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Link Posted: 1/11/2021 10:28:37 PM EST
I just discovered this thread and skimmed through it.

I have an xxl with an hdz and a 2.2kw water cooled spindle. In the first 6 weeks I sold online i paid for the machine 2x. Started a legit business because of it.

If you sell online I suggest you look into ship station. Best thing I ever did. We sell on Etsy, Facebook market place as a store, and are in the process of staging up our own website. We also sell in a booth we rent and have 3 people in process of stocking our items in stores. Have multuple customers who purchase 25+ items at a time for resale.


If you get serious and start using QuickBooks for book keeping ( we also use it for payment processing via email) look into an app called greenback.   It breaks down every Etsy transaction and automatically deals with each one in quick books with 1 click.

The shapeoko is a great machine. Right now I’m at the point where I’m using the machine to make money to save towards a bigger machine. The shapeoko allows you to make mistakes and not break expensive things doing so. The downside is that the belts that help you learn will eventually become your limitation. Waiting on an née stronger x stepper motor to show up now.

For reference. I rough out with a 1/4” spectra down cut. 1/4” doc 18k rpm 180 ipm.  For thinner larger areas I’ll use a  2 flute 1” bit cutting 1/8” deep at 200 ipm at 18k rpm. I run a 1/4” compression bit 3/4” doc at 75ipm 18k rpm. I could run the compression faster but when I get around 100 ipm the x axis looses steps.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 11:26:06 AM EST
@Quicky06

Congrats - sounds like your doing well!!

I'm definitely not turning this info a full time business, and will stop when I get bored or tired.  I did the math and would need to sell 3,259 flags a year just to match my day job salary, and this is WAY more "work" than my day job.

As long as I'm still enjoying it I'll keep doing it.  I bought it for personal use and fun with no need to "make my money back" to pay off a credit card or something.  It's just nice it worked out that way.  I figure I gave away about $1000 to $1300 in flags getting started.  Lots of Thin Red Line and service related flags for all the vets I work with.  

And that was my main goal, to make some cool stuff from my friends and family for free.  But people kept asking and offering to pay, and I'm not THAT stupid, so I eventually started taking their money.  
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 11:34:29 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Lowcash:
@Quicky06

Congrats - sounds like your doing well!!

I'm definitely not turning this info a full time business, and will stop when I get bored or tired.  I did the math and would need to sell 3,259 flags a year just to match my day job salary, and this is WAY more "work" than my day job.

As long as I'm still enjoying it I'll keep doing it.  I bought it for personal use and fun with no need to "make my money back" to pay off a credit card or something.  It's just nice it worked out that way.  I figure I gave away about $1000 to $1300 in flags getting started.  Lots of Thin Red Line and service related flags for all the vets I work with.  

And that was my main goal, to make some cool stuff from my friends and family for free.  But people kept asking and offering to pay, and I'm not THAT stupid, so I eventually started taking their money.  
View Quote



I see what your saying.

My number one selling product costs $4 each when bought in a 6 pack. Costs me 32cents each to make. I can make 40 at a time with a cut time of 1:15 and 3 tool changes.

So I would need to find a way to sell 166 of them a day, every day to quit the day job. Don’t see it happening unless I get a lot of whole sale going on.  That’s why I’m at 31 products and growing.

Maybe some day.

I never planned for mine to be a business. I bought it to engrave cutting boards that I was making at the time.

It’s been over a year since I’ve made a cutting board because I realized I can make more money cutting Baltic birch than I can dealing with walnut and maple. Atleast this way I don’t feel so bad burning my mistakes.
Link Posted: 1/15/2021 9:15:34 AM EST
Got a new planer!  But the planer stand didn't arrive with it!  

More accurately I guess, "a planer", since I didn't have an old one to be able to call this the "new one".  I'm slowly building up a shop.

Someone (here, Reddit, Shapeoko forum?) had asked how I make a sign.  So, this is the process for a solid, one piece sign if anyone was curious.  I rarely make these types, but here it is nonetheless.  Hope someone finds it interesting.















Link Posted: 1/15/2021 9:21:03 AM EST
I have to finish the burning now and do the final prep and seal it, but that's it.

I had someone (not here) make a comment I was charging WAY to much at $85 for these signs.  Wait... what?  

Ummmm... yeah.  It's a lot of work.  I'm not getting rich off this, and I don't have a sweat shop producing them.  $85 includes shipping, which can vary between $8.50 and $14.50 (over the holidays).

Link Posted: 1/15/2021 3:55:37 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Lowcash:]

Ummmm... yeah.  It's a lot of work.  I'm not getting rich off this, and I don't have a sweat shop producing them.  $85 includes shipping, which can vary between $8.50 and $14.50 (over the holidays).

View Quote


I hate those types.  If there is more 2 hours of work into the sign it wouldnt even be worth my time.   Would make more just going to work.

I have projects I do for myself that take a lot of time but it is because it is one off stuff that is part learning experience as well as pointless to pay somebody else to do.

But for those "it is too much" types, they can piss off and make it their own damn selves after they buy a machine and spend time figuring out how to run it.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 9:36:09 AM EST
Yeah, agreed.  I only make solid signs for gifts or special order military items.

Takes too much time to plane, joint, sand, paint, cut, touch up, and clear coat.

Then calculate materials (wood, tape, boxes, etc.), taxes, shipping, Etsy fees, and you're left with $42 out of the $85, not including the initial costs of the equipment, bits, or electricity to name a few.

So, several hours of work for $40, and PRAY you don't have to start over if it's a bad paint job or the cut was slightly crooked from the Shapeoko.

If I hear $85 is too much one more time I'm going to flip out.  There is a reason you'll see these type of signs listed for $150+.
Link Posted: 1/24/2021 1:29:03 PM EST
This is something that I would like to get into. Is there a specific program that I could get to practice/program on that would help me when I do get a machine? Are operating systems different on every brand or are they universal?
Link Posted: 1/24/2021 1:37:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/24/2021 1:38:02 PM EST by uglygun]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MEANjoeGREEN84:
This is something that I would like to get into. Is there a specific program that I could get to practice/program on that would help me when I do get a machine? Are operating systems different on every brand or are they universal?
View Quote


So far everything I have done has been free through Fusion 360.

Very powerful program from 3D printing to CNC 3 axis milling.

Vcarve is also pretty powerful but pretty sure no free versions.


The G-code/NC file I generate in Fusion360 is open3d and run by a program called Universal G Code Sender for my mill.
Link Posted: 1/24/2021 9:14:31 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MEANjoeGREEN84:
This is something that I would like to get into. Is there a specific program that I could get to practice/program on that would help me when I do get a machine? Are operating systems different on every brand or are they universal?
View Quote


Carbide 3D has free software, Carbide Create, that you can download and practice on before buying the machine.

Carbide Create

Also a big support forum for... well, support.

Carbide 3D Forums
Link Posted: 2/7/2021 1:22:29 PM EST
Started making these signs too, which seem to sell well.

Link Posted: 2/9/2021 4:44:35 PM EST
I bought an XCarve for the school I work at and use Easel. Sometimes I do my SVG files in Illustrator. For my stuff it has been fine but the kids figured out Fusion 360 pretty quickly.

I coach the robotics team. The kids are scaryclever




Link Posted: 2/9/2021 9:21:03 PM EST
That looks like what I had to hook up to my TV as a kid to get Channel 2.

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