Not having any success

I’m beginning to despair now. I’ve had my x-carve for three months and still not made a decent cut in anything. I’ve tried mdf, plywood, acrylic (Lexan and Perspex). I’ve used 1 flute, 2 flute, 3 flute, 4 flute, slot drills, thin bits and thick bits but nothing has been a success. Slow feed rate, fast feed rate, multiple depths - pretty much everything. The bits are breaking, chattering, smoking and jamming. I’m going fundamentally wrong somewhere and I can’t work it out. I build everything from model aircraft to fitted kitchens so I reckon I’m pretty practical but this thing has got me beaten. I had such dreams of making great stuff but every day that goes by I get more fed up with it.
Help Please!

how deep are you trying to cut with what size endmill? I usually program for the radius of what I am using for each pass. for a .25 endmill I set each pass for .125 with my finishing passes for .1 or a bit less.

The problems you list also point to many different things all over the map. I might suggest doing a shallow cut of a circle and square. I started wtih 20, 40, 60, and 80 mm with a 1mm depth.

this allowed me to see how accurate it is in order to make adjustments.

I’d suggest start with something simple and consistent and post your results so the community could help with diagnosing your issue.

I kept a log here of my test and results. it may help. There are many others i looked at to reference their process of tuning.

Not to beat a dead horse, but have you verified all your calibrations?

When I was learning the process of CNC, I started with cheap rotozip bits because they were available. My first project after cutting a simple straight line and circle, was hold down clamps and not a complicated item.

What you are describing are incorrect parameters for the cuts and products you are attempting to cut. Sounds like too deep and too fast.

Play with the parameters. I would cut a simple straight line multiple times using different depths of cut, width, speed ect. This let me understand what effect on changing that one parameter did. It also let me understand that I did have some incorrect settings in my calibrations.

You will be amazed at what you will accomplish after your understanding of the machine and its workings are revealed!

I’m both elated and embarrassed. Since I posted this, the penny has dropped and I thought back to a recent forum topic where I asked advice on cutting bits overheating. @KeithGrunow suggested that the spindle may be spinning the wrong way. Although I checked at the time and convinced myself it was correct, it actually wasn’t. I’ve now rewired the spindle correctly and I think I’m now in business. The X-Carve has come alive!


Let the elation win out.