Multiple Problems (Have Not Had Issues Before)

So I’ve had my X-Carve for about a year and have spent the last year practicing and getting comfortable with it. Wouldn’t you know it the moment my wife loads her Etsy site with my custom signs we have orders to fill and the X-Carve is giving us problems. I thought I had some fix actions to take after going through the forums, but I’m stumped.

The X-carve is ignoring tabs, so when I go to cut a word out of 1/2 inch plywood, large sections of wood are being cut all the way through and it either A: gets caught on the bit, makes the motors lose track of where they are/breaks the bit. Or B: The lettering no longer has anything supporting it and vibrations cause a section of beautiful calligraphy to bump into the bit and the cutout is destroyed.

I dont know how to fix this issue so I thought maybe I could work around it by making sure my waste board is planed perfectly. My waste board isn’t level and has high and low spots in it, I’ve learned to work around this so it hasnt been an issue before. At the suggestion of other threads I took some MDF, bought a bit to level the surface and set about trying to level it. This seemed to work great as the machine was working through the project, removing known high spots until, it just stops about 60% of the way through. Easel message pops up saying that the carve is complete, but it’s clearly not. This has happened 5-6 times, but it seems to “complete” at different times, each time. I’ve cleaned bits, grounded the dust collection, changed spindle speeds, feed rates, depth of cuts, changed power saving settings on the PC, but nothing seems to work. The planer project should only take about an hour and 15 minutes, I’ve ran projects that spanned 5-6 hours and never had this happen before. Any suggestions on either problem?

Thanks In Advance,


If tabs are there, they’re probably not being ignored. Most likely, you’re cutting too deep. Check your Z axis pulleys for loose set screws. I’d say that’s the most common cause of the cutting through tabs type issues.


The disconnect happens to almost everyone sooner or later. Your going to have to trouble shoot what is causing it.

Try a powered usb hub and also connect directly to the x-carve board instead of using the dongle. You might want to try isolating the xcarve on it’s own electrical line if you can. I had the same problem and went through all these things and more until I finally solved the issue. Which for me ended up being to put the xcarve on it’s own line.

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Thanks for the input, I checked the pulleys but they seem ok. Your suggestion did lead me to find a little play in the carriage though, tightened the screws for the v-wheels and the tabs are working again.

Thanks Ernie,

I ordered a powered hub and will start knocking things off the troubleshooting list. When you say isolating the x-carve on its own line, do you mean having the x-carve on its own dedicated circuit? Or is having the machine being the only thing plugged into a power strip enough? Right now its plugged into a 3 plug extension cord along with the dewalt router and my shopvac, that extension cord runs directly to an outlet and its the only outlet on that particular circuit.

@ChristopherScottGame It helps if they are on different circuits, but it’s not possible in many cases. That said, I would keep your router’s cord away from the USB cable and X-controller.

I isolated mine on it’s own circuit. I was lucky enough that the wiring was already in my garage but not every one has that. But just looking at your setup. It seems you are pushing the limit of 15A circuit if you have everything on one breaker. The router is listed at 7A and then you have the vac. Some Vac’s use a lot of power. Mine uses 12A. Then you also have to think about the xcarve. If each driver puts out 3A and their are 4 of them…It adds up fast…

That’s DC current from the power supply.

Regardless, do what you can to isolate signals (USB, limit switches, controller, etc) from AC noise.

Check the wire connections at the terminal blocks. These can spontaneously come loose or even break. I guess from vibration, I don’t know, but that’s the first thing I look at if the X-Carve suddenly goes stupid.


Sweet, I got the machine tuned up and working well again. Thanks everyone for your inputs. Some good things to keep in mind the next time something isn’t working right.