F360 vcarve settings advice for first carve

After a long wait, and many side projects, I am ready to try my first carve on my original Woodworker.

I have taken a handwritten family recipe, scanned it, cleaned it up, converted it to an .svg, set up a vcarve CAM operation for a test portion in F360, created gcode with my Masso PP, and did a test “cut” (well actually just used my 3D printed Sharpie plotter to trace the test carve) just to make sure there were no surprises. There were no surprises.

I am hoping to get advice from those with experience on what feeds and speeds I should be using for my first test cut. I am carving poplar using a new Amana 18 degree single flute 1/4" shank v bit. I am anxious not to break the bit, mostly because if this works it will be a Christmas present for my sister, and one for my mother.

I have attached the tool database spec sheet, as well as a screenshot of the F360 engraving feed and speed setup page. You may notice the tool shows a 10 degree taper angle. I wanted to ‘trick’ F360 to cut slightly shallower by using a slightly wider (20 degree) v bit in the tool selector.

I have done research through online tutorials and videos, but was hoping to hear from live individuals with their experience to share.

All feedback and advice is welcome and appreciated.


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It sounds like you have done your homework!

My advice regarding feeds and speeds are simple. Use the info recommended by Amana or Whiteside. Both have tool libraries that can be imported into Fusion. In my experience V carves can be a bit trickier than straight bits insofar as tear-out is concerned so I’d recommend a trial on some scrap poplar and fine tune your numbers. I’ve even had good luck just running the same program twice back-to-back to clean up the fuzzies.

As far as tricking Fusion with the bit angle… Again I recommend a trial in a test piece. Fusion doesn’t always seem to behave when you tinker with the settings on an engrave toolpath. If you set your origin to the top of the stock (always recommended for engraves) you can use any thickness piece for your test cuts.

Looking forward to seeing the finished piece!

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Thank you for sharing your experience, and the strategy of running the path twice. I have the tool libraries loaded, just didn’t want to trust them without getting some advice from others such as yourself. I plan to do plenty of tests before settling on a final cut strategy - I hope the bit survives my inexperience.

Well it is complete, my first official carve. Thank you again Nick for your earlier advice.
I double checked all my settings and dropped the feed rate. Then, practiced setting up my material, and tested the carve, on a piece of extruded polystyrene. I was happy with the way the vcarve looked so I set up the polar stock and began.

I am very pleased with the result, especially the amount of detail. I like the look of the plain wood, and the carve is deep enough that the shadows make the letters stand out.

The hardest, and most time consuming steps, were cleaning up the scanned recipe, and having to individually select over 450 objects (letters/parts) for F360 to use as the vcarve paths.
If this becomes an item I may offer to sell, I would probably invest the money in a large touch screen with stylus, and software that is more geared to the task of vcarve. I very much enjoy F360, and am still learning, but it definitely has its strengths and weaknesses for this type of project.
I did not really need to use dust collection during the carve, and the compacted wood dust in the small cut grooves may have been what limited the smallest pieces from being blown out - it only happened in a few places overall so am very pleased about that. It did take a very long time to carefully pick out the wood dust/shavings from all the carved letters, but my patience again I think paid off with a very detailed and accurate representation of the original recipe.
One more to go … for now.


Turned out pretty well.

If you want the writing to be darker, mask first with Oracal (available on Amazon). Then after doing ng the engrave, hit it with a spray of paint or stain (I use Polycyrlic stain - usually Mission Oak) to give it an even, dark look. Then just peel off the Oracal.

Thank you for the advice and product mention - I appreciate it. I definitely plan to try some of the films that have mentioned in the forums, especially for those projects I plan to add paint/stain to better define the text.

To expand on @JimHatch 's advice. Seal with clear lacquer or shellac before painting to prevent bleeding on porous woods.

The recipe looks fantastic!

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Thank you! I am pleased with the outcome. I am finding the learning along the way is almost, if not more, rewarding than the finished products.


I was not happy with the way the letters stood out in different lighting situations, so I added a few coats of shellac to the boards, then painted each letter with black acrylic. Time consuming, but definitely worth it. My sister and mother both enjoyed their recipes ‘from their moms’.

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Oramask is a paint masking product that works very well in my experience for just such an occasion.

The small rolls are on sale right now

I will absolutely be using this in future carves such as this…which will be soon, as several extended family members expressed an interest in having their own family recipes carved.

If this ever becomes part of my offerings in the future - if and when I decide to create a business - I will need to invest in the hardware (touch screen/stylus) and software that will shorten production time.

Thank you for the link BTW.

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