New to Xcarve and at my wits end

I have been trying several small projects to test what the machine can do. So far I cant seem to get it to do anything I want it to do. My latest project, something that should be a no brainer for the Xcarve, has been my biggest headache.
Here is a link to what the project:
I originally was attempting to use a 1/16th mill

First attempt: was cutting deeper than desired, probably my fault.
Second attempt: Something went wrong and the depth got saved as the thickness of the material (no idea how)
Third attempt: by now all the deep cuts added up on this cheap bit and the bit was leaving burn marks in the wood, it wasnt cutting good enough and caused the machine to hang up which caused it to cut whereever it felt like it.
fourth attempt: I was ready to table flip and decided to just put a 1/8th rotozip bit in to see if it would cut the design out in ANY case. It skipped half the design. The only reason I can think, because the design was to small for that area.

In the event that a part of the design is to small, is there an override to be able to make it still cut it out?

Other questions to list while I am here:
I want to do a lot of finer engraving in wood. I could really use set up advice. So far it has been by trial and error and I have settled on a v bit meant for a dremel setting the depth very shallow and putting in something like .01 for the bit size. There has to be a better way.

My father was asking if Xcarve would be capable of etching glass…any thoughts?

If the details in Easel are to small for the bit you have selected then those details will not be cut, there is no way to override that. You just need to use a smaller bit or make the design larger.

Like most new X-Carves the machine will need some tuning to make it perform correctly. The most important tuning steps are to verify the tightness of the belts (they need to be tight like a guitar string), the v-wheels need to be tight against the rails (but not so tight that the carriage does not move smoothly) and the voltage to the motors needs to be adjusted with the pots on the Grbl shield.

There are hundreds of discussions (and many videos) on this forum for how to adjust each of those things.

If you want to do a lot of engraving/lettering then I would suggest you look at a program capable of doing vcarving. Vcarve Pro or desktop is excellent but relatively expensive. F-Engrave is free and works pretty well but it has few options.

It is possible to use a vbit Xin Easel by doing what you mentioned. Lie to Easel and tell it you have a .003 diameter bit and keep your cutting depth fairly shallow. It will do a pretty good job within limits. I would suggest purchasing a good 60 degree vbit with a .25 inch or 6mm shank size.

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Sounds like a bunch of your problems there are linked, to be honest.

Attempt 1 was probably a user error, attempt 2 was probably related to the fix for 1, and damaged the bit, leading to 3. 4 is clearly just Easel not cutting in areas that the bit won’t fit, no real biggie there, just standard operation. :smile:

I’d personally suggest swapping bits, starting a brand-new project, and trying a very simple cut (say a circle-square-diamond ~4" across and .125 deep) just to validate the machine and make sure all your hardware is functioning properly. Once you’ve validated the setup, THEN start a more complex project. It’s a lot easier to troubleshoot a simple part than a more complex one, especially with a new machine!

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