Frustration at its Worst

I have been trying to get a “successful” engrave now for a bit over a week. Everytime the job starts it goes great for the first 10 - 15% and then a shift happens (either right or left never a X or Z issue) I have adjusted the pots many times now, the belts are tight. So anyways this job did not even finish carving because I broke the 1/16 bit.

The board was 12" x 3.5" and 0.75" thick, select pine. Bit was 0.028 in Depth per pass, and Feed rate was 30 in per minute. I was only trying to go a bit less than 1/8" deep. Not sure how I can show the easel image other than to screenshot, but adding a image so you can see what it is doing.

Anyone please, I am frustrated to the point of thinking this thing is defective and wanting a refund (or I am defective having no clue how to fix). I am just not sure what to do.

Shifting right is an X-Axis issue. Check the eccentric nuts and belt tension. Is the belt slipping? possibly adjust the X pot…just a bit.

Also…are you cutting almost an 1/8" at a pass with a 1/16" bit? Too deep for 1 pass. Nevermind…just re-read your post.

First thing I would do is try to use a 1/8 bit, it seems like your lettering is large enough for that, If not make it slightly larger till the 1/8 will work.

I am really not sure how tight the belts should be but I can slide the spindle to one side, and then pull up on the belt in the middle just enough to get my forefinger under it.

As for encentric nut, all wheels spin when I move it side to side, and I do not see any gaps? So not sure if I loosen it or tighten it? Nothing seems to slip, but then I would never know if it did because I am not sure what to look for.

Allen, when I try to use a bigger bit, the Easel tells me that the bit is too large for the image.

Guys I just want to say, 90% of all my jobs will be 6" x 2", so will always be using 1/16 or 1/32 bits. Because Easel tells me bit is too large for image most of the time. I want to buy VCarve program, but do not want to drop another $400 if I cannot even get machine to work right with simple stuff. Sorry I am venting, this is so frustrating. :frowning:

Try to increase the text size a small amount till the 1/8 bit will work.

Or you can try a 60 degree vbit by telling Easel the bit size is .03 and then set the depth of the letter to about .1 inch (or maybe a little less). Your letters will look great and you will not break that bit for sure.

Something is causing you to loose steps. Edit your Gcode and change all G0 rapid moves to G1 moves at half your rapid rate. Do an air cut with no cutter in the spindle. When the air cut job finishes check to see if X0 Y0 are still correct. If they are not then there is a good likely hood that you have a problem with electronic noise causing you to loose steps.
The DC motor they use for the standard spindle is very noisy.
Tracking down the reason for loosing steps in these machines is problematic.

As to end mill size check to see if Easel will let you use a 3/32" .09375" end mill.


Allen, that will not solve the problem of this shifting all the time? And I do not want to change artwork as I will be doing much smaller than this, so if it will not do the job for this, how would I even attempt to engrave my knife handles :frowning:


I am so sorry for sounding like a total idiot, but I am clueless on what to even to to edit GCode or G0. I do see the machine always goes back to its home position in the exact spot, if that is what you are referring to?

If you are wanting to do small lettering then the only way to do it is with a vbit (unless you want to break 1/32 bits all day).

Ok even with a vbit, it is still tracking wrong? What is the bit got to do with the lettering going off course? I have ordered vbits, knowing I will eventually have to do this, but the machine still goes off course, not sure if using a 1/8 bit makes a difference

Have you slowed the feed rate to test your cut? In testing in MDF, I was gradually increasing my feed rate and getting good cuts at up to 50ipm. My most recent item looked great in a test piece of MDF, but the X & Y motors started losing steps when I ran the job in cherry. I slowed to 20ipm and got a perfect cut. Just sayin…


If you go to this link and DL the free trial of the Gwizard Editor you can load your Gcode into it and run a Sim and edit the code. This is a good program for proofing your code.

The other good program he sells is Gwizard for figuring your feeds and speeds for different materials and cutter sizes.
I don’t do any CAM work without it running in my left screen.


Russ, we know the X-Carve works. I assume you assembled it correctly, you say you have adjusted the pots, the belts are correctly tensioned, the eccentric nuts are are correctly tightened. That just leaves the feeds, speeds and tooling.

So I am suggesting you change the tooling. It does not matter to me, keep doing what you are doing and see if it gets any better.

Ok so basically my next easiest step is to go slower on my speeds? What is the normal speed rates for using 1/16 bits?

What feedrate were you using when the bit broke?

30 inch per minute

I don’t normally use bits that small, so I would cut the feedrate in half and see how it goes…that is a tiny bit and can only do so much. Might even want to try cutting the depth of cut to shallower as well…

If that works, slowly bump up the speed until you hit that sweet spot where it runs perfectly.