Ghost carving

Hello everybody or anybody that can help i am sooooo frustrated. Ive been making stuff on my xcarve for a couple years now. I have had issues with lettering carving fine but then becomimg more and more shallow as the project progresses. I feel like ive tried everything. Obviously i havent because its worse now then ever. It only happens when using a 60 degree v bit. But just yesterday i used a vbit for a detail bit and it came out great. i just dont get it. If anybody could help me out it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

If it only happens with a V bit, I wonder if the bit is loose in the collet and the pressure slowly pushes it upward? Other than checking for squareness, tramming, and recalibration, that is about the only thing I can think off. Check for loose bolts all around too. Check that the router mount is tight as well .


Ive made sure the bit isnt moving. Actually ive gone over this so many times i notice the router actually goes higher during the course of the carve. It literally raises as it goes. Ive tried different areas on the wasteboard thinking it was an issue in the middle , i even turned the project sideways thinking it would be better all to the side. Im useing 2 different size fonts at the same time. Right now im going to try one at a time. Thank you for the reply.

If you jog the Z up and down several times, do you notice an increase in height?
Check your set screws.

Hello, thanks for the reply, I did check the height per jog and was good but did not try in different areas. However I did break the words down into separate carves and it helped a lot, but what an inconvenience. Heres the final carve im going with. If you look close you can see the H is not as deep as the other letters. Im stumped. By the way before it got to the point where the bit wasnt even touching the wood.

Did you check your set screws? What’s your Z axis look like?

I checked my z axis for level and it seems good to me. As far as set screws, sorry to sound newbish, but wich set screws?

I’m having the same issue and searched youtube. Found a video where the gentleman fastened the board he was carving and then used three playing cards like a feeler gauge to set the height of bit in lower left corner. Then he moved the bit close to each corner and checked to see if he need to add cards to get same clearance. He loosened the board and shimmed each corner. then carved. It’s a pain in the butt , but allowed me to finish my 9 BSA plaques for client.


Well… Surfacing the Wasteboard is a Best Practice (AND in the Assembly Guide for the X-Carve and many other CNC’s) BUT not performed as often as should be by most X-Carve owners… unfortunately
BUT ALSO surfacing the workpiece is also a Best Practice that is rarely performed…
and Also here’s the video about shimming into parallel for when surfacing the workpiece on the cnc cannot be done for whatever reason…

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I actually did that one project while it was carving but this last one got to the pint where even a paint stick wasnt enough. I ended up doing each word on separate cavres also a pain but got it done.

  1. have you surfaced the wasteboard?
  2. and are you surfacing the workpiece or using planed material?

yes to both

Hey William, I had the same problem about a month ago. I contacted Inventables and they gave me these instructions. Try it and see if it works for you. It worked for me!


delrin (1) (1)

There is one other thing I would like to try with the Z-Axis assembly on the machine.

There is a set screw on the Delrin nut. I want to try tightening that set screw.

To do this you will need to disassemble portions of the Z-Aixs. First the NEMA motor will need to be removed from the top plate ( held on with 4 screws). Next, the top plate would need to be removed ( held on with 4 screws ). The third step would be to remove the front plate to gain access to the Delrin nut behind the front plate ( 16 screws hold the front plate onto the linear bearings ) I have attached images to this email of the screws that need to come out.

To add tension to the delrin nut it is necessary to first unfasten the nut from the set screw. Then by turning the set screw, we can adjust the angle of the lower portion of the delrin nut, which will add tension to the lead screw.


i don’t think this is your issue, but it could be… a while ago i discovered an issue in the grbl settings easel pushes to the x-carve, but if you’ve redone the machine setup recently than it should be fixed, which is why i doubt this is your issue but its worth checking out…

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hey thanks man im just seeing this,ive been sick. i cant wait to try it out.

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