Alignment Troubleshooting Help

Hey all! Hoping for some help in diagnosing an issue we have, specifically where to actually begin with figuring out how to address this issue. I’ve included a picture to help illustrate the problem that we have. To give some background, after assembling our used x-carve a few months back, we began to notice that is we squared our to-be-carved boards to the front and left rails, the actual carve would be skewed and not square to the sides of the carving material. We started skewing the boards slightly to alleviate how off-square the final carves would be, but eventually I realized that if I took a small 1/16" bit and set a carve up to draw an L-shape on our actual waste board, this would give me a true representation of the y-axis gantry and how parallel it was or wasn’t to the front of the waste board edge, which we had previously been using to judge how to angle our boards for square to the cutter.

So the illustration is a little over-emphasized, but it does illustrate the point that the y-axis is not carving parallel to the front/rear rails. On our actual waste board at home, the left side of the carved y-axis line would be, say, 3 inches from the front rail, whereas the right side of the carved y-axis would be 4 inches from the front rail. The y-axis gantry carves along the x-axis more or less in parallel with the sides of the x-carve, but it’s the left-to-right y-axis carving that doesn’t carve parallel.

Now that I’ve written a novel to flesh out exactly what the problem is, how exactly do I begin with even figuring out where the issues are that are causing this? With those guide lines physically carved into our waste board, it does make it manageable to carve boards and carve them square to our material, but I’d prefer to have things work the way they’re supposed to and not have to resort to temporary fixes like this.

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When you home the machine are both side plates equal distance from the risers? You almost have to do this every time to make sure they are perpendicular to your x-axis. I take a block of wood and jog the machine until it just fits between the front riser and the side plate. Then I check the other side. If its off I will shut down the machine and carefully, by hand, make sure they are equal. Then when I turn the x controller back on the motors will keep it locked in place.

Phil Lunsford or Paw Paws work shop has great video on squaring your machine. It worked perfectly with a little patience and tenacity to get mine 100%

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I’ll look into this. Thanks Eric!

I really need to look into this. When we first got the machine (used), a lot of things were already pre-assembled to make it quicker and easier to put it together. At the time, I was more excited to just see it running and really going through all of the ins and outs of fine-tuning the whole set up. At the same time, being new to CNC, I didn’t really what to look for to get things square at the time and still don’t, hence this post.

@DanielMiller. Here is the video on getting your machine square.

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Since you bought it used another thing to look at is the belting.Are the belts tight or are the grooves on the belt worn out to the point that its missing steps on the right or left side.

I would say based on feel alone that both belts are tensioned about the same, and I haven’t noticed any damage to the grooves on the belt. I’m going to try Phillip’s technique for squaring the rails and see if that gets it!