Bit not aligned after raising for tabs

Just got my X-carve set up this week and I’ve been making a bunch of test cuts. Still having problems that I can’t figure out.

My problem is that when the bit raises to make a tab it doesn’t come down in the right spot. In the picture top right you can see if went too far and came down and was actually cutting the full depth on one pass, so I stopped the machine before it broke a bit.

My best guess is that the Y pot needs to be turned up. Maybe when it’s cutting its losing steps and then when it raises it doesn’t so it goes too far. Is that possible? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’m new to all this!

This is what I’ve tried.

I’ve adjusted the pots (but maybe Y needs to be higher still? I put it in the middle of the limits)
I’ve tightened belts and used heat shrink to make sure they aren’t slipping
I’ve made sure all rollers are tight and don’t move by hand

What kind of spindle are you using, 24V or a router? What’s your belt tension set at, and how do you check it?

Problems causing lost steps are typically from loose or missing pulley screws, V-wheels that are too tight/loose, belts that are too tight/loose, or pots (as you’ve checked). I would check them all, even if you find one problem, since there’s typically more than one small problem leading up to big problems like that.

You should be able to turn the V-wheels with a bit of effort, so if you can’t spin them then they’re too tight.

I’m using a dewalt router, 611. I don’t have a good way to measure the belt tension. Just kinda by feel. How do you recommend I do that?

I’ll double check the rollers and make sure they aren’t too tight. I may turn up the pot a tad as well and see if that helps.

It also seems to be cutting deeper on the right side than the left. A level shows it’s slightly off. What’s the best way to fix that? Just resurface the board? I don’t really want to do that but I will if I have to.

Be careful using a level to check the waste board, a level shows in relation to the ground, you need in relation to the spindle.

You can see how I check my belt tension and adjust pots in this thread: X-Carve Maintenance/Troubleshooting Videos - Add Your Own!.

Great videos. I used your method to adjust the pots. I will order a scale like that to adjust and measure the belts too. Thanks for making those, helps out a lot!

I’m glad they’re helpful, hopefully they’ll help get you dialed in. :smile:

I ordered a hanging scale like the one you used in your belt tension video. Looks like mine was around 1 pound of tension, obviously too low. I’ll increase it to about 3.5 lbs. Do you think that’s the best tension in your testing? Maybe that will fix some of my problems.

Keeping in mind that my testing started at 6 lbs, 3.5 lbs seems to work well for me. I don’t know what the absolute best tension is though, since I don’t have the time to test without a good reason (like yet another broken belt). It may be that something as low as 2 lbs would work, but I don’t know for sure.