HELP! TBD upgraded XCarve bought 2018

As quick as I can describe my issues.

I bought the original X-Carve and updated in early 2019 to Lukes kit TBDcnc Direct Drive Z axis and screw drive with the stiffeners etc. I installed everything withe upgrades stepper motors as well.

After the install I had a little homing issue and Luke said I needed to update the Grbl and gave me the settings. It just wouldn’t work and then Covid happened and today, Feb 20, 2024 is the first time I’ve turned it back on!!!

I updated all the drivers etc in Easel. I also did the following Grbl updates.

X and Y?


For one my Z is moving in the opposite directions… Down is going up and Up going down.

It’s moves left and right correctly.

I tried uninstalling the machine and installing new one but what it asks me when setting up about 9mm belts (since 2021?) and is it a Direct Drive Z Axis? It’s a bit confusing.

I finally have the time to get back this machine but I am stuck.

Any help would be so much appreciated.

I am taking it Thursday to a large CNC company but would love to be able to just fix this on my own.

I have some photos.

Help please. This forum has always been a great place of really helpful people.
Thank you so much.

Here are the photos.

Do you need to input:

$$ to get the settings to stick?
Maybe that’s why the Z is going wrong direction as it hasn’t updated it to the new settings I entered??

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Hello @MidgeDetro,
Inputting $$ into the machine inspector will cause the grbl firmware to report all of the settings. Please do this and paste your settings here. You should be able to use all of the settings supplied for the TBD kit. The underlying problem is likely that your Z-Axis stepper is wired backward for how the settings were intended. This is not an issue though as all you have to do is change the $3 setting to match what is currently working vs. what needs to change (ie. the Z-Axis). For instance, if $3 currently has a value of 7 and the Z-Axis is moving in the wrong direction with the X & Y moving correctly then $3 should be set to a value of 3.

You can do this by issuing $3=3 in the machine inspector console.


All grbl settings are written to the EEPROM by the firmware when they are set/changed, so they should not be lost otherwise.

Now, if you have gone through the machine setup process again, you probably want to make sure any TBD settings that were supposed to be set have not been changed by Easel during that process…

It bumms me out that you have missed so much time with your machine. :slight_smile: smiling_face_with_tear: :grin:


Brandon R. Parker

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Thank you Brandon. I appreciate you posting your reply.

I’ve had a tough time. Today I tried to carve. Something just isn’t right. I tried a circle and each time it shifted to the right a bit in the circle and when it Homed back to the starting corner if came back 1/4 inch to the right? I tried to carve the word Text and it ran into each letter and was small. I was using a 19x19 board and had placed the text to carve up at the 14" line. It ended up carving at around 7" line and not as large as I set it?

These are the Grbl codes that are currently loaded in:

I ran a stepper test jogging it across X, 12" (I did this in Carve and 1 inch) and it only moved it 4.75 inches! Y, jogged 12" and it only moved it 6.375

Something is way off somewhere.

I did find Luke’s Grbl settings he sent me back in 2019.

But these DO NOT WORK. At all!

So so frustrated. A CNC place has offered to fix/look at it. But I have to take it too them and the cost is very expensive! So trying to do it on my own to 2 days of frustration. :frowning: Any help would be just a relief.

Thank you so much.

Here are the two carves just so sad


First I’d correct your settings for the steps per mm. I’ll link a method I’ve shared.

Calibrating my X-carve 1000 - X-Carve - Inventables Community Forum

If your Z axis is going up instead of down, there is a number in $$ that needs to be changed. It is $3=4. You can see the chart here.

Thank you Martin! I will work on it today and post the results. Appreciate the help so so much! Fingers crossed!

Thank you Xcarve forum! A place where you know someone knows the answers and takes time out of their day to help each other.

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@MartinW.Mcclary, I believe that has already been corrected as I mentioned earlier in the thread. It looks like the OP did set $3=3 since that is what it is in the settings that were posted and it looks like it is working correctly concerning direction and according to the images posted by the OP. If the Z-Axis were operating reversed and $3=3, one would need to change it to $3=7 since setting it to 4 would fix the Z but also reverse the X & Y at the same time…

So, the thing @MidgeDetro needs to focus on is going through and calibrating all three axes according to what you posted. Here is a link to a video from Paw Paw’s Workshop that also covers the topic of calibration.


Brandon R. Parker

Brandon, the Z=4 is for reversing the Z axis if it is still going up instead of down as I mentioned in:

If your Z axis is going up instead of down, there is a number in $$ that needs to be changed. It is $3=4. You can see the chart here. That changes the Z direction without changing X and Y.

If it isn’t going up, then probably all the axes are OK and adjusting the Grbl settings is a good way to learn about how the machine works :-).

Looking at the pictures, doesn’t exactly determine if things are set properly, just that the machine is operating, that’s just my take on it:-)

The bottom line is we said basically the same thing…LOL.

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Hmm, so I did change the from $3=3 to $3=4 and it did in fact reverse the X&Y.

I did some calibrating and when I input the new #'s. It slammed the Y all the way forward. Luckily the homing switch survived.
these were the updated settings that failed.

$132 is set to =100.000 is this right for 1000x1000mm machine?

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OK, the way you change axes directions is by changing the $3= to the number that you want to change. So now you should look at the chart and change that number to change one axis at a time or go through x carve set up and it will ask you to jog the axes and if they are going in the correct direction.

X-Carve Instructions: Computer Setup (

as far as $130, 131, 132 that number is Maximum travel in mm.

Here is an example of default grbl settings.

X-Carve default GRBL Settings $$ Values

October 7, 2021

These are the default GRBL settings for a stock X-Carve.
If you have any of the 2021 upgrades like the 9mm belts or the extended Z then your $3, $100, $101, $102, and $132 will be different reference these changes here: Changing GRBL Settings for the 9mm Belt and Linear Rail Z Upgrades on your X-Carve

To View and Change your Settings In Easel Select Machine > General Settings > Machine Inspector ( OR simply Press Ctrl+Shift+D )

Then scroll to the bottom portion labeled “settings” if any need changed, scroll to the top “console” section and enter them one at a time as needed.

$0=10 (Step pulse time)
$1=255 (Step idle delay)
$2=0 (Step pulse invert)
$3 = 3 (dir port invert mask:00000011) *Values may differ for Z-Axis Upgrade
$4 = 0 (step enable invert, bool)
$5 = 0 (limit pins invert, bool)
$6 = 0 (probe pin invert, bool)
$10 = 115 (status report mask:01110011)
$11 = 0.020 (junction deviation, mm)
$12 = 0.002 (arc tolerance, mm)
$13 = 0 (report inches, bool)
$20 = 1 (soft limits, bool)
$21 = 0 (hard limits, bool)
$22 = 1 (homing cycle, bool)
$23 = 3 (homing dir invert mask:00000011)
$24 = 25.000 (homing feed, mm/min)
$25 = 750.000 (homing seek, mm/min)
$26 = 250 (homing debounce, msec)
$27 = 1.000 (homing pull-off, mm)
$30 = 1. (rpm max)
$31 = 0. (rpm min)
$100 = 40 (x, step/mm) *Values differ for 9mm Belt Upgrade
$101 = 40 (y, step/mm) *Values differ for 9mm Belt Upgrade
$102 = 188.947 (z, step/mm) *Values differ for Z-Axis Upgrade
$110 = 8000.000 (x max rate, mm/min)
$111 = 8000.000 (y max rate, mm/min)
$112 = 500.000 (z max rate, mm/min)
$120 = 500.000 (x accel, mm/sec^2)
$121 = 500.000 (y accel, mm/sec^2)
$122 = 50.000 (z accel, mm/sec^2)
$130 = 790.000 (x max travel, mm) *work area will vary with your X-Carve Size, subtract 210 from the size of your X-Carve in mm (750-210=540) & (500-210=290)
$131 = 790.000 (y max travel, mm) *work area will vary with your X-Carve Size, subtract 210 from the size of your X-Carve in mm (750-210=540) & (500-210=290)
$132 = 100.000 (z max travel, mm) *Values differ for Z-Axis Upgrade

That is from Seth’s website I think;

X-Carve default GRBL Settings $$ Values – His N Hers Handcrafted

Lastly $100 and $101 can be computed as I mentioned in my above link. You measure what you have and do the math ratio for what you want. Multiply the resulting number by the current number and that new number should be the replacement.

It appears you have lead screws, so the default X carve numbers for 100 and 101 won’t work. You can easily jog a distance, say 100 mmm, and see what the actual measurement is, and do the math.

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Thank you @MartinW.Mcclary

So in order to get to the Axes screen I have to uninstall my machine and add a new one? I think that’s the only way I know to get to that screen?

As far as I know, you’d have to go through setup or change the numbers in the console with $$

FWIW, I have re calibrated my machine a few times to get it as accurate as possible.

Once you get a handle on it, it’s fairly easy to do. I use UGS to run my machine.

Tyvm! Very good. I will try that. My Z, X and Y all jogging in correct direction now with the $3=3 . Is there a need to change it to the $3=4 now?

I need to go buy a MM measure. I’ve tried to do it by Inches and convert Inches to MM and whelp. It’s just not working for this gal! LOL

I will update the progress soon.

If $3 is working…don’t change it.

If you have a machinist rule, that is really accurate. Home Centers should have something. Harbor Freight has digital calipers pretty cheap too. Those do Inche and MM.

6 in. Digital Caliper (

@MartinW.Mcclary Ok, we’re getting closer! LOL

Cut a 2 x 2 square and measured it after the cut.
Measures 2 1/8 on X and a smidge away from 2" on Y

I still have my PAW PAW sticks for squaring the board (can’t believe I have them all these years!) The board is 1/8" off! NOW here is my dilemma. The old original x-carve was easy to get back into square. As you can see from my set up above. I cannot figure out how to square it without loosening all 8 screws 2 on each corner?
The old machine very easy to adjust. This one is?

And well I’ll be. I didn’t think about my calipers! Thank you.

@BrandonR_Parker I forgot to thank you as well!

So ran calibration again and input the new #'s. Was happy too see 204 and 201 that’s for sure! But now it’s jogging to the left a bit and when finished please see attached photos. It’s off of my starting work piece X only by 1"

If you home the machine, then jog to your starting point and reset the zeros. There is machine zero and work zero.

Check across the Y makerslide from back left to right front and from back right to left front with a tape measure ( kind of like making an X). If the machine is square, the measurements should be the same. If not, adjust them. Also When you home the machine, check to see if the X axis is square to the machine. The X axis can flex a bit, but when the motors are on you can’t adjust it. Some folks put a piece of wood in front of the machine and adjust it before they turn on the motors.

X & Y Not Square - How to Fix? - X-Carve - Inventables Community Forum


First part, homing the machine. Resetting zeros. Do I need to put in a $ command in grbl to do that?

Board is square.

And thank you for the wooden block info. Will try that.