Not carving deep enough

Howdy… I was looking at topics related to Z depth… and most people were having problems with carving too deep. I have the opposite problem. I will be cutting a 1/4 inch board… set it it .25… to cut all the way through… and it doesn’t work… too shallow. Using Acme Screw… material is taped down tight… used the Z probe… and carves perfect except the depth. I have to run the project a second time and have to set it to .31 to cut through the material. What am I missing… I am a newbie… please forgive my ignorance.
Thanks… Chuck Lyons

Is the board actually .25"?
Is your probe thickness accurate?
If you jog the Z .25" does it move exactly .25"?
How are you measuring?


Thanks for the reply Neil… I measure the board with the micrometer… set the carve for .25… to carve through the board. Once I put it on the waste board… I used the z probe on top of the 1/4 inch board and set it with the probe. I have never checked to see if the bit moves .25 before. Not sure what procedure you are talking about. In order to cut through… I needed to set the thickness setting to .30. When I did this… it carved through. Am I doing this the correct way.

Neil… not sure what you mean… jog the .25

Probe thickness: In the machine setup, while setting up the probe, there’s an option for advanced settings. In there, you can set the thickness of your probe. If your probe block is 0.05" thicker, your cuts will be that much short in depth.

Checking your steps per mm (does it actually move the distance you tell it): Move, or “jog”, the Z axis up, like you do before you carve, and see if it measures the same distance you told it.

Not trying to speak for Neil here. I interpreted it as are you certain your Z axis moves the exact distance you tell it to. For example, when you command the Z axis to move 1 inch, does it actually move one inch.

Calibrate your Z axis to make sure it is traveling the distance it should. Actually, you should calibrate both the X axis and the Y axis too. There are are few good threads in the forum that will describe the process. Search for calibration.

I used a standard ruler to calibrate my Z axis. My understanding of the process is, the longer the distance you use to calibrate the more precise you can get. All Axes are limited to their respective travel length; the Z axis being the shortest.

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OFF TOPIC: True if you’re looking for precision across that distance. Unfortunately, with these machines you’ll get different values in different locations on the machine along with many other variables. If I’m milling PCBs, I don’t need accuracy across a meter, I just need to be accurate in the area I’m doing my work.

Sorry for interrupting, if it is not travelling the desired distance as required, then what must you do to correct it?

Adjust the steps per mm.

Thanks very much for this valuable info, I know I will calibrate mine to be very accurate now

Howdy… I would like to thank all of you for your knowledge. I sure have a lot to learn. I will work on calibration this weekend. Thanks for taking the time to help me out.
Thanks… Chuck


You will gain the necessary skills and knowledge. I had plenty of trial and error when I first started. I can’t thank this wonderful community of members enough for all the information I’ve learned.

You will be making wonderful stuff in no time. Hang in there and ask away!

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I still fail occationally! :wink: