Wooden Nativity Slab -Free Project of the Month

Wooden Nativity Slab -Free Project of the Month

Postby Stephanie Downing » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:22 am

Here’s a great Christmas project you can create quickly before the peak of the busy holiday season! This silhouette style “Wood Slab” Nativity features a classic scene adapted for CNC enthusiasts wanting to make a nice wall, door, tabletop or
mantelpiece item for holiday display!

The semi-circular wood edge is painted to look like it is a “live edge” slab, and is easy to do. However, if you have a real live edge slab, you can use it to carve the inlay pockets into instead of a regular “plain” board!

A few of the software features used while designing this project included the Drawing and Node editing tools, Snapping features, Vector Offset and Boundary Create, Interactive Trim (scissors tool), and the Male and Female Inlay toolpath features.

To watch the full video and download the free project files click here: https://release.vectric.com/wooden-nativity-slab/
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Wooden Nativity Slab
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Re: Wooden Nativity Slab -Free Project of the Month

Postby mtylerfl » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:22 pm

The dimensions of the Nativity Slab are about:

14" wide x 9.5" tall x 1.4" thick
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Re: Wooden Nativity Slab -Free Project of the Month

Postby PGHMKT » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:39 am

Hi - I am so new to the CNC community and learning how this all works. I am enjoying it when I make something nice but get frustrated when things don't work because I don't know why. I found this project (Wooden Nativity Slab) and figured it was a simple project, what could go wrong...

I ran the first file with the star using the 60 VBit and for some reason, the vbit went very deep. Why would it do this? I zeroed out the bit on the surface of the work piece but it still went very deep. I've seen this happen before with some letters. The program didn't have a "flat depth" - should that be used? I used all the same size materials as suggested in the directions. Why would the vbit go so deep and what should I check to make sure it doesn't happen again?

The other issue I ran into was that the inlay on the second file was just a little too tight (or small). How do I reconfigure or recalculate (sorry, still new with all the terms too) the inlay to cut a little larger?

I do appreciate the help. As I struggle through the learning process, I do find these project very enjoyable to make - well, when all goes right.. After I get this one down, I am going to try the latest Solunar box.
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Re: Wooden Nativity Slab -Free Project of the Month

Postby highpockets » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:23 am

Another great project Michael. Thanks.

One question: why use Acrylic Clear Gloss the finish with Matte?
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Re: Wooden Nativity Slab -Free Project of the Month

Postby mtylerfl » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:36 pm

PGHMKT wrote:...I ran the first file with the star using the 60 VBit and for some reason, the vbit went very deep. Why would it do this? I zeroed out the bit on the surface of the work piece but it still went very deep. I've seen this happen before with some letters. The program didn't have a "flat depth" - should that be used? I used all the same size materials as suggested in the directions. Why would the vbit go so deep and what should I check to make sure it doesn't happen again?

Hi there!

I don't know for certain why your v-bit was cutting too deep, but it could be bit-slip, or the board had a slight "hump" in that area, or just a slight mistake was made when setting the z-zero to the board surface. (A flat-depth setting is not necessary.) Hopefully this won't happen again and was a "fluke" this one time.

PGHMKT wrote: The other issue I ran into was that the inlay on the second file was just a little too tight (or small). How do I reconfigure or recalculate (sorry, still new with all the terms too) the inlay to cut a little larger?

The file has a 0.02" pocket offset to allow for fitting (see attached screenshot with the offset input area circled). However, it might not be enough for your material and a test-fit is always a safe way to go. On page 2 of the PDF, I recommend running the pockets after already running the male inlay parts. This is so you can test the fit of those parts and re-run the pockets with a slightly larger offset until you achieve a suitable fit.

PGHMKT wrote:I do appreciate the help. As I struggle through the learning process, I do find these project very enjoyable to make - well, when all goes right.. After I get this one down, I am going to try the latest Solunar box.

Thank you very much. I'm looking forward to seeing photos of your projects!
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Re: Wooden Nativity Slab -Free Project of the Month

Postby mtylerfl » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:42 pm

highpockets wrote:Another great project Michael. Thanks.

One question: why use Acrylic Clear Gloss the finish with Matte?


Hi John,

I use the gloss to "build" a finish quicker and to not "dull down" the underlying grain in the process.

If I used the Matte for the entire process of building the finish, the particles contained in non-gloss formulas can create a somewhat cloudy appearance with every coat. So I'll usually use gloss for the "main" build-up and hold off applying a Satin, Matte, or Flat finish 'til last.
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Re: Wooden Nativity Slab -Free Project of the Month

Postby PGHMKT » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:40 am

Michael, thank you for you help. I'm hoping the vbit was just a fluke. I plan on trying it again tomorrow. I will also look at the pocket offset. I guess when you check to see if it fits and it doesn't, you change the offset, then do you save just that tool path or do you create a new one?

I'm finding that the best way for me to learn is to just do these "easy" projects. I've been watching several of the videos and doing these projects, but I also find that I come up with several questions that I can't seem to find the answer. For example: I was using the .125 EM bit for this project. It was the bit that came in the Freud package when I purchased the CNC, the 1/8" O Flute straight bit. I noticed when it was cutting, there were times when it was either struggling to cut or running slow and would burn the wood. I don't know why it was doing this. Was my speed to slow? I have the water cooled spindle so it has the adjustable speed motor. When I started learning how this worked, I asked the worker at the store about the speed and said just run everything at 12000. I have been looking at getting new bits and noticed that there are some bits with one flute and others with two. Does this make a difference? Any recommendations?? I'm sorry, didn't mean to get off topic. But I do appreciate the help.
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Re: Wooden Nativity Slab -Free Project of the Month

Postby highpockets » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:32 am

mtylerfl wrote:
Hi John,

I use the gloss to "build" a finish quicker and to not "dull down" the underlying grain in the process.

If I used the Matte for the entire process of building the finish, the particles contained in non-gloss formulas can create a somewhat cloudy appearance with every coat. So I'll usually use gloss for the "main" build-up and hold off applying a Satin, Matte, or Flat finish 'til last.


Thanks Michael, that makes perfect sense....
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Re: Wooden Nativity Slab -Free Project of the Month

Postby ezurick » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:23 am

PGHMKT wrote:Michael, thank you for you help. I'm hoping the vbit was just a fluke. I plan on trying it again tomorrow. I will also look at the pocket offset. I guess when you check to see if it fits and it doesn't, you change the offset, then do you save just that tool path or do you create a new one?

I'm finding that the best way for me to learn is to just do these "easy" projects. I've been watching several of the videos and doing these projects, but I also find that I come up with several questions that I can't seem to find the answer. For example: I was using the .125 EM bit for this project. It was the bit that came in the Freud package when I purchased the CNC, the 1/8" O Flute straight bit. I noticed when it was cutting, there were times when it was either struggling to cut or running slow and would burn the wood. I don't know why it was doing this. Was my speed to slow? I have the water cooled spindle so it has the adjustable speed motor. When I started learning how this worked, I asked the worker at the store about the speed and said just run everything at 12000. I have been looking at getting new bits and noticed that there are some bits with one flute and others with two. Does this make a difference? Any recommendations?? I'm sorry, didn't mean to get off topic. But I do appreciate the help.
Pat


Well, first let me say that I haven't tried this monthly project, so I don't know the settings. That said, when I first got my machine, besides watching tons of how to's and analyzing the free projects, one of the first thing that I needed to learn about MY machine is its capabilities. You can not expect your machine to run just anyone's settings. So where I started was just simply cutting out things. Normally we use a .25 EM. I practiced and got use to know MY machine's settings for speed, plunge, etc. Then when I mess with any of the free projects, I change ALL toolpath settings to my machine's comfort zone. There are just so many settings to watch, I can't cover them all.. it is something you need to learn and get use to... but one thing on my machine, I never use ramps. Other swear up and down... but on my machine, I've had the burning of the wood when it was slowly ramping in... I normally just do a 30 ipm speed with about .125" pass depth on the tool when cutting things out. I guess my whole point is that you can't pull up other's projects and expect their toolpath to work for your machine. You need to learn to change many of the settings for your machine. Be patient. Use common sense. and think safety always... and have fun! You'll get it. just don't rush. baby steps... lol.
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