JB's Xcarve 1000mm Build

First thing I did tonight was take care of the screw I broke. I didn’t do that well at all but a M6 w/ nylock nut worked fine for now. I’ll be ordering a new spindle mount due to my stupidity. Lesson learned…luckily only a $35 lesson.

Next I did some pot adjustment. I looked at the schematic today and, based on LarryM’s other posts, realized that a non-moving pot adjustment of the voltage would work. All three pots measured approx. 1V stock so I bumped them all up to approx 1.75V. Did some motion tests and everything was working just fine. So after clearing the table, putting the electronics back in their spot, securing (so I thought) the piece of 1/2" birch plywood, and adjusting the SuckIt, it was time for the first cut.

It was a partial success!

While it was doing the logo, the work piece lifted off the spoil board and well…it messed up the cut. I stopped it and nothing seemed damaged. I’ll do better securing the plywood next time.

Final setup picture:

Went and calibrated the steps/mm and both X and Y needed changes (used a 440 mm step). Z axis appeared spot on.

Next step is the calibration project I’ve seen around here and then testing out the Rpi.

Time to get busy carving!

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It’s the SuckIt dust boot man! There was NOTHING left during the carve. I actually turned the vac off for like 10 seconds just to hear the router noise (which is really quiet at speed 1…my craftsman router is MUCH louder) and just a bit of dust came out of the boot and on to the table where the boot was hanging off. When I turned the vac back on, it actually sucked up the dust that was on the table surface…not the spoilboard but the table surface itself…1/2" plywood plus the spoilboard plus the aluminum extrustion and it still sucked it up…

We’re actually going to be cutting a sign for a friend’s birthday tonight/tomorrow which should be larger and a bit more in detail so we’ll see how it does! Real job gets in the way…

Two lessons learned:

  1. to maintain home position, you need to keep the Arduino powered. I knew this but has a brain fart.

  2. make sure the step value in Easel is the proper size for Z axis before commanding it to go down…bit #1 lost and I believe I’ve resurrected the SuckIt dust boot but also gives a good reason to get the new version. Also going to make sure soft limits are enabled.

So, going to retry the carve again here soon.

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I love this thing and it’s only day 2.

I’m realizing the downside of not connecting my home switches yet but that’s a choice I’ve made for now (long story about why). Changing bits caused the gantry to move so it lost the work position from the roughing pass before I could do the detail pass. Switches get connected with the Xcontroller. along with the probe, vac relay, and spindle relay.

I’ve got a few issues with cutting that I need to iron out, some I think is material and bit combination (this is scrap 1x12 common board from Lowes/HD…so pine or spruce or fir). This picture illustrates most of what I’m seeing (ignore the errorneous cuts…see no homing switch connected above)

  1. Fuzzies along the top and in the pockets. It’s an upcutting bit so I assume that’s why. Comes off easily with a finger so a sanding block would easily get it.

  2. Mill marks on the bottom of the pocketed areas look like maybe they are more pronounced in some areas. I couldn’t tell if it was lighting or the fuzzies that gave it that appearance.

I was running that at 45 ipm with a 9ipm plunge rate and 0.03" DOC. Didn’t seem to be having difficulties that I could tell but maybe I need to adjust.

  1. Looks slightly out of round on the left side of the circle BUT I’m not 100% sure thats the Xcarve and not the source SVG that I made. I use Illustrator and not necessarily good at it so it could be me.

Time will be devoted tomorrow to run RobertA_Rieke’s test procedure to see what’s going on. Hopefully that tells me something.

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So my Xcontroller and upgrade kit arrived today so of course I had to put it together…

Not visible are the two missing button screws for the USB plug…I’ll pick some up locally to make it look better (purely aesthetic)

Hoping to get the following done tomorrow:

  • Wire in the Xcontroller (motors, switches, probe, relays for router and vac)
  • Replace the X axis with the wide makerslide
  • Redo X and Y belting using the new sleeves
  • Square up the Z axis
  • Add the knurled knob on the top of the Z axis
  • Replace the Z axis motor plate with a replacement one from Inventables
  • Might replace the Dewalt mount with the new one I ordered since I mangled the original one

Hopefully I’ll be doing some carves come tomorrow night and can call this build complete.

Now, those Xcontroller directions need some help…