Engraving lighter at top than bottom

Having an issue with engraving lettering. The top and bottom are set at the same depth. The table is level and square but the bottom is carving as it should but the top is barely legible.

I’m using a 60v bit and depth is set between 1/4 - 3/8

The wood is level and the same thickness. I’ve tried this with several different pieces of wood with the same result every time.

No issues with other things I’ve carved. Only the lettering

MOST of the time, this is because your wasteboard is not perpendicular to the endmill.
If you barely touch your endmill to the surface of the wasteboard in the back of your work area, what happens when you jog it forward?

Same here lately, just about hit and miss on carves, not everyone does this for us

I just had the same problem and ended up measuring each corner of my board and found my front right was higher and the back of the board lower. I tried everything to even it up and finally resurfaced my board and took only.05 off it worked perfectly.

  • Adjust height of spoil board relative to Z
  • For maximum precision you may need to add a thin 2nd layer of spoil board and skim cut that. This will ensure that Z height is uniform.

Also worth considering:

  • Clamping may distort the material to be carved
  • Material may not be uniform in thickness

I have a threaded spoil board. I have surfaced my .780 MDF spoil board down to .60. So I use cam clamps that use 1/4-20 bolts to secure my clamps into Tee nuts. When the spoil board was .780 I had 1.25 inch 1/4-20 bolts. As I began to cut down the spoil board I started to get uneven carving. What I discovered is the bolts were longer and started to bottom out on the base board under the spoilboard and would cause uneven spots in the spoilboard. So check your bolt length of your hold down and make sure they are not bottoming out in the spoilboard and making it uneven. With the .60 spoilboard thickness I now use 1.0" bolts.

This happened to me on my first project and I eventually found that two screws on the bottom of the spindle mount were apparently just loose enough to allow the spindle to slowly work its way up and down. I checked everything 10x and was almost to mill a semi permanent wasteboard when I found that by accident. Probably not a common mistake but worth a check maybe?

@BrianWing, I had this same issue a few years back. I thought my machine was good to go. And in my eyes it was, as long as I was carving like .25 inches. but when I carved rather shallow, like .1 and under I would get what you are experiencing. This is the video that I stumbled across or it was shared to me. I don’t remember but it fixed my issue. This is the video, https://youtu.be/aUV52xOeZJs My wasteboard wasn’t sloppy, but if you fast forward to the seven minute mark. This was what did it for me. Hope this helps helps, Sam