Machine will not carve

Machine will not carve. Spindle turns on, then turns off as soon as the carve starts. I’m trying to level a new wasteboard, so the cutting area is as big as it can be. First, the spindle stopped moving anywhere after a limit switch was tripped. I verified that $20=1 and 22=1. I would have to restart the computer and the x-controller in order to get the spindle to move again, but it still turns off when I try to carve. I can jog the spindle, but it still shuts off when I try to carve which, unless I misunderstand it (insert sarcasm here), that was the reason I bought the product.

When you look at your gcode, is there an M5 or M05 early in the program. That is the gcode to stop the spindle. M4 ( M04) is spindle on.

Sorry, relative newbie. where do find the M codes.

@MaureenCnota Are you getting an error? What programs are you using?
If you’re seeing a message, it may be that your toolpath extends beyond your soft limits, which you enabled. If that’s not it, this could be an EMI thing where electrical noise is causing a disconnect.

In your gcode. I don’t think any program would issue a spindle stop before cutting. It sounds like all motion stops, not just the router.

Yes, everything turns off and therefore doesn’t move. This is what shows in Easel’s Machine Inspector

  • $$
  • G91 G21 G0 X-25.4000
  • G91 G21 G0 Y25.4000
  • G91 G21 G0 Y25.4000
  • G91 G21 G0 X25.4000
  • G91 G21 G0 X25.4000
  • [MSG:Reset to continue]
  • ALARM:2
  • G91 G21 G0 X25.4000
  • ok
  • [MSG:Caution: Unlocked]
  • $X
  • ok
  • $132=100.000
  • $131=750.000
  • $130=750.000
  • $122=50.000
  • $121=500.000
  • $120=500.000
  • $112=500.000
  • $111=8000.000
  • $110=8000.000
  • $102=188.976
  • $101=40.000
  • $100=39.604
  • $32=0
  • $31=0
  • $30=1
  • $27=1.000
  • $26=250
  • $25=750.000
  • $24=25.000
  • $23=3
  • $22=1
  • $21=0
  • $20=1
  • $13=0
  • $12=0.002
  • $11=0.020
  • $10=115
  • $6=0
  • $5=0
  • $4=0
  • $3=3
  • $2=0
  • $1=255
  • $0=10
  • ok
  • [OPT:VMP+,15,128]
  • [VER:1.1g.20170629-Inventables:]
  • $$
  • $I
  • [MSG:’$H’|’$X’ to unlock]


alarm - ALARM:2
error - error:9
alarm - ALARM:2
alarm - ALARM:2
error - error:9
error - error:2
error - error:9
alarm - ALARM:2
Should I be using a different program to view/change the GCode?

That means you’re trying to move beyond your machine’s limits. It’s trying to save you from crashing.


Theses are the only codes I found referring to limits and their settings:

Your machine has 750mm to move in XY. That is 750mm crib your homing switch. Your gcode (carving commands) are trying to move past that. Your settings aren’t the problem. It’s your cut that doesn’t fit.

I have a 1000x1000. Should I change those values to 1000?

Can you share Easel project?
How big is the rectangle you made to cut?

I’m in the house, but will send tomorrow. Basically it’s a 32x32” square. I am making a new wasteboard and the forums almost always say to a bottom cut bit on the entire board is the best way.

Realized I can send from my iPad. One of the few good things about files being in “the cloud”

Your machine cuts 750x750mm.
Your square to carve in that file is 32" x 32"…that’s about 813x813mm. Too big.
You also have the square randomly placed in the work area, so the lower left corner of your carve is already about 4" in on the X and Y.

You want to set that up so the bottom left is at the origin. The size should be 749x749mm. If you use a large facing endmill, you’ll clear enough.

If you don’t need the full Z range (most don’t), I’d recommend a supplementary wasteboard on top of the other. That way, you can surface the entire area.

Re: Your machine cuts 750x750mm.
Your square to carve in that file is 32" x 32"…that’s about 813x813mm.

Is that the cutting area of 1000x1000 machine?

Also, do I need to change the current values?

Thank you. I changed the rectangle size and it worked. Hopefully I got the opportunity to pay it forward and help someone.


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Hi Maureen,
I’m just seeing this today. So, all is good?
I don’t have an X-Carve (pretend expert), but yes, I think the cutting area for the 1000mm is 750mm square. Or something really close to that.
The settings for $130,$131, and $132 are your machine work limits X,Y, and Z, respectively.

Since the issue have been resolved here is some condensed info as to why (technically)

GRBL parameter $130-132 define the max reach for each axis, away from machine zero.
If $22=1 Soft Limits are enabled and whenever a carve command is given that would send the machine outside this range it will throw an alarm (as intended)

The Xcarve sizes (500x500, 750x750, 1000x1000) is the machine foot print. Actual carve area is about 250mm less in both X/Y direction.

Machine zero is determined when you turn on the X Carve, isn’t it? To reset machine zero without homing switches, would I just jog to bottom left and then turn the machine off and then on again? Would moving everything manually before turning on be an OK way to do this?

Yes, but since you could turn the Xcarve on at any position machine zero have no purpose. Its not untill you reference it off something (homing switches for instance) it has an application.

Homing reset machine zero and by doing so syncronize machine space with model space.
Work zero and parking spots (G28/G30) are stored as offsets relative to machine zero so you can have a consistent work zero if you home ($H) at each power-up.

Basically yes but repeatability may suffer (precision) Manually moving the gantry may provide issues with back-EMF into the drivers which could damage them.

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