First Carves

So, got my machine set up and started a few random carves just to see it in action and do some testing.

As you can see, my wife’s name didn’t carve very well.

Next carve was better:

First major carve (an hour cut) was a sign for my son:

Similarly to my first carve with my wife’s name…the right side of the cut is much shallower than the left side. Going to start another thread about that, but figured I would post some pics.

Looks like your work surface is not even. You can power down your machine. Lower your bit all the way down to touch your work surface on the left corner, then hold head assembly push it to the right, check to see if bit is touching surface evenly. If it is even, I can only say you bit is slipping into collet.

Had same issue with one side being higher then other check leveling of your waste board and if your material is warped. I kept blaming the machine but was really my combo of my two mistakes.

I will check it out again.

As I said, I measured the wasteboard to X axis and got the same measurement across 3 different points, so it sounds like the wasteboard is level to X.

The board is 1/8 birch ply. I did measure 4 side edges with digital calipers and it’s all pretty even, but the carve isn’t at the edge, so I don’t know if it’s possibly thinner somewhere in the middle.

It could be the bit I guess. It goes back and carves the first letters deep after making a shallow cut on the right - so if the bit was slipping, wouldn’t it then be slipped in the 2nd and 3rd passes of the left letters too?

I didn’t change the bit from the truck to the letters, so if it was loose, it should have been loose on all the letters.

I’ll recheck all measurements again tomorrow before my next project.

Cut is deeper on left, so, that side is higher. Could be the waste board, the X axis, or your Y plates.


What could the Y plate issue be? Holes are pretty much as they can be for all X rails and the Y v-wheels…what kind of adjustments could be out of whack there?

The connection between the Y plates and the 20x20 extrusion have a good amount of slop.

Do you mean the end plates on the Y rails? By Y plates I’m assuming you mean the edges of the X-axis…at least that’s how the instructions label them. But now that you say the 20x20 extrusions, I’m thinking it might be the smaller end plates.

I went down to the shop and measured a bit more tonight…I’m off 1/8" X=0 to x=max.

I’ve measured the wasteboard, and it is the same distance off the table at least from edge to edge.

I double tightened all the wasteboard screws in case there was any play there…but not enough to make up 1/8".

I will try to play with the smaller wasteboard extrusions and see if there’s enough play there to drop one end and raise the other to get close to closing the gap.

I’ve been using a square to measure flat along the wasteboard to the top of the X rail. I slide it across and it doesn’t seem to change until the last 1/5th of the rail…which wouldn’t make enough dent in the first 12" where my cuts were shallow. Yet obviously it’s very off because the end is different by 1/8" and the cut clearly shows shallowness.

You might look into getting a spoil board cutter, just run it and let it do its thing, and then you know it’s 100% true to your rails.

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Peter James has your answer. Why guess, why fret - make your spoil board true. These machines are about eliminating variables… one a time. Create a spoil board, isolate your power supplies, secure your belts, apply blue thread locker to your bolts, create flats in your stepper motor shafts to lock down your pulleys, increase rigidity, etc.

For flattening my wasteboard I just used a 1/2" router bit with a 1/4" shank and set up a gcode file to utilize it. Worked great.

im having this same issue. last night i leveled the waste board and it doesnt seem to have solved it. i need to check but im wondering if the X-axis makerslide might be bent. ive crashed the z axis a few (too many) times