Christmas-themed slot projects

These are cut from 1/4" mdf, using a 1/16" downcut mill for the small slots on sleigh and a 1/8" downcut to cut all the pieces out. The tree is double-sided so the details show all around. They were done with a 30° V bit.

I gave these to the children of my best friend, along with a selection of paints and brushes. They did their own decorating in an afternoon.


How’d you do the double-sided on the tree, Grant?

@chrismakesstuff Mark Lindsay has a couple of videos on his youtube channel showing how to do two-sided carving. Vectric has a couple, too.
In short, in VCarvePro, you choose a double-sided project in your material setup. In my case, for the tree, the only thing on both sides is the v-carving of the “branches” and ornaments. You place two circles for dowel holes that are copied to both sides of the piece. (I draw 1/4" holes as I have 1/4" dowel pieces.) It doesn’t matter which side you do first. Clearly, you leave the final cut- out for the second side.
On the first side, you drill a couple of dowel holes anywhere in the waste area. They do not need to go all the way through, but they can. Then you do the rest of the milling on that side.
You remove the piece and in VCarvePro, you change the milling to the second side. You create all your toolpaths for that side, including, again, two holes.
However, these holes are not drilled into the piece. They are drilled into your spoil board. These will be in the inverse location of the top ones, so that when you flip the piece, the holes in the piece and the holes in the spoil board line up. (You can choose in VCP to flip the piece end for end or top for bottom.) The piece is held in x and y by the dowels.
Then, you do whatever milling you want on the bottom and cut out the pieces. As long as you do not reset X or Y, you will have perfect alignment between the two sides.
I make a lot of picture frames, first cutting the rabbet in the back for the glass and/or art, then flipping the material to cut the profile of the front of the frame. Everything always lines up perfectly, thanks to the dowels.
It’s a very simple process, but foolproof.