7 Tips for Staining Your Wood Projects

Alright, so you have a really cool project to work on with yourCNC machine. You’ve already set up the software and machine to get the cutting done—easy and precise. You are ready to assemble your project and starting to consider the final color. Wood is easy to paint, but a beautiful piece of wood is stunning when stained. Here are seven staining tips for creating an even glow foryour wooden project.Get the Right EquipmentStain can be messy and it’s permanent, so treat it like paint. Wear safety goggles to ensure nothing splatters in your eyes (especially with oil-based stain), gloves to keep it off of your hands and old clothing you don’t care about. You might need a drop cloth to ensure nothing gets on the floor or tracked around on your shoes.Test on ScrapAlways have an extra board that you can test colors on. You might find the end color just doesn’t look how you thought it would. You may find that you need to create a thicker or thinner layer to get the color you want. Testing wi…

Projects for Home Organization

Stuff just has a habit of piling up around the home. If you're around the house more, it's the perfect time to get organizing. But sometimes finding the right place for everything you need to keep on hand requires building that right place. A CNC machine is perfect for building organizational tools that will keep your house tidy.Wall Organizers
TheEntryway Wall Organizer is perfect for those who like to be able to drop it all when they walk in the door. Based on a pegboard, this modular system allows you to change the configuration of hooks and shelves based on updating storage needs. It provides a space for hanging jackets, hats, bags, as well as glasses, keys and even electronics. Designed by Kati Farrer to be made with birch plywood, the project is 28 by 36 by 0.73 in. and uses an 1/8 in. bit. 
For those who want a smaller catchall that's perfect for both the entryway or the kitchen, theSunglasses/keys/mail organizeris a great choice. This free design by Nick Brewer offer…

Preparing Reclaimed Lumber for Your Next CNC Project

Reclaimed lumber can be one of the most interesting materials to work with when you’re into CNC carving. For one thing, it holds a lot of beauty—and that’s true whether you’re using reclaimed lumber for the weathered look, the character, or because you’re in search of beautiful wood grain beneath the aged patina. Many also enjoy it because it’s an environmentally friendly material since you’re recycling previously used lumber rather than cutting new to create your projects.No matter what type of CNC project you want to work on, from signs to wall art, d├ęcor, and more, reclaimed lumber will add character to it. Read below to learn how to prepare reclaimed lumber as a carving material.Clean and Inspect the Lumber FirstReclaimed lumber can come from any number of sources—old barns, warehouses, bowling alley flooring, you name it. Depending on where it came from, there may be a layer of grime obscuring the patina.So that’s the first step. Give the wood a thorough wash to remove dirt, and …

Selecting Your Next (or first?) CNC Project

One of the best things about CNC Carving is that you can create almost anything. But, this can also make it hard to decide what to make. One way to narrow your options is to create a theme and look for projects that align with it. One of our favorite themes is food.

You can design your own projects, or you can look to inspiration and CNC designs from others. Under the category of food (& kitchen), we’ve picked a few designs from our free library that we think are fun and are great CNC projects.

Beer Tote 
A popular CNC project for beer lovers &  carvers is this six-pack beer caddy.

It is a great project for beginning wood CNC carvers. Bill Childress, who loaded the design to our library (you can import it to Easel with one click), used hard maple and a ¼” router bit. But you can select your wood of choice (we recommend staying with hardwoods).

As you can see from the image of the Easel plan, there are 5 pieces for your X-Carve to cut, then you sand, assemble/glue, and finish


A note on current events

Our nation is in pain. The senseless killings have caused outrage, anger, and horror. We must stand together for human rights, we must stand up for one another, and we must have empathy for the fear, hurt, and outrage many of us feel right now. 
At Inventables, we stand in solidarity against injustice, racism, discrimination, and violence of any kind. Our mission is to build accessible tools to help all makers generate income from their work.  This mission transcends race, gender, sexual orientation or anything else that differentiates us from one another.  We seek to help all people who aspire to make a better life for themselves and their families.  
While the world feels chaotic right now and there are many things we can’t control we can choose to focus on the things we can. At Inventables, we choose to focus on our daily work and sharpen our focus on helping customers make a better life for themselves by generating income.  Entrepreneurship will not solve racism and injustice but l…

CNC Machine Project: 2 Player Pinball Machine

Cris Felgueiras is an artist, maker, and content creator in Portugal. She is a multi-artist and love to make stuff that uses different media such as video, woodworking, sculpture, scenography, sound, music, and photography.   One of her creative outlets is the project GET HANDS DIRTY.   Using her X-Carve CNC Machine, Easel CAD/CAM software, and materials from Inventables store she designed the two player pinball machine below.  Each side is divided by color and material. To recreate her design you will need to cut almost all the shapes again using plywood or other wooden material of your choice and glue them in layers to make the full thickness of the pieces. She makes it at least 5 mm thicker than half the diameter of the ball.
If you are interested in learning more about this project you can check out the bill of materials and fine all the Easel files in the Inventables Project catalog. Below is a video where Chris explains how to do the project.

If you are in to pinball the Cactus Wo…

CNC Machine Project: Giant Wood Scrabble Game

Jen Woodhouse is a self-taught carpenter with a fearless DIY spirit and a penchant for problem-solving, she offers in-depth tutorials that inspire and encourage readers to build their way to a more beautiful home. Her site is called The House of Wood and she uses it as a creative outlet for all things DIY and design, a place where she documents her adventures in designing and building furniture and tackling home renovation projects. I visited Jen and her family and saw her shop which is set up in her garage.  It was quite impressive and organized!  She has just about every power tool and an X-Carve CNC.
Jen's projects are very inspiring. She focuses on things that you need around the house but everything she does is beautiful. This project is a giant wall-mounted Scrabble board. It's the perfect addition to your game room! All the files to carve it yourself are available on her Inventables Project page and the full tutorial is on Jen's site.

New Easel Feature: Stored Cut Settings in Easel Pro

This week Inventables updated the options to save cut settings in Easel Pro. Here's how it works: After your carve, Easel Pro users can save their custom cut settings, having them automatically populate for projects with the same material and bit combination. In time, your carve settings and post-carve feedback will help Easel calculate better settings for all users.Note: Easel Pro subscribers can take full advantage of stored cut settings by using the custom bits and materials in their Toolbox. Bits and materials in your Easel Pro Toolbox with stored custom cut settings will auto-populate for your projects. This streamlines the carve set-up process and improves your project workflow.Saving Cut Settings If you are an Easel Pro monthly or annual subscriber, your cut settings can now be saved and automatically applied to future projects. Whenever you select a material and bit combination, the cut settings used for the carve can be saved to your Easel Pro account.Your saved cut setti…