I created a series of wooden animal coin banks as part of a scrap wood challenge with some blogger friends, and they were absolutely a blast to make. But they were also time consuming and a bit of a pain to hog out with the router. So here’s a version you can carve on an X-Carve CNC machine by Inventables.
CNCs have come a long way from the days (not very long ago!) when only large manufacturers could afford them. Now, smaller machines are within reach of the DIYer who wants to take advantage of the efficiency and capabilities they offer. I’ve partnered with Inventables to bring you free plans to carve these banks. You can find these on the Inventables project page, as well as a ton of other free plans.
The materials and supplies for these banks are much the same as with the original banks, with the major difference being the material. For this I used a 30×30″ piece of 3/4″ MDF, which is useful for both faster carving and easy painting.
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1 3/4″ forstner bit (coin bank only)
1 5/8″ forstner bit (coin bank only)
drill (coin bank only)
X-Carve CNC machine
1/2″ diameter router bit, 1″ cutting depth
1/4″ diameter router bit, 1″ cutting depth
CNC Coin bank Instructions
The coin banks are available in two Easel pages as there are two many to fit in one carve.
There are three carves per coin bank because each side needs to be carved down, with a middle section carved all the way through. This allows a generous 1 3/4″ of open space within each bank once assembled. The two outer sections are mirror images so they will assemble correctly.
For this carve I used a 1/2″ bit to carve out the insides, and a 1/4″ bit to carve the outlines. To save some time in the carve you can carve the roughing pass, then delete the internal boxes before carving the outer edges. This will prevent the machine from squaring off the inside corners that are not reachable with a 1/2″ bit, something that isn’t really necessary anyway.
Hint: Be sure your bits are tight and your machine is tightened up if you decided to whip up all of these coin banks at once! Ask me how I know about that first one…
Finishing the coin banks
You’ll need to glue up the three sections and clamp them tightly overnight. Sand any edges that need it (easy to do with MDF, but be sure to wear a mask!)
Drilling the coin banks
I’m copying this from my original post, because the steps are exactly the same here:
Cut the groove in the top using a 1/4″ straight bit. This cut is best done on a router table. You’ll cut through to the hollowed cavity.
With a forstner bit, drill a 1 3/4″ hole down about 1/8″ on the underside, then drill 1 1 5/8″ hole in the center of that hole through to the cavity of the bank. You’ll need to hold the bank in a vice while you do this. See the bandaid on my finger? That’s what happens if you don’t. This little bench vice works great.
Some of the animal templates require drilling through part of the legs, so the surface area isn’t flat. That’s not possible to do freehand with a forstner bit, so I found I had to chisel them out a bit first. This would probably be avoidable with a drill press, but the animals stand up too tall to fit in mine.
Tip: Hold the bit to the base of the bank and trace where you’ll need to chisel.
The 1 5/8″ plug should fit tightly down into the hole, and the edges should snug down into the 1 3/4″ countersink are that you first drilled. Like so:
It’s time to paint! I first sketched any details onto the bank with a pencil (some details are included in the templates), then painted using acrylics.
I finished with a gloss polyurethane (I used General Finishes Arm R Seal because that’s what I had on hand.)
You can see that I played with the colors a bit from the original carves:
And there they are!
I’ll wrap up with a look at each of the individual animals. Head over to the Inventables project page for links to the carving files. Once again, thank you to Inventables for partnering with me to make these plans available to you free. While this is a sponsored post any and all opinions, and blunders are my own. As always, I am happy to answer any questions you might have and would love to see photos if you make some of your own!