Cannot carve a circle

I’m sure there are issues that will cause problems with any shape, but I cannot get a circle cut today. I’m still in the “dialing it in” phase since it seems that takes months and I’m only at 1month of operation. I just want to carve something photo-worthy!

In the meantime, this is my result…

I’ve tested twice and these are how my test shapes come out.

I can pluck belts and hear a note (what I was told is ‘the acceptable tightness’)
I checked all v-wheels and ,while extremely hard, i can turn the eccentric ones by hand

What else am I missing?

Feel like I’m learning guitar all over again… I’m ready to play Sweet Home Alabama already!!

Looks to me like you’re losing steps in X and Y directions. If your V-wheels are good, check your pulley setscrews to make sure they are full seated and one is centered in the flat on the stepper shaft.

If the belts are too loose OR tight, they can cause you to lose steps. You may also be losing steps because of improper potentiometer settings. I’ve made 2 videos to address these issues, you may want to give them a look: X-Carve Maintenance/Troubleshooting Videos - Add Your Own!

I’ve watched your videos at work when one break but never got around to testing them when I got home. I spoke on the phone with Inventables and with belts they just said “when you pluck them they should make a note/sound, and not just flap around”. So I adjusted belts until they were above flapping and ‘sang’ a note.

I just went and got my fish scale out of my tackle box and did your test… my belts were at 1lb! So I bumped them up to albs and below is the result.

SOOOOO much better! There are a few spots where the bit starts/ends the circles that don’t seem perfect, but when measuring the circle with calipers it seems pretty good on as far as the circles being… round. The end depth looks a little deeper than the start (can really see in left circle). is that likely my clamping, work surface, or wood imperfection?

@Inventables, @RobertA_Rieke’s method works great! Time to start selling fish scales on the website! :slight_smile:

Do you think @RobertA_Rieke I need to do the POT test if these are my results? Or are those imperfections of the start/end of the bit expected?

I did wire brush and hit with 80 sandpaper real quick to get the fuzzies so you could see the circle better

I’m so glad to hear that it worked for you, those do look a lot better! I wish I could take credit for it, but I think @PJTX was the first person to do it that way.

Pots are touchy, if they are working right there’s no need to play with them unless you think tweaking them would help. It all depends on just how much you want to dial your machine in.

The entry/exit points may be due to a few things, maybe cutting too deep or fast causing some deflection of the bit. It might also be an alignment issue too, but it’s hard to tell. What kind of spindle/router and bit did you use? What feed/speed?