planning on making many copies of the same work, then this is your huckleberry (so to speak).

For me, I’m going to keep working on green wood working (meaning electricity free). Now, I just need to learn how to sharpen worth a damn.


-- He said wood...

View itsme_timd's profile


690 posts in 4070 days

#13 posted 03-12-2008 03:35 PM

I’d love to have one of these but wouldn’t use it enough to justify the cost. I might make a couple useful items, then I’d just play with it to see what it could do. However if it does complex cuts, drilling and especially the joinery, that would be more useful to me. The combination of this with the detailed carving would make it a little more realistic to add to the shop.

I haven’t seen much mention of the cutting and joinery, they always play up the carving part of the tool.

Maybe somebody who has one could post us a nice review???

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

View toyguy's profile


1672 posts in 4076 days

#14 posted 03-12-2008 09:27 PM

Well like a lot of the others here, I think it might be a lot of fun playing around with this machine. It is a bit costly, and I’m not sure I would use it enough to make it worth while. But it would be fun to play with one for a bit, maybe I would be surprised and find more uses for it than I think. Like another said, cheap way to get into CNC….... But as far as I know at this point, it is not yet available in Canada, so it’s a decision I won’t have to make. :-)

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4227 days

#15 posted 03-12-2008 09:38 PM

It is technically a CNC but you can’t program it like you would a CNC with G code.

It’s more like a 3D printer. It cuts (prints) from right to left, then moves down a little bit then back to the left.
So on and so on until it’s done. It might take 20 minutes to cut a circle, where a true CNC would
take about 5 seconds.

You take the good with the bad.

If you want a real CNC try:

You can build one for about $500.

There is a member here who has done it.

Check out:

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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