Cleaner Carves with Clean V-wheels, to avoid Booger Bumps!

Sometimes when I am carving I start to see a slight bump on the edge of a recess in my carve. Sometimes this is a sign of a issue like alignment, a loose work piece or something interfering with the spindle assembly like a clamp. But most often I realize a small shaving or just a gummy “booger” has found its way into the v-wheel groove, causing the spindle to move slightly as the wheel travels over this “booger”. If your experiencing something like this try moving your carriage back and forth by hand along both the x and Y axis, and you may likely feel bump(s).

I use the flat edge of a tiny screw driver, press it into the groove (firm but not too hard), then move the carriage back and forth about 5 inches (enough distance to allow the v-wheel to rotate all the way around). This clears the groove of any boogers ! Move the carriage after this to be sure you got it good.

I have noticed a few pics and videos of peoples machines that are covered in chips and dust all around the tracks and on the belts. It’s really a good idea to keep these areas of your X Carve really clean before any carve to avoid issues like this or even worse tracking errors from occurring.

Once a month I do preventive maintenance on my X-carve using a checklist, including this step. I have had my machine a long time (early 2015) and my belts and wheels are running great with no replacements. Hope this helps someone !
Happy Carving People!

PS. If you don’t have or use a preventive maintenance checklist, (I have a short one for before every carve, and a monthly one) then I would suggest you sit down and write one and be sure to include inspecting your belts, tracks, and wheels for imperfections and “boogers”

ALSO REGARDING NEIL ANDERSON POST BELOW- Even though his suggestion is a good one, it does not address the issue I just explained in detail. It is a good idea to have belt guards, but you will still have this issue sooner or later.


Building and installing belt dust guards is a much more efficient solution.

I already have them Neil here’s a picture. Don’t assume I do not know what I am talking about here. You did this the last time I posted a tip.

But dust guards don’t keep sediment from accumulating over time on your v-wheels especially those on the Z Axis close to the spindle. ITS ALWAYS a good idea to check your v-wheels and keep them clean, THAT’S The point of this post !


Would you have a sensible check list that I could have a look at please.

Prevention is better than a cure………


i’ve seen people add small brushes/bristles to their X axis so that it sweeps the Y rails as they move. Probably something in the forum if you search or on Thingiverse

I would be glad to, once I get back to the shop Monday or Tuesday. On the road with our Rotary Club to drop off some hurricane donations! I will send it to you via private message. :parasol_on_ground:. .

Thanks for sharing your tips Don, it’s always helpful and interesting hearing other people’s approach to things.

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Hi Kel, I just sent you my checklists via private message… enjoy !

Thank you Don
A simple list………but sometimes, we forget the simple things

Now to place it near the machine so that I don’t forget to check the check list …hehehehhe

I wouldn’t mind getting a copy of that too. Great tip!

Here you go, keep in mind your list might need to be different depending on your set up, Good luck !

Xcarve Checklists.docx (15.6 KB)

Nice tip about wiping the belts, never really thought of that.
You’ve put “blow out router with compressed air”, sounds good, where do actually you do this on the router?

I raise the router high and leave it in the carriage. TURN THE ROUTER ON. I use short bursts from underneath, and do the same in the vents in the top. If you really want to get it good, UNPLUG THE ROUTER and remove the top cover and shoot short bursts down where the brushes make contact, but be somewhat gentle not to disturb the parts in there. The forum trolls may not agree with this, but I have used my router daily since April 2015 and I have only changed the brushes once. Happy carving !

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Great. Thanks very much