Always Cutting Deeper than It Should

We have a 1000x10000 X-Carve which, after some adjustments to the belts and pots carves beautifully and accurately in all directions except the Z. We are using the DW611 with stock collet and 1/4in shank Inventables bits. Z-Screw is Acme.

The Z depth is always significantly more than the setting in Easel, but is not consistent from pass to pass. If we set it to cut 1/16th, it will cut 1/8th (+/- 3/16). If we set it to cut 1/4, it will go to 1/2 or more. This setting is consistent across the entire project so it does not appear to be losing/adding steps intermittently.

For a while we thought it was doubling everything, but repeated testing indicates this is not the case.

Things we’ve done so far:

  1. Checked the wasteboard and our test lumber for squareness and levelness.
  2. Checked to make sure the bit is not slipping inside the collet and the DW611 is not slipping in the mount.
  3. Checked the correct ACME setting in machine setup.

The machine never cuts shallower than it should, always deeper.



Check the set screws in the pulley for the z-Axis

In Easel, go to “Carve” , put in 10mm or 1/2" for the distance , and use the Z up and down buttons. Measure how much it moves each time. Then take it to the top of the travel, and tell it to move 50mm or 2" in one go. Measure how much it moves. My guess is that either the calibration is off for the axis, or the axis is binding, and it will not go up as much as it should when carving, and so it gets progressively lower. The binding is making it go one step up, two steps down, instead of 2 up and 2 down.

I’d start off with the calibration check like @Andy4us suggested, but also observe the plastic nut and the allthread to see if there’s any binding, such as from a bent rod.

If you’re cutting large thin material (or lots of material out of a large piece) using an upcut bit, it may be pulling the workpiece slightly off the wasteboard. That can happen sometimes because the bit will act like a screw. The best way to prevent that is to find a way to clamp down the center of wide pieces, whether with a screw in a waste area or with something like double-sided tape.

Yeah I would definitely check the straightness of the acme screw I noticed mine was bent the other day it was the way I got it when I bought it and it can cause problems

I’ll run the calibration today. I can’t say if the ACME was bent when we got it, but it did require a ton of passes with the drill to get smooth movement up and down.

We did have some problems early on with the piece being pulled up, but some creative clamping helped with that.


Also have you calibrated the potentiometers for each axis on the g shield? The dewalt is pretty heavy for the x-carve so it may need more current for the z axis. If it doesn’t have enough it may skip steps when trying to lift up the spindle to the retract height and then subsequently cut deeper than expected?


Inventables is putting together a set of troubleshooting documentation. We have identified these potential causes for this issue.

You can also contact Inventables support or call us 312-775-7009 during business hours.

Let us know if any of these solve it.

Been playing a lot with the X-Carve. Here’s what we learned.

  1. First problem was too low voltage to the Z, upped it to 1/2 way between min and max. Problem improved.
  2. Mis-alignment of Z motor pulley and acme screw pulley. Problem improved
  3. Acme screw bent.

Z is now pretty much perfect.