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Thread: Carving Text; Avoiding Chip-out

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    The Great Texas Gulf Coast

    Default Carving Text; Avoiding Chip-out

    Here is my 2 cents on carving text and how to avoid chip-out.

    "Chip-out" (chipout or chip out) is where the wood of text or lettering breaks away. This is usually because the font used is too thin and/or too tall. There are a couple of things you can do to prevent chip-out:

    1. Pick a fatter or heftier font. Not all fonts are ideal to carve on the machine.
    2. Increase the size of your text. You may be trying to carve text smaller than possible with the bit you are using.
    3. Decrease the HEIGHT of the font or make the overall DEPTH of your carving shallower.
    4. Avoid “cliffs”. Cliffs are straight up and down edges on your text. Your bit is shaped like a V, so you need to add a ramped up edge to the text to avoid the upper part of the bit from taking away the top part of the text. You need to add some “meat” to the base of the font, so that there is more wood holding onto the board and the V shaped carving bit has a ramped up area to carve. This can be done by adding “draft” to the font. It is an option that will be available if you RIGHT CLICK on the text while it is selected (highlighted). More information on “DRAFT” is available in our archived Tips & Tricks, which can be found on our website at then under the LEARN menu and on the left side under TIPS & TRICKS. See November 2008 issue for info on DRAFT.
    5. Choose a different routing method. Some fonts carve great in Raster, but not Centerline or visa versa. You have two choices with the basic Project Designer software on how you want the machine to route the text.

      a. Raster – machine cuts wood away from the letters leaving the letters raised.

      b. Outline – machine outlines the text font into the wood

      Centerline is a third option (advanced software purchase required) that carves letters into the wood with 60 or 90 degree V-bit. Click here to see more info on Centerline:
    6. Choose a different type of wood. There are loose grained or “open-pored” woods and tight grained woods.
    7. Check your bit to make sure it is not dull or damaged.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    Great advice Connie, it took me a while to figure that out but now I very seldom see it.


    ver. 1.187 Win 7- 64b with 6 GB ram @ 2.8Ghz and dual 1Tb hard drives. Rock Chuck & Ringneck vacuum system hooked up to a 1.5hp Cincinnati drum vacuum. Center line text, conforming vectors.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Utah


    Yes this took some figuring to get to. I might just add that the softer the wood the more "draft" you need.
    Sometimes I'm just totally underwhelmed!
    Series "A" Craftsman with Carvetight.

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