Need Some Assistance Please


Ok I’m still learning and have run into another issue :frowning:

When I ordered my X Carve I added in some bits and they cut smooth and fine. Then I bought some more bits from the guy on eBay that most were talking about and my cuts weren’t smooth so I thought it was the wrong type of bit. So I put in one of my original bits from Inventables which cut fine and the same issue occurred as with the eBay bits. So I’m guessing it’s not a bit issue but a machine issue. Possibly out of alignment in some way?

I’ve attached 2 somewhat poor pics but they should convey the issue - any thoughts? The carves are ‘groovy’ as you can see and far from smooth.

Hey Phil,

Well no movement in the router in really any direction. So I’ll start looking into calibrating. Do the stepper motor pots change/adjust that easily where it carves poorly like this? I’ve done probably under 25 carves so far.

Can you point me to where the maintenance section is located?

How far in are you putting the eBay the router? The inventables bits, I believe, have a piece on them to stop them from being inserted all the way in. sure the bit is not all the way in.

Thanks Phil. I watched many of them very helpful. Still learning :slight_smile:

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Hi - yes the bits I bought are have the stop pieces on them. But still a good point. Thanks

After watching the maintenance video I ordered a fish scale to check the belt tension…so good call. Thanks

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Alight I have an update. I bought a fish scale and my belts were loose so I set them at the 3.5lbs per the video in the trouble shooting area. That did seem to help the craves. I also found that my “Step Over” setting was at 40 which is way to much so I put it at 20.

But with those adjustments I am still getting so odd things, so I’ve attached 3 pics. 2 of the pics are using Birch Plywood at two different depth settings and the other pic is of Poplar. On one of the Birch carves the lighting/shadows in the photo are creating an illusion so be careful looking at that one :wink:, I took the Poplar photo at an angle to highlight the ridges. As you see I am getting a weird ridge in the center where the crave is starting and then the odd ridges criss crossing the square.

The setting of the cut are as follows:
Bit Used: I’m still learning the bit names so I have to describe it - it’s 1/16th 2 fluted and the tip is flat.
Feed Rate: 30 in/Min
Plunge Rate: 9 In/Min
Depth Per Pass: Tried it at 0.05 & 0.10 with about the same results

I did notice that when I put a level on large bracket which holds the router in place it’s not totally level. If the bracket is true it’s showing that the router is leaning slightly to the left. I looked for a video that went over how to make the router ‘true’ but couldn’t find any thing.

Thanks in advance for anyone’s input.

Are you using easel or a different program to cut? it looks like it your z axis it out like the others said when you level you z axis make sure you are leveling it to match the waste board . If you set the z to perfect level and the waste board is significantly off in any direction it will cause issues like this . Also if you can go into easel and cut a square pocket with there recommend settings. Select correct material and bits size this will help to see if your settings are what is causing this. I suspect it’s a combination of the two, settings leveling. Also check your z axis wiring make sure nothing came loose .

Hey Adam,

Yes I am using Easel. I have a question when it comes to leveling.

The X Carve is placed on a table that I built which then obviously sits on an old garage floor…all are not 100% level which this poor leveling would be translated to frame of the X Carve which the waste board is firmly attached to. I think you see where I am headed with this…how in the world do you level the waste board which the frame to attached to the X Carve? From what I see the X Carve offers very limited, if any, physical adjustments to make it square.

With the information that I’ve seen regarding leveling I’ve read people using business card shims to correct it…et cetera. I’ve gone through all the screw connection points to make sure they were tight as well as the tram wheels and that seemed to help a little but I’m still experiencing the same results even if I adjust the carve settings to the suggested and slower.

I’m sure it’s something that can be corrected but since I’m a newbie so far I haven’t found anything that helps me square this thing up.

If your table is on an uneven floor, you should definitely start with a threaded foot of some kind to level the table first. Even the best built table will eventually settle and wrack.

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I see what you are saying its a long drawn out process of leveling that may get you no where . But do this put a level ontop of your spindle in the x and y direction then put it down on the waste board in both those directions it doesn’t matter how much they are off level as long as they match or are pretty close to the spindle . If one is way off from the other there may be a problem there . I like to rule out the simple easy to check stuff first. Other then the level of the table and router I would do the checks the others suggested . You could also try taking the router out of the mount and readjust the v wheel tenioners on x carriage. I’ve noticed if you put slop in the v wheels with the router in there, the weight from router can cause the whole thing to lean forward and be off quiet a bit when you retighten. It causes a lot of the router hopping around which can cause the circle bit marks. But like you said something is definitely off

Hey Adam - good suggestion but if the table is off and everything the sits on the table is off the same amount technically I don’t believe the carver would be off since it’s not based upon gravity and ‘ground zero’ to be square. Possibly my thought process is missing something and I’m only thinking out loud not pooh poohing your suggestion.


Hi Robert. Phil also suggested seeing if the router has any movement up and down or side to side for that matter and it really doesn’t.

This can’t be that difficult to find the culprit so I’m going to spend more time today seeing what I can come up with.

Question for you…is there any screws that offer enough ‘play’ to allow adjustments in angles of the carriage, X, Y or Z rails? So far I can’t find any that allow for movement.

I understand we are not looking to see if everything is perfectly level maybe I came across wrong I’ll add some pics so you can see what I’m trying to determine I actually have mine apart now anything you wanna see and compare let me know I’ll up load any pics you need

this is what you want to see they are pretty close to each other this is what you don’t want this would imply your table or y rails need adjusted to the x rail this means there is a problem with either the z or x axis we are just using the level to diagnose here not to tell if your table is perfect just to measure any difference between the axis to find what needs adjusted .

I was trying to show him how to diagnose his machine, my machine is level so to reproduce what he might be looking for I had to tilt the level hence the gap.This has nothing to do with "being level " or being precise you use the level as a tool to locate what is out of whack . You are basically using the bubble to find what axis needs fixed nothing has to be even close to level for this to work as long as they match. If you put the level on the waste board and the bubble goes half way to the left then put it on the router and the bubble is all the way to the right then put on the x bar and it goes half way to the left again your problem is in the z axis or the carage.
Just trying to help he can readjust things until the cows come home if he doesn’t understand what happened and how to check for what is the point.

I like that idea. maybe a video of it running the skim cut as well.

Well I checked how level the router bracket was even though as Phil noted using a level isn’t the best option and the X axis of is was dead on the Y was off just a bit. So I am going to skim the waste board as Phil noted. I also put a level on the entire board and the X is level but the Y is not…yet the entire table is matching those same results.

Phil what type of bit should I get to skim the board? Suggestions on how to do this, how deep to go…possibly this is already in your help tutorials? Is there a program settings for this laying around?

Thank you to everyone for trying to solve and help me with this I really appreciate your input.

To level the waste board just use the biggest bit you have and go only as deep as required to have the entire surface skimmed. I used a 3/4" bit myself and totalt depth required was like 0.015". Your milage may vary.
No problem using a smaller diameter bit, it will only require more time.