Making a library of surfacing toolpaths

I think my next project is going to be making some coasters with small scraps I have laying around. I’m going to be making some that are a chaotic end-grain pattern, in part to learn the technique so that I can put it to use on bigger more expensive lumber for cutting boards.

Since the panels I’ll be gluing up are too short to run through my planer, I was thinking I could surface the panels at the CNC. I surfaced my wasteboard simply by jogging the machine, and that was ok, but tedious.

Is there an easy way to setup a surfacing operation in Carbide Create, or another CAM app? If another app, which would you suggest? I’d love to build up a library of different surfacing toolpaths saved for different dimension panels and depth of cut so that I could just load up the best one for what I’m surfacing, and let it rip, er, surface.

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Andy posted instruction here:


Fantastic, thanks! I actually am subscribed to their youtube channel but this was published before I built my Longmill, and I forgot that I had saved it to my CNC resources playlist.

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Adam: In addition to the method that Andy posted, if you have VCarve, you can simply open a new file, make the piece size 30" x 30", draw a rectangle around it, then create a pocketing toolpath at whatever depth you want. Make your x0y0 the front left corner of your spoil board. Then you can jog your machine to that corner and run the Gcode.