Making trail signage?

Hi, I have a new, unopened Maslow and I’m trying to figure out if it would be good to use for making trail signs? Just basic text like 2 inch tall letters on cedar planks. I didn’t know if the resolution/accuracy was accurate enough to pull this off. Before I go to the trouble of putting it together, I just wanted to check.



Defiantly search thru the Project pages there have been alot of signs made on the maslow.


Welcome, Tony!

Check out some of these signs made on the Maslow. All of these are from threads on the forums, so use the search feature if you want to hear more about them or ask questions. I think you’ll find the Maslow has entirely adequate resolution for what you want to do.

archepg’s Shop Sign Project

jcourier’s elegant sign

BarryRalphs’ 2 sided engraved penguin sign (before painting)

ScrumbdyBum’s Cubs Sign

arrichards’ color-core signs


I did a sign for my mom on a long cedar board. Letters were about 6 inches high and accuracy was very good. Just make sure you have support above and below the plank of the same “thickness” of your plank to make sure the sled doesn’t tilt while cutting near the top and bottom. I think you’ll find Maslow is pretty good at doing signs.


For 2 inch letters, I would look into a vcarve bit, 1/8, or find a nice single line font.

I’ve cut from a 2x12 and it worked great.

Spot on


On the topic of making some signs. I have been wanting to explore the idea of using the Z axis depth of a V carve bit to be the driving variable for the thickness of the lettering. Like this for example:

. Does that make any sense? Anyone have any thoughts on how to do that?

Regarding V-Carve, Easel Pro has incorporated carving letters with a v-bit. It’s either free for 3 days per month or a monthly subscription service. A lot of people are using Easel to generate their cut files. It’s pretty intuitive and user friendly but a bit limited on the scope of stuff you can make. There’s also a very active forum for support over on the Inventables site.

My understanding is that once you plug in the geometry of your v-bit (e.g. 60° vs 90°), the V-Carve software does some of that stuff for you.


It makes sense, but at this time the Maslow firmware only makes coordinated z movements on straight line segments. The code for coordinated z movement on G2 and G3 movements is an opportunity for a contribution :blush:.


Are we talking 2.5D vs 3D here? Even the X-Carve only purports to have 2.5D.

I think it’s 2.5D, because our cutting bit axis is limited to the z-axis. Someone with more CNC experience could clarify here…

The helix cutting path has the same limitation for now.

3D simply means coordinated XYZ movements. 2.5D means that the z-axis movement is mainly decoupled from the x-y movement, i.e. a plunge to depth, then cut in x-y, then another plunge and/or raise, then cut, etc.

Fortunately one could express a curve as a connected series of short straight line segments and achieve nearly the same effect, albeit with a much longer g-code file. I also seem to remember seeing some v-carved projects early on (a rose comes to mind)

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I think I remember seeing some vcarve stuff from @clintloggins. A tiger mayber?

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Here you go… I believe it was a .15 inch depth follow path operation

If the letter is large enough i wonder if you could make a copy of the letter and scale it a bit smaller. Move it within the larger letter. Then do a pocket operation on the smaller letter (with say a 1/8” bit) and a follow path with the v carve. Would have to play with it in Inkscape and Makercam.

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Here is the rose:

Thinking back, I used a chisel and sandpaper to get to depth in the larger voids and only did a follow path on the tiger. The layers in the ply will give way with a little effort.

Thanks, this is what I needed to see. Most of the other projects didn’t have much detail, so I wasn’t sure of the resolution.

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That is what I was thinking you would have to do. Rather take the path of the letter, and reduce the length of it, then change Z depth of the shorter member. Some thing like this:

The concern is that you would see the transition. There would need to be a LOT of slices.

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I would really look into F-engrave for this.

Just a suggestion on making signs from solid cedar planks. If you are making a large number of them edge glue the planks together first then cut multiple signs with a single run. I’m finding that multiple single runs generates a lot of wasted offcut material.