CarveWright N01 Woodworking System Reviews

CarveWright N01 Woodworking System

  • Ideal for routing, carving, cutting, and jointing
  • Cut motor horsepower (peak): 1 horsepower
  • Cut motor speed (no load): 20,000 rpm
  • Point-and-click format with design elements ready to use
  • CarveWright warranty covers parts and labor for one full year or 200 hours of cutting

This revolutionary compact and powerful CNC woodcarving machine measures only 15″ x 18″ x 26″! The rising head and feed-through configuration accepts work pieces 14-1/2″ wide, 5″ high, and with proper support, nearly any desired length. Using the CarveWright woodworking system is as easy as 1-2-3. Design your project on the CarveWright Designer software (included). Choose from images in the CarveWright software library or import images from a source of your choosing. Upload the project to a special memory card and slide the card right into the CarveWright machine – no need to attach your computer to the machine. After inserting the memory card into the CarveWright , the onboard LCD display will guide you, step by step, through your project. CarveWright can be used to perform a variety of functions such as routing, cutting, carving and jointing and has a patented “Quick Change System” that allows the bits to be easily removed and replaced. In fact, CarveWright will automatically choose the correct bit for your job and measure your work piece.The intuitive and easy to use PC or Mac compatible software package contains simple toolbars that allow you to manipulate your design on a 3-dimensional representation of your work piece. Images can be “dragged and dropped” onto the work piece display, allowing you to combine images, add text, size and re-shape, or adjust the carving depth. You can even draw your design using 2D drawing capabilities. The CarveWright Woodworking System comes equipped with everything needed to get started. Includes one carving bit, one cutting bit, two 1/4″ bit adapters, vacuum bag, a bit removal tool, a CarveWright 0-45 degrees with programmer, CarveWright design software, users manual and a one year warranty. Note: Available in the continental United States only.

The CarveWright woodcarving system gives power to your imagination.

You’ve Got Big Ideas. CarveWright Has the Technology to Make Them Happen.
Revolutionize your handicraft experience with the CarveWright computer-controlled carving system. Now you can design and create your own furniture, architectural flourishes, signs, and almost anything else you can imagine — all with the precision and flair of a professional. Whether you’re routing, carving, cutting, or jointing, this exceptional machine can produce original masterpieces right in your very own workshop.

Just Think of it as Desktop Publishing for Wood and Other Soft Materials
The CarveWright woodworking system is as easy as 1-2-3. First, simply design your project with the included CarveWright designer software. Next, upload your project to the memory card, but don’t limit yourself; the included card is capable of holding several projects at once. Finally, insert the memory card into the woodcarving machine — and the easy-to-follow LCD will guide you through the rest.

The Software
Thanks to CarveWright’s intuitive, straightforward software package, you don’t need to be a master craftsman to make customized creations. The point-and-click interface is super simple to navigate, but surprisingly powerful. With this software, you can arrange, combine, and even alter elements from the existing 3D image library with the tap of a mouse — or import your own images into the library for a unique and custom product. Images can then be “dragged and dropped” onto the workpiece display, where it’s easy to combine images, add text, change size and re-shape, or adjust the carving depth.

With CarveWright design software, you can contour the surface of your workpiece by trimming it into domes or arcs, or applying a variety of textures. You can even draw out your own design using the integrated 2D drawing capabilities. The 2D elements operate much like CAD software, letting you create and then apply constraints to lines and curves. And if you’re interested in making signs, you’re in luck — because this software has extensive text capabilities. Raster text for a bold 3D effect, outline it for emphasis, or quickly carve text with a V-bit for an engraved look. The software uses the true type fonts which are already available on your computer, so unique, one-of-a-kind signs are a snap.

The CarveWright design software is both PC and Mac compatible, and it operates without ever requiring your computer to be hooked up to the CarveWright woodcarving machine. You can click here to see a demonstration of CarveWright software, and watch the system in action.

The woodcarving machine automatically selects the appropriate bit for the task at hand.

Use the machine to create ornate boxes for gifts or display.

Design and craft your own custom furniture to meet your personal tastes and style.

Enhance your home’s value and appeal with exquisite architectural detailing.

The Machine
The CarveWright Woodcarving Machine measures a mere 15 by 18 by 26 inches so it’s compact and easy to store, but it’s loaded with the power and convenience features of an entire workshop. The rising-head and feed-through configuration accepts workpieces up to 14-1/2 inches wide and 5 inches high — and with proper support, it will process stock of nearly any desired length.

The onboard computer makes this machine amazingly quick and trouble-free to use. Just load the designs you’ve saved onto the memory card, and the LCD screen will walk you through the set-up. Now you’re ready to create complex carvings, signs, reliefs for mantles and cabinetry, or friezes and furniture. The machine will automatically choose the correct bit for your job and measure your workpiece; and the patented Quick Change System makes removing and replacing the bits perfectly painless.

The machine features a vacuum impeller built-in as well as an external vacuum port that fits a 2-1/4-inch OD hose. This vacuum system maintains airflow through the machine and removes airborne dust that can build up on the sensors, but it is not designed to remove all of the generated chips and dust. Most of the dust generated by the CarveWright remains confined within the machine and will not affect the machine performance. After every project, simply vacuum or treat the area with compressed air.

Like a printer, projects can be configured to run in a draft mode (low quality), normal quality, or best quality depending on the situation. The quality mode dictates the speed of the cut and amount of material removed per pass. On the best quality setting, the spacing between passes is .006-inch.

This advanced machine works well in most soft materials including wood — even exotic hardwoods. The machine will also cut some foams, and suitable plastics, including polycarbonate or cast acrylic. With this machine, the sky’s the limit. If you can dream it up, the CarveWright can bring it to life. Click here to see some fun examples of products from CarveWright workshops around the country.

Key Technical Specs for the CarveWright Woodcarving Machine:

  • Machine runs only on 60 Hz 110V AC
  • Minimum workpiece size: 1-1/2-inch wide by 1/2-inch tall by 7 inches long
  • Maximum workpiece size: 14-1/2 inches wide by 5 inches tall by approximately 12 feet long (limited by weight)
  • Cut motor horsepower (peak): 1 horsepower
  • Cut motor speed (no load): 20,000 rpm

Optional Accessories (Not Included with This Purchase)
If you’d like to expand your woodcarving machine’s already considerable application set, CarveWright offers a full line of expansion products including bit sets, software upgrades, and The Probe. The Probe opens up the world of 3D scanning to anyone with a CarveWright woodcarving machine. With this amazing device, you can reproduce original pieces, repair antique furniture, and even copy trim and moldings with ease. Almost any material can be scanned — even soft materials such as clay or wax. Just plug The Probe into the CarveWright, set the desired scan area, and watch the CarveWright go to work.

The CarveWright warranty covers parts and labor for one full year or 200 hours of cutting. The warranty excludes consumable items such as bits, sandpaper drive belts, and flexshafts. The machine tracks cutting time for this purpose. Shipping costs are not covered under the warranty, and the service center is located in Houston, TX. There is a 30-day return period after which no returns are accepted. There is also a restocking fee for returned machines. The warranty does not cover commercial or industrial use.

What’s in the box:
The CarveWright Woodworking System comes equipped with everything you need to get started, right out of the box. Included with your purchase is the woodcarving machine, one carving bit, one cutting bit, two 1/4-inch bit adapters, vacuum-bag, a bit removal tool, a CarveWright memory card with programmer, the CarveWright design software, and the user’s manual.

List Price: $ 1,899.99

Price: $ 1,674.49

3 comments to CarveWright N01 Woodworking System Reviews

  • B. Lanning
    202 of 206 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    An excelent value, but know what you’re getting., November 3, 2007
    B. Lanning (Chicagoland) –

    This review is from: CarveWright N01 Woodworking System (Tools & Home Improvement)

    I’ve had the sears craftsman version of the carvewright machine (compucarve) for almost a year now. It’s identical to the carvewright except for come cosmetic differences. Early versions of both machines had numerous manufacturing problems.

    The sensor that detects whether the door is open would fail in the open position making the machine stop working.

    There was also a problem with the board sensor failing from time to time. The machine detects distance from the board by shining an IR light, then reading the intensity of the light bouncing back. When the sensor works, it works great. Some people reported the sensor filling up with sawdust. While others just failed for no reason.

    I had both of these problems. Other people reported a problem with the flex shaft overheating. Mine didn’t have this problem.

    When mine failed, I sent it back to them for a series of standard fixes designed to correct my problems and prevent the other common ones. The machine has worked fine ever since.

    I believe if you were to buy one of these today, you’d get a better version with all the bugs worked out.


    The software is great. You can download a demo version from their website before buying. I’m an IT consultant so I understand completely what goes into good software. And this is top-tier work. There’s definitely a learning curve for the software, so be prepared to spend some time with it. This is true of any powerful software system though, so no bad marks there. There’s a lot of good tutorials out there as well.

    It’s not just for making relief carvings. You can create a tool path that enables it to cut out complicated shapes. It won’t replace a scroll saw for fretwork, but it can come close. It’s great for cutting out jig parts or knobs from wood.

    It can cut plastic. And that includes relief carvings.

    The quick-release collet for the router bits is great. You most likely will need the included tool to get them out though.

    You can get this sensor attachment that goes in place of the router bit. It moves back and forth scanning a 3D image into the software. This allows you to copy existing carvings.

    Even though they’re a small company, their customer service was good. All their customer service agents were in texas, not india. And they were all very knowledgeable about the machine. There aren’t many people working there. This means you can easily get on a first name basis with the customer service people. But sometimes they’re not available. So you may lose a day or two getting the right people on the phone.

    You can buy it at amazon now. (yea!) I had to buy mine from sears. (yuk)


    It’s a bit slow. But considering what it does, I can’t complain much. There’s three quality settings. And on the highest setting it can take 45 minutes or more to carve a 8″x10″ face. They claim they’ve run them for 6 hours straight on complicated carvings with no trouble at all. I believe it. Think of this machine as something you start, then leave while you do other things.

    It’s loud. But it’s a router. So again, I shouldn’t complain.

    Because of temperature limitations, I can’t really keep it in my garage where the rest of the shop is. It gets too cold and I’m worried about how well it will operate in that environment. I keep mine in the basement next to a shop vac.

    Dust collection isn’t so great. But there’s not a huge amount of dust. But you do have to vacuum it out after every run, which is not hard since the machine really opens up.

    It only carves up to 1″ deep. I wish it were more. But it’s not a huge problem.

    It can be really difficult to import a picture of someone’s face into the software and make it look right on the carving. This is probably a problem with the user though. :-)

    Their sales literature claims that you can rip, crosscut, and miter with it. But make no mistake, you won’t be replacing your table and miter saw with this machine. It’s really only good for occasionally cutting off a board after carving.

    I wish the software included a more extensive carving library. Some are included with the software. But you’ll quickly find yourself looking for other things to carve.

    It’s a bit plasticy.

    And lastly, it’s expensive. For what you pay for this machine, you can get some other really nice machines for the general shop, all made of steel and cast iron, and all of which will be around for my grand kids. Sometimes I get the feeling that this will be obsolete soon just like computers. But we spend this much or more on computers these days so I guess it’s fair. It really does do a lot for the price. And it’s a lot cheaper than the alternatives.

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  • jnsloantx "jnsloantx"
    125 of 143 people found the following review helpful:
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Buy a home Shopbot instead…, February 19, 2008
    jnsloantx “jnsloantx” (Austin, TX) –

    This review is from: CarveWright N01 Woodworking System (Tools & Home Improvement)

    I was one of the unfortunate beta testers. I spent well over $2000 on the basic system and countless hours on the phone troubleshooting. When the system worked, it was amazing. However, when it didn’t, it was the most frustrating experience imaginable. And, unfortunately, it usually didn’t work. It was down much more that it worked. When all was said and done, I had less than 30 hours carving time, most spent troubleshooting problems for the techs. But, the one saving grace was the tech support. It was amazing!

    Since then, LHR (the company) has gotten in with Sears, gone big time, stuck it to their beta testers and support has gone down the tubes. They have become extremely greedy and forgotten their customers.

    I would recommend looking at the small Shopbot system. It’s a bit more money but there are so many advantages over the Carvewright and LHR that it is worth every penny. Customer service is excellent and the company cares about it’s customers, from what I have heard and seen. And, unlike the CW, it does not have a one inch max depth of cut. It is also geared towards production so it is much faster than the CW.

    All I can say is buyer beware!

    Update: What an unbelievable piece of garbage… It continues to find new and unique ways of screwing up. It is the most unbelievably unreliable, frustrating piece of equipment ever produced. Add the complete lack of customer support and DIS-service and you have a very expensive boat anchor…

    I can not begin to express how much you need to avoid this worthless piece of equipment. I would set it out on the curb with a “free for the taking” sign but I’d be afraid of the reprecussions.


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  • mlt
    89 of 102 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The CarveWright advanced woodworking machine, November 23, 2007

    This review is from: CarveWright N01 Woodworking System (Tools & Home Improvement)

    The CarveWright machine has enabled me to accomplish amazing results with wood, and it is downright FUN to use!

    I am the proud owner of two machines now. I bought my first machine in January 2007 and soon realized I needed another (in August 2007) to keep up with my “project to-do” list!

    The machine is well designed and easy to operate. The CarveWright company provides a User Forum that is an extremely good resource for finding answers to questions about the machine and learning how to get the most out of it, from experienced and informed users. I especially recommend that anyone who is a new owner of a CarveWright machine should join the forum (it’s free).

    The machine is not complicated at all and the included Designer software (the software that you use to layout your carving projects) is no problem to learn either, although it is helpful if you have some previous experience with other graphics programs.

    There are only three main things required to be successful…

    1) You must possess basic computer skills, or have a loyal friend who can teach you the basics (you need just a bit more computer-savvy than just being able to send email!)

    2) You must be able to follow directions

    3) Read the manual

    PROBLEMS? – probably not!
    Having frequented the CarveWright User Forum for nearly a year, I read time and time again that the vast majority of folks who think they are having a problem with their machine are not following the recommended procedures for it’s proper use. For example, a very simple thing like making sure the project board is at least 7″ longer than the “virtual” board in the Designer software is often missed by new users and they cause themselves unneccessary grief. Not knowing any better, they think the machine has a problem, when in reality, it was plain old “pilot error” on their part. I recommend reading the brief manual (twice), and have it by your side when doing your first few projects so you don’t neglect a step when setting up the machine for a carving session.

    Again, I want to emphasize that the machine is NOT HARD to operate. Just follow the directions outlined in the manual and you’ll be a happy carver!

    Couple things that I routinely do to keep my machines running in tip-top condition..
    1) Clean out the machine of sawdust build-up after each project carve – a clean machine is a happy machine.

    2) Periodically inspect the machine for anything unusual such as loose screws, wear and tear on the sanding belts, sawdust buildup on parts that are lubricated with grease or oil. (By the way, I have never found any loose screws nor had to replace my sanding belts, but I check nevertheless!)

    This is an amazing piece of work. It allows you to drag-and-drop patterns onto the “virtual board”, arrange, resize, position, mirror, create textured surfaces, concave or convex surfaces, and so on. While laying out a design, you can zoom-in, zoom-out, and rotate the ‘board’ in virtual “3D space” to view your project design at any angle. Very handy and the software gives an excellent representation of what the project will look like BEFORE you commit to carving on real wood!

    Basic sign and decorative plaque making is a breeze. The Text Tool allows you to use any font installed on your PC or Mac computer. You can apply an arc to the text, angle it, change the spacing and resize it as desired. As you get more familiar with the software and its features, you’ll find you can’t resist doing more advanced projects and ‘playing’ with the software to create complex-looking projects that will have folks wondering “how’d you do that?”

    The software already comes with a nice supply of “stock” patterns that can be used for laying out your projects. Additional patterns are available from a variety of sources on the web (including free ones on the CarveWright Forum Pattern Sharing section) and can be downloaded to your computer for adding new patterns to your Pattern Library. (NOTE: Pattern Files for download are often “zipped” and have to be “unzipped” before they can be imported into the Pattern Library – remember what I said before… you need to know normal, basic computer skills – if you do, then you already know about zipping and unzipping files!).

    I absolutely love the machine and its capabilities. I posted some photos of several projects I’ve done with the machine so you can see how much fun I’ve been having! You will too!

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