Use CNC to cut Mat Boards for framing

So like the title says, is there a way to cut Mat boards that are used for picture and art framing? In the cnc machines that they use (like this one., the blade rotates 90 degrees to make each cut, but i haven’t seen anything on a router based CNC that can do anything like that. I was thinking maybe an engraver blade could make a small 1/8 bevel cut or a v groove cut (similar to the beginning of this video, Has anybody tried this or have any info on a solution? Thanks.

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There is a “gadget” (what Vectric calls their plugins) for Vcarve and Aspire called Drag knife that would work with a drag knife.
For the tapper I don’t see a direct solution because mat board needs to be cut with a blade not a spinning tool.
If you are going to do a lot of it I’d use the tool to make another tool.

The drag knife looks promising, but it doesn’t look like it can do a bevel cut.

“For the tapper,” what do you mean by this? Did you mean V groove?

I am going to be making a lot of frames and right now i’m cutting the mat boards by hand. I was hoping i could use the CNC to make some custom mat boards that aren’t just rectangles.


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Yes, I’m failing to see how you could cnc the bevel/ v groove.

Router bits come in all different sizes/shapes. Two Moose Designs uses a bowl cut bit to make really nice channels, and 60/90 v-bits to engrave pictures, etc. Ball bits could do 2.5/3d(depending on 3rd/4th/5th axis). v-groove or bevel bit anyone? If the profile is definable or importable into your software, you could get a bit. Not sure how it would handle that material though. For the 1F I can’t wait to try different things, but youtube and google(Ben Myers, Two Moose, and others) are a good place to start looking. Again, not sure about the mat’s, but you could probably print a jig that holds a blade at an angle, and use a stepper motor design to turn it a certain number of steps to get the angle you want/need, but that’s hacking a solution together for sure, and would require a 3d printer or other machining tools to do so, plus some development cycles. Haven’t looked for a specific solution out there for makers that is a plug and play yet though, as it’s not my realm.

Thanks, it’s looking like i will have to make a drag knife that is at an angle to get the bevel. The problem would be the motion. I will look into the stepper motors. Does that mean i would have to attach a stepper motor to the z axis and connect it to the infinity controller to function? Sorry, i have never used a CNC before.
The CNC that can cut bevels is over $2000. So if i can get this to work for me, it will save a ton of space and the $2000 plus to buy one.

I can’t add much to the conversation, but it would seem to me that the drag knife is the direction you would want to go (to avoid tearing out the mat board?), but you could surely solve it without a stepper. Have you called customer support on one of the large bit vendors to see if they have anything in inventory that would address the problem? This seems like a fairly common problem searching for a solution, so they may already have something. Please keep us in the loop, as I’m also interested.

I was planning to contact a bit company, just wanted to see if anybody has tried it. I am surprised nobody has given this a thought.

Is there such a thing as a downcut vbit? Shouldn’t have issues with tearout then and gets the bevel.

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Yes there are downcut, upcut, and compression (both up and down) bits in all sizes.

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Is a vbit the same as an engraver bit? If so, that’s what i was thinking. I guess i’ll give it a try when i get it.

No, a v-bit is different, an engraver bit can be anything even a straight bit. I might suggest checking some videos on youtube you can search on types of cnc bits or many other things.

Thanks for the info. I have seen a few, but don’t remember a V bit. There are so many different types and i still haven’t used a CNC yet. Just trying to get ready for when it comes.

It will all make more sense when you have it in front of you. Don’t force it, its a journey and you have to start slow or it will really frustrate you. Start with basic carving, learning settings and what bit speeds work for you. I had nothing but straight bits for my first 2 years and I made some awesome stuff.

I know you’re trying to get ready and are excited (we all are) but best advice I could give you is to take in bite size bits and learn it at an enjoyable pace. Without being able to read/watch something and then go do it (before you have the machine) you will really not understand what is happening with your machine and how you go there.

Hope that helps!


@MindOfMcClure - I’ve never seen a downcut V-carve bit. I’ve seen v-carve tips on spiral bits, but as far as I know, the tip is not spiraled to force the chips in a particular direction. But who knows, it’s a big wide world out there.



Morning Tom,

Sorry if that was a confusing reply, no vCarve bits doe not come in downward or upward, they are just that vCarve. The straight bits are the ones that come in many flavors. A vCut by nature of being at an angle has a slight downward pressure so they tend to tear out less than standard bits though. At least that is my experience with them.

@MindOfMcClure - roger all - I get it :wink: