A few months back we made an e-book called “Seven Amazing Cross Patterns” that contains seven different cross patterns that could easily be cut out on the scroll saw. We decided to take one of those patterns and create a file for the CNC that would make it easier for us to duplicate them and do it a little bit faster than what we could on the scroll saw. This is the cross that we decided to make because it's one that we've had success in the past selling in our shop. You can get one of these crosses for yourself on our shop or you can get one of the seven amazing cross pattern books that I mentioned, but for now I want to show you how we made this.
Check out the video, which includes a time-lapse of the cuts.
What we used:
Cherry board - milled to between 1/4" and 3/8" thickness.
X-Carve CNC - 750mm x 750mm
Inkscape - to redesign the pattern from the ebook
Easel - free software that comes with the X-Carve to send the gcode to the CNC
Step 1: Cutting Out the Main Cross
This is actually the third or fourth iteration of this robed cross. We had made a few others where the robe overlapping the center had much bigger gaps in it. It was a lot easier to cut on a scroll saw this way. The piece of what I'm using here came from a rough-sawn board. I couldn't decide if it was maple or cherry when I started, but after cutting it down and planing it, it sure smelled a lot like cherry so that's what I'm gonna say it is.
I opted for using the sixteenth inch end mill to retain some of the tight corners and curves - it really worked well and the run time was only an extra two minutes (surprisingly) compared to the eighth inch end mill.
We are still learning the CNC, so I won't try to explain that. If you want to know more there are plenty of great videos that explain how to setup and run a CNC. Like this one.
Step 2: Cutting the Base / Candle Holder
I also redesigned the candle holder on the back. It used to be shaped like the rock that the cross is sitting in, but that design wasn't practical. The newer design allows for both a tea light candle and a votive, whichever you choose.
Step 3: Assembly
The glue up is pretty straightforward. The base is just crudely glued to the back of the main cross. A spacer is used when clamping it to make sure it is clamped and a perfect 90 degree angle.
Step 4: Finish
We coated the crosses with a light spraying of polyurethane. This will help protect it from wear and tear.
Step 5: All Done!
This was a really simple project once you learn how to setup and run the X-Carve or whatever other CNC you prefer. Using Inkscape to make the pattern and Easel to convert it to gcode was also pretty straightforward. In the near future we will do an Instructable that details both, but for now, I really hope you enjoyed this quick Instructable. Thanks for checking it out.
Don't forget to watch the video if you'd like to see the timelapse of the cuts.