Frustration at its Worst

It does get frustrating as you are figuring things out, don’t give up…it will get better and you will be amazed by the things you will be able to make with a little practice.

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Ok I will try again with slower federate, and shallower depth. 1/8" deep is a bit too deep for what I want to do. Got to wait now for bits to arrive, only have 1/8 bits left.

Russ, I also was having a problem with breaking bits, the 1/32" every time I tried it and the 1/16" because I was being too aggressive with my carving. What I did was cut way down on the computer generated carving rates, I cut my depth of cut to .1" and cut down the feed rate speed by over 50%, really slowed things down and have not broken anymore 1/32" bits as of yet. Takes longer to complete the carve but at least it gets done, eventually. You may want to investigate your settings. As for the other problem, I assume you are in contact with Inventables about all of this, I have found their support people to be very helpful.


I just ran your numbers through Gwizard.
.0625 2 flute carbide end mill with 1" stickout at 14000 RPM .028 DOC .0625 WOC feed rate of 24 IPM gives a deflection of .0027" that is in the red for deflection. So with your 30 IPM you will have even greater deflection and I expect you will break bits like mad.
It is net until I reduce DOC to .015" and feed rate down to 10 IPM that I get a deflection number in the black at .0006"


Hey Russ,

Have you done a true calibration on the mill and made sure your steps per rotation are set 100% correct for YOUR mill? The stock settings of 40 steps per and such for the belts only work if the belts are perfectly setup and everyone has a different tension set on their mill so these are not often good values to use. Every mill i build I use a ruler first then a dail indicator to set the true calibration for each axis. This will make sure that when Easel tell your mill to move 1mm it does not instead move 1.5mm which will tend to break endmills and also lead to some the cut issue I see in your pic. I can send you a link that will help explain how to do this if you need some help with it. It is from another brand of controller I use but it does a great job of helping anyone to calibrate their setup so everything is set correctly for their belts and such. This will go a very long way with milling on smaller endmills. I use 1/16" and 1/32" endmills in milling aluminum weekly and I have faced some of these types of issues before. I had to slow down my feedrates and adjust my DOC a bit shallower over say my 1/8" Endmills.

This was milled out of 6061 as a test with only 1/16" and 1/32" endmills. The fine line and text was done with a 1/32 while the hole and cutout where a 1/16" Endmill. Here you can see the 1/32" inner state outline and the text detail. Also went in with a Chamfer endmil and chamfered the text outline. So I know the X Carve can do fine detail work with 1/32 bits in wood given the results I have reached in aluminum. Have your mill tuned up right and taking feed and DOCs that work for your given size of endmill make all the difference. Sometimes is might take longer than you might wish to mill fine details, But that is due to the small endmills needing slower speeds and shallower DOCs more than it has to do with the mill overall. Please let me know if I can be of any help in getting your mill calibrated and setup so you can enjoy it like many of us already do. Here is the final product, a gift for my family of A & M grads. I made these as one offs and none were produce to sell.

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While you’re waiting for your other bits, I’d suggest making a test file with a few different depth squares in the edge of the material so you can measure your actual depths and make sure that a total depth of 1/8" really is 1/8".

Also, are you 100% sure your work board and your waste board are both truly flat?

If one side of your board is sitting slightly higher than where you set your Z zero to the material, you’re going to be cutting .028 + that difference in the first pass through a high spot.

As someone mentioned, it looks like that rate of .028 at that speed is already a bit much for that bit…even worse if you’re not 100% flat.

Wondering if the depth per pass is digging in too deep and you’re starting to slip based on that. I hit a good hard spot on one cut at similar depth per pass numbers, shifted the entire rest of the project about 1/16th

im with david here. that stock spindle is garbage. throw it in the trash and get you a dewalt dwp611 and never look back,

i had the same exact problems and the dewalt router solved them and every other problem i was having. all the issues i had could be tracked back to electrical interference caused by the stock spindle.

Also bear in mind that running too fast will also cause deflections especially in different directions across the grain/knots etc.

I’d personally run a much slower feed rate and shallower depth on a bit that small even in softwood.

Also getting a level and flat work piece and having a calibrated machine is key to fine detail work.



If you’re still losing position, check the two grubscrews that hold the toothed Pulley onto the motor shaft are tight.

These can randomly slip under load causing odd losses in position…


Yeah this can be frustrating as the shifting is a symptom with a tone of possible causes.

Short answer “Something” is slipping. As opposes to a software error.

The fact that it shifts mid print means it is slippage as opposed to all of the print being mis-sized which would be a step calibration. You should do one anyway, as it is an issue, it just probably won’t fix this.

Do you have a Stock Spindle? SERIOUSLY consider upgrading it. Apparently if your stock spindle is developing a fault it starts to put out a lot of signal noise that can make you steppers move when they should not. Isolating it is maddening as it is random and erratic.

Belt tension. Double check it, triple check it. The belts loosen up after a bit of use. Pluck the belt like a string. it should twang not thud. I have no idea what pitch is right. I kept tightening and plucking until the pitch started to go up just a bit.

Check you eccentric nuts. So may people have had them loosen. Locktight is your friend.
Check your pullies and idlers. Again things seem to looses up after initial use. all the vibration I guess.

Give your pots a bump. Just a bit and see if that helps.

Test slower feed rates.

If you try to carve to fast the RPMS will drop and things start to drag. If you want to cut faster you need to upgrade to a stronger spindle.
Also the stock spindle bearings apparently don’t take side loads well? So lower is your friend.

Watch the print to see when the shift happens.
Mine was occurring on rapid moves, moving the spindle form one cut area to another, not during cutting. So for me it was a slipping belt issue. A belt retune and all was good

My surface is flat, I have the Inventables wasteboard. I made image bigger to use a 1/8 bit, slowed the rates down, and even bumped up the pot another tiny turn. (clockwise)

And yes stock spindle is what I have. Not sure how interferance works, but I use LED lighting in my shop, which runs off my solar panels, but my machine, computer and monitor (and A/C) run on electric power as normal, not sure if that even matters but figure I throw it in there.

And now here is my results. So I am trying guys, it only seems a left and right issue? My wheels are nice and roll when I push the spindle side to side, the belt is tight and makes a twang noise (haha). Again I am so frustrated, this is driving me crazy.

You could try putting a sharpie on the spindle mount, and let the program draw your pattern on paper. If the problem is with software, or interference in the stepper cables, then you would see the left/right shift in the drawing. If the problem is mechanical, then this would probably work perfectly, and you wouldn’t see an issue until you put a lot of force on the spindle.

When I have had the x belt slip, it has been obvious. The tension in the belt was much lower after the slip. This meant is was slipping at the belt clamp. If the pull on the motor is slipping you wouldn’t see this. You might want to check the X pulley to make sure the grub is in, and tightened against the flat of the motor shaft.

Finally, you might try increasing or decreasing the voltage trim pot for the X axis. It could be too high, causing a thermal shutdown of the MOSFET, resulting in lost steps. Or it could be too low, in which case the motor doesn’t have enough torque to counter the force of the wood pushing back on the spindle/bit, and causing it to slip.

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This is where the problem lies with me? I do not know if my wheels are too tight, or too loose, or my belt is too tight or too loose? I wish there was a way to video conference and show someone my machine in realtime, maybe it would be obvious tto a pro. But to a beginner, this makes no sense. :frowning:

Sorry I am not understanding what you mean by make sure my grub is in? All my nuts and such are tight

When mine was slipping it was obvious. made a horrible noise and shifted 4"

This is tricky because it is so subtle a slip. :frowning:

I think running the carve with the spindle off is you best bet.
It will isolate any possible motor signal nose and let you hear the other components.
Run it normal and listen.
Run it fast and listen.
See if it makes any strange sounds if/when the slip occurs.

Too much stepper current (pot to high) Temp over heat pauses / stutters sound weird.
So do under current stepper slips (pot too low) kind of a thunk

I recommend some calibration cuts.
Grids, Circles and Squares so you can measure and see exactly which axis are off and in what way.

There is a video at the ends of the instructions on adjust the machine.
You might want to review that to see how tight the v-wheels should be.


There are several of us to get together on Saturday evenings and video talk about machines. Both stock and modified machines. You are more than welcome to join us and talk about the problems you are having with your machine.
Here is a link to the thread that started it all. Anyone interested in a weekly Inventables Google+ Hangout?


Don’t know if this is the same problem I had but I would strongly suggest you call Inventables support and get them on board with this. Mine ended up being the spindle as there is an inherent problem with the spindle and the best solution , suggested by Inventables, is to go with the DeWalt 611 router and your troubles should go away. Now in their defense, they are aware of this problem and have corrected it but the replacement units won’t be in for some time. They seem to be offering some sort of compensation for the price of the spindle.

Inventables knows of my problems, but it is one email a day, and at this rate it could take a week or longer to actually figure out the problem. I am tempted to buy a Dewalt, but then I am out more money, and if that does not fix problem, back to a non working unit I sit. I am using Surface Pro 2 for my computer, running on 8.1 now, but soon to upgrade to 10.

I thank you for the Saturday video gathering, sorry to say my weekends are full due to going to shows each weekend. I do have off next weekend if it is not working by then (which at this point I see no solution) I might jump in and say hi to you all.

I have seen the video on adjustments, and I have adjusted my wheels according this this. And I might try the pen thing, but not too sure how to set the depth without ruining (or crushing) the marker?

call the help line. email is slow

Others have mention this, and it did in fact turn out to be the source of my problem: Noise from the spindle motor can make its way back into the g-shield circuit and cause it to send additional step pulses to the stepper motors. (It appears that the noise filtering on this setup is not that great.)

And the amount of noise from the spindle can change not only from spindle speed but also from brush wear. In my case, everything was fine for a couple of weeks, and then the noise issues suddenly appeared.

To test this, you can raise up your z-axis so that it is not in the material and with no job running, turn on the spindle with your g-code sender and just watch it for a couple of minutes. If this is the issue, you will see random steps in one or more of the stepper motors as long as the spindle is running. You can then turn off the spindle and see that the random steps no longer occur.

When I had this problem, I didn’t even try to solve it directly, because noise issues can be difficult, if not impossible, to resolve. (It’s more of a design issue.) So, I opted to replace the OEM spindle with a Dewalt 611, as suggested above.

Replacing the spindle did cure this problem for me.

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