Depth issues with vbit project

Hello everyone,

I have had my xcarve machine for about a month now, and i have not had a successful cut yet. In the pictures below I am using a 90 degree v bit from the inventables website (see picture below). I have used inventables tutorials to insure my v wheels and supporting wheels are tighten to recommendation.

Please feel free to request additional information. (5.1 MB)

It’s not a Gcode issue.
Either you’re wasteboard / workpiece is not perpendicular to your endmill (look up tramming)
You’re losing steps on the Z axis (loose pulley?).

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thank you very much for replying! Would that cause the right side of the project to start cutting too deep?

If the workpiece higher on that side (or your gantry is lower) it will do that. There are a number of other mechanical reasons:
Loose Z pulley
Loose router mount
Bit loose in the collet
Misalignment in Z axis causing lost steps.

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thank you. checking all those things now… I did notice the right side (issue side) waste board t slightly lower than the left side. i have some toilet plastic shims and now it is perfectly level throughout the waste board.

Level is good, but it’s not as important as tram. You need your Z axis to be perpendicular to your workpiece in both X and Y.

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I tried YouTubing the best way and on this forum… but can’t seem to find a clear way to check and adjust for tram. How did you test and adjust yours?

Oh and I did find that my z pulleys were loose, I tighten them and did a test cut and it cut way awesome. I read to add lock tight becaUs the vibration of the machine will over time make them loose again.

Ideally you should perform a “skim cut” which basically is letting the machine carve its own surface.
This will make sure the Z elevation is even over the entire surface.


To Haldor’s comment, we use a 1" surfacing bit to level our waste board. Just did it this weekend to get everything back to a level surface again. I think the bits are less than 20 bucks on Amazon.

I’m not really a fan of the 90-deg bits for the reason that the carves are flatter the deeper you set your cut. My preference is a 60-deg, though my wife prefers the wider look of the 90. How deep are you setting your depth of carve to? We typically set ours to halfway between 1/8 and 1/4" and that setting works well enough for our carves. One other thing you might do is get a set of calipers and confirm that the measurement that you input into the Easel software for the thickness of your Z-probe is actually the correct thickness. I say this because it looks like your carve is cutting deeper than Easel is showing that it should be cutting. I’d check that after confirming the various belts and other things are tight that others have mentioned.

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thank you everyone! After several test cuts and tightening of the z wheels, tighten of belts i was able to perform a successful carve. oh and experimenting with depth setting using the V-Bits.

I do have a set of calipers to check material thickness.
during my journey to correct issues i found the following issues:

waste board was not level, which made the router not perpendicular to the waste board.
v wheels were too loose
belts had too much slack
z axis belt was loose and causing it to skip
90 degree depth cut was too deep

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Glad you solved your problem. Other issues I didn’t see addressed are:

  1. The piece to be carved is not held flat to the waste board, as in “it’s warped”. Depending upon how you clamp and the clamps used, all corners may not be tight against the waste board. I’ve pretty much given up clamping and just “screw” the carving down in all four corners.

May not be right for everyone, but everything I carve is "cut out’ from a larger blank. I just “zero” Z since the exact X and Y corner is a “don’t care”.

  1. The blank may not be uniformly thick. Most of what I use is hardwood, either planed by the mill or I resaw to desired thickness. Then, I usually use a drum sander to take to final thickness.

  2. Maybe Easel is not showing you the EXACT result. I don’t know anything about Easel since I use Vectric Aspire. Yes, it’s pricey, but, after you have setup the material, the toolpaths, and selected the tools, it shows you EXACTLY what the carving will be. If you don’t like it on the screen, you need to fix something. Of course, it can’t account for machine problems.

Another idea, for maybe newbees, is to start off by carving smaller, simpler things first. When I started, it took quite a while to understand and solve problems.