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My Xcarve has quit carving text with V-bit!

My router has stopped carving text with v-bit! I actually have had V-cut problems from day one, but am only now realizing it was not something I was doing wrong, but something is wrong with my router (Xcarve 1000).

When I tried to carve text with a v-bit, I have always gotten uneven results (different thicknesses of cut on same board). Some of the letters would cut just fine, deep and clean, but then in other areas, it would be too light, and some of the letters would not even cut at all.

At first I thought it was me, not having the board level. So I bought a planer so that my boards would be same thickness throughout, and took extra care making sure every bit of the board was mounted level, at the same height. Still had unequal carving from one section to the next.

Today was the last straw! I was trying to carve text on both sides of a board. It cut fine on side one. Then I flipped the board over and tried to carve the same text on the other side. No matter what I tried, the bit was carving air about 1/8" above the surface of the board. Same board, same place on the table, same clamps, board checked for level. I am sure I am zeroing the Z-axis properly.

I tried changing the toolpath, making the cut depth deeper on the toolpath; I tried tricking the machine by positioning the bit lower than the actual Z-zero. It cut one letter very shallow then started cutting air again. Won’t cut at all. Help would be much appreciated.

Sounds like a classic uneven Z-height relative to wasteboard.
To test, place a 2nd sacrificial board say 20x20" on top of the original board.
Run a skim cut program (a rectangle/square large enough to cover the whole 20x20" 2nd board)
Skim cut is doing shallow passes with a large bit to shave off the highs, this will ensure the board is parallell relative to Z which is what matters.

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I have had the same issue. The left side of every cut was light and even planed wood was having the issue. I ran a huge square cut (30x31) on my wasteboard and flattened it relative to the gantry. I went too deep for sure, but you should try taking off just enough. You can’t use the dust shoe during this because it will run into the frame, so be ready to hand vacuum, and MDF puts out a LOT of dust. This had mostly fixed my issues. I also had to make sure that after doing so the bit and router (and by extension Z Axis) were perfectly 90 degrees. I used a small combo square to make sure it was in tolerance, and this has fixed the issue as much as can be detected at the moment.

Hey Robert,
Thanks for the recommendation, I will try it. Can you please tell me what bit you used to surface cut your wasteboard, and settings used?

Anybody have suggestions on settings to resurface a spoilboard? How deep especially. (?)

Untill all low spots have been touched once :slight_smile:
Use a large bit, set stepover to 80% and go shallow.