I can’t seem to get a smooth consistent flat surface with my carves. Can someone give me an idea of what is going on here.
I would be inclined to thing its a combination of several, more or less combining factors :
1 - Rigidity, or lack there of
2 - Wood too soft for the bit/or bit not cutting the wood 100% cleanly
3 - Router out of tram (not 100% true perpendicular to the X/Y plane)
So it has nothing to do with the z axis?
1 - The Z-axis is part of the system, rigidity is related to the system
3 - Tramming is only related to Z, relative to X/Y plane
I am pretty sure if you skimmed your waste board some tramming issues would show.
Also if the system flex a little too much the bit will be dragged out of tram.
So you figure I just need to skim the top of my wasteboard and the issue will be resolved??By tramming you mean having the bit square to the work piece.
Eliminating that as a possible cause is certainly something worth considering.
I would suggest you add a second MDF-plate on top of the XCarve board and skim cut that. Use any large wood bit you have (3/4" is cheap and easily available) and set stepover to 80-90%. This will highlight any tramming issues better.
I am not sure your issues will be solved by this, but I am pretty sure it´s a factor.
Whatever flex the gantry/Z possess will try to push it out of tram (square to waste board / work piece)
Do you have anymore suggestions to fix the issue? Much appreciated!
have you tried slowing the cut down say 10%
the router / z axis is down is there any movement as in back and forwards?
can you post a photo of your router fitted to the z axis
I was looking at it and was thinking may be I need a couple more bolts at the bottom of the router bracket.
try these to help isolate what is the problem:
- remove the router and place a square on the waste board and against the Z axis and check squareness and then repeat this in possible 9 places on the waste board (by dividing your playfield it 9 x 1/3rds
- do the same now with the z axis down to see if there is any variance
these test isolate any squareness and if weight transfer is possibly contributing to the issue
Only having 2 x bolts in the top of the router bracket will contribute to cuts varying especially when the gantry is traveling from front to back - so install 2 bolts at the bottom and this should improve things
let us know how you go
How low are you setting your dust shoe?
To the point where the bristles just touch. Interesting, that could be party of the problem aswell.
If your machine is not rigid and you push the bristles down they will lift gantry when direction changes.
Take dust shoe by itself and by hand push it around on your waste board and you will understand.