Longmill Training Workshop?

Hi, everyone,

I was wondering what everyone would think of a workshop being organized for those new to CNCing? It could take many different forms, depending on the interest. It could be in-person and limited to, say, 8 participants and run for a full day. Or it could be a virtual training event via Zoom (what, you’re not sick and tired of Zooming yet?!).

The reason for asking is that I’ve participated in spray finishing workshops where the participants are led by an instructor who walks them through the process. The introductory workshop is a one-day event and the advanced one is two. Although the topics would be very different, the concept is proven and may therefore be considered as a template.


Kingston, ON, Canada


Sounds interesting.
I would be interested and seeing where this goes

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@nameless Hello and welcome to the forum! Outstanding group of folks here very willing to help a new person out. Grab your favorite beverage and plop down to read the forum. Tons of good info here!

@ApexWoodworks Great idea Marty. I have a pretty good background in distance learning, might be able to assist, as many of us are in the USA and not close enough to do in person learning. Let me know how to help!


For me it sounds like an awesome idea. I’m very new to cnc work. I’m a 72 year old looking for a hobby after working as a manual machinist for 54 years. I just finished putting together my MK2 30x30 machine. Although not afraid of computers I’m finding trying to find the right software for me very frustrating. I was hoping to be able to run this machine in my garage with no internet hookup. I have a computer hooked up to the router and was hoping I could download files from my house computer to a usb stick, then download the files to my shop computer. I just need to know what a good design program is to convert files to g-code so i can modify sizes and send to g-sender. I know I have lots to learn, so can anyone give me step by step instructions so I can start something easy. Thanks Ted

Hey, Ted. First off, welcome to the forum and the Longmill family!

Not sure where this idea of mine is going to be heading, but in the meantime perhaps I can share a few thoughts on using a CAD program (which is what you’ll use to generate e-code). And of course, once you have generated the g-code you can save the file to a USB thumbdrive, bring it into the shop and upload it to the computer you’ve connected to your CNC, using a CAM program. The one I use is g-Sender, which was written by the good folks at Sienci Labs and which is a free program.

After quite a bit of rummaging around the internet and listening to others on this forum and the associated facebook page, I elected to go with Vectric V-Carve Pro as I’d heard so many positive comments about it being one of the best commercially available CAD software programs available today. I purchased the license through Sienci Labs because at around $800 they were selling it cheaper than anywhere else at the time. I haven’t been disappointed. Incidentally, you can download a free trial version before plunking down your hard-earned money. As well, I understand that Sienci Labs has recently produced a CAD program they provide free on their website, however I don’t know anything about it. Perhaps someone here can chime in witih their thoughts.

Vectric V-Carve Pro is not an easy program to use. Vectric has many “training” videos on their website, but to be honest with you, I haven’t found them to be too awfully helpful. There are, however, two YouTube channels I’ve found that are: Mark Lindsay (https://www.youtube.com/c/MarkLindsayCNC) and Garrett Fromme (https://www.youtube.com/c/IDCWoodcraft). Mark did a series of Youtube videos that take you from easy projects to more challenging ones. Here’s the link to one of the first ones in that series: Job Setup - Part 1 - Vectric For Absolute Beginners - YouTube If you follow them along, I think you’ll learn quite a bit about using that particular software program.

I’ve seen that this forum can be very helpful, as well. So if you have any problems using a CAD program, then ask here.

As a final statement, at 71, I’m SO much younger than you, LoL!


Kingston, ON, Canada


Thanks, Jake. So far there appears to be 3 of us interested…

I am game. Put me down as an interested party on a cnc workshop.

@Papa @ApexWoodworks Ted: This may be the free CAM program from Sienci.that Marty mentioned. I can’t find any other, but this one is not recent so I may well be missing something. To support that premise, Camlab is not a CAD application, so it may well be that this is not what Marty is referring to. Someone here will point you straight, I’m sure. Camlab is based on KiriMoto which, I believe is still being updated and is also free.

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I am interested! My machine is coming today and I got the deer-in-the-headlights look right now.

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@CaptainYakima Welcome to the forum Jason! Lots of great people here that are very willing to help. I, too, have deer in the headlights look, but am slowly learning how to use this amazing machine. What design software did you purchase?

Take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee and remember to follow the directions!

Enjoy and welcome!

I already put my name in the hat.
Just an FYI
I got 10 years in Autodesk and Civil Eng Tecnologist. and a tad of Automation control
Intermingled with that I have 20 years of Enterprise IT Experience.
That is my job today.
SO, just saying, IT wise, or i can help. from simple to complex for certain people who aren’t as fluent in IT.
Also I am new to Sienci, but still learning.
I also can learn more since your education is not indicative of intelligence or experience.
Never underestimate the little guy


@nameless welcome on the journey with us! Your experience and expertise will be greatly appreciated. As I stated earlier, I have distance education experience and depending how large we made it, may have a host for it available as well. It is going to be fun and sharing experiences will be very helpful for sure!

Thanks Jake! Appreciate the warm welcome and it looks like there is a good community here. Software is one of the things I would like advice on. I wasn’t sure if I should start out with Fusion 360 (go cheap at first), or bite the bullet and buy Vectric Vcarve Pro (go all in). I eventually want to do in-lays, but that could be way down the road. What would you recommend?

BTW…My 48X30 was delivered today! I will make a table for it and start assembling it this week.

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Thank you! Bookmarked!

@CaptainYakima You are most welcome here! Personally, I wanted my old mind to master one software versus two. I opted for vcarve pro. Yes it was expensive as heck, but I shouldn’t grow out of it. If I were to somewhere down the road, I can upgrade to Aspire (by then I maybe ready for a bigger CNC machine too). I would only pay the upgrade fee, getting credit for what I already purchased.

Now mind you, I have A LOT to learn. I would say I am crawling and sometimes rolling over. But we all need to start somewhere. I can do simple carves now. I am specializing in badges for retirement, special recognition and memorials. I have done some cool stuff, but know I am only scratching the surface of what the software and my longmill is capable of doing. That is why I am hole heartily supporting either classes or a “mastermind” group that meets virtually so like minded people can share their successes and their failures. Lord knows I have had a few of both!

Keep in touch!

I like Vcarve Desktop. I also use OneDrive and have it on both computers so I don’t have to carry a flash drive back and forth.

Hello everyone. I’d be very interested in a training workshop too, I think it’s a great idea.

I have my longmill set up for a few months now and have only done the sheep lol. Really want to start using it but I think there’s a bit of fear learning all the details. I know I should just start and it’ll come with experience. This workshop would be a good start. I’m guessing others may be in the same position as me.

Thanks for suggesting the idea.

I think this is a great idea. I would participate.

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Hi Marty - Any more thought on when this workshop would begin? I am hoping for September when I get to send my kids back to school. :slight_smile:

Hey, everyone,
It seems that there’s about 8 of us interested in participating in a workshop, so I think we should go ahead with trying it out once. If there’s still interest after that, then we could continue. I always prefer the crawl, walk, run method!

Workshop Leader? I’m not an experienced CNCer (I’ve made a few relatively simple pieces of furniture thus far) so I’d not feel competent in leading it. Is there anyone you may know of who would be willing to lead it? Once we have that person, then we can get cooking!

Zoom? We could conduct it using Zoom or some other platform. I don’t have a license (I run their free version), which would make it too limiting in terms of the number of participants and duration, so if we want to use Zoom, then someone else will have to book the session.

Duration? I would suggest we limit the time to 90 minutes for the first session. That way we can spend 5 minutes on administration, then get right into the meat and potatoes.

Date? CaptainYakima suggested September and that’s okay for me. He also mentioned having kids in school, so it would appear that a weekend or evening would be best. Let me know which you’d prefer: a Saturday during the day, or an evening.

Topics. What three topics would you like to hear about during the workshop?

Let me know what you think, everyone and we’ll get this train rolling down the tracks.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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