Inlay Carving Doesn't Leave Clean Surface

So I’m sure I’ve got some setting incorrect here. I’m prepping an inlay board on purpleheart, using Walnut as the material type. Using all default settings in Easel. As you can see in the pictures, it doesn’t seem to be cleaning all the portions of the inlay carve. Granted, it is simple enough for me to use a chisel and clean it up myself, but curious to know what I am doing wrong. I’ve had this make clean cuts in other materials.

Here are the default cut settings being used in Easel:
Feed rate 40 in/min
Plunge rate 12 in/min
Depth per pass 0.06 In


Are you using dust collection? If so, make sure all your V wheels are good. Then ensure that your dust collection bristles are barely touching the surface of the wood, if not a bit above it. The bristles are stiff enough that when the carving changes direction it ends up raising the whole Z axis up.

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Thanks, I am using the X-Carve vac shoe. It was down to the wood, maybe slightly tighter. I’ll leave it slightly higher next time, that’s a great tip.

Before, I did find that my Z axis V wheels were slightly off, as I was seeing a very slight shift in the 611 in the reverse Y axis cuts (cutting towards the front). I tightened them just enough that there is no more shift there.

Thanks for the tips!

Can be due to router not being fully in tram relative to the material, and/or a bit that is turning dull tearing wood fibers instead of cutting them cleanly. Some woods are more tricky than others in the department.

Great info, thank you. That makes me want to ask another question, how long do these router bits typically last? I’m sure it depends on the types of materials you use it against, but do you have a rough estimate of how many projects one bit would last for?

That is a “how long is a rope” kinda question :slight_smile: It depends.

As long as they are not abused (incorrect / inefficient usage) they should last a fair bit of time, some woods dont tax the bit much while others are much more abrasive. Quality of bit also is a factor.

Totally understand the variability in my question :smile:. I think I may have been abusing mine, as I currently have my Dewalt set to level 6. I noticed that Easel is set to expect the router at 14000, which I’ll have to adjust to 16,000 since that is the lowest speed setting for the 611 according to the manual. Could that be a another reason why I was seeing the problems above?

For wood and “large” diameter bits like 1/8" there is rarely need to go faster than the minimum RPM of the Dewalt.

If your chip thickness (thickness of each shaving your bit does) is to thin the bit will want to rub vs cut => increased wear rate, increased heat of the bit and also drastically reduce the time for the Dewalt brushes to wear out.

What bit diameter do you typically use?

I have been using mostly a 1/8" bit to this point. I’m just getting started with the unit, only done a half dozen projects at this point. I’m still learning, and I greatly appreciate your patience and helpful information!

what kind of wood is this? Some wood simply is not great at cuttigng and leaves splinters or threads

The wood type is purpleheart.

Purpleheart cuts very well, it is some of the hardest wood I have worked with, and requires nice sharp bits.

Is this a new bit or could it be dull?

Very hard!