How to Carve CNC Wood

Written by joseph mars
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How to Carve CNC Wood
You can carve animal figures with a CNC router. (geschnitzter elefant image by Nachtfalke from

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines use programming to perform their functions, such as cutting and carving your wood. You can enter in the directions you want the machine to follow, and let the machine do the rest of the work as it carves out designs, such as flowers and human faces, into your wood with its precise cutting tool. You can set the machine to carve, rather than cut, your wood by consulting your machine's manual.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Safety glasses
  • Leather gloves
  • CNC router's instruction manual

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  1. 1

    Put the safety glasses and leather gloves on to protect your face and hands during this process.

  2. 2

    Place the wood onto the CNC machine's faceplate.

  3. 3

    Set the design specifications you want for the carving of your wood by using your instruction manual.

  4. 4

    Adjust the wood and cutting blade, as specified in the instruction manual, to ensure the wood is carved exactly where you want it to be. For example, if the instructions call for the wood to be moved two inches off of the machine's edge, move it two inches away from the edge before proceeding.

  5. 5

    Turn the machine on and let it carve the wood. Unplug the machine and remove the wood when it's finished carving your designs.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult your manual if you aren't sure how specifically to put settings into the machine for carving.
  • Some CNC machines connect to actual computers, and some have their own computer system built into the machine. Consult your manual to see how to program designs on a machine with its own computer, or how to program designs with a computer connected to the machine.

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