Overriding Smart Clamp height

Hello,

I really liked the Carvey’s smart clamp system when I first got it, but when designs start getting more complex, the smart clamp becomes quite a limitation.
For example if I want to work on the entire surface of a piece, I can’t place it under the smart clamp because Easel won’t allow me to machine too close to the origin.
Or if my piece of wood is too tall, placing the smart clamp on top of it makes the whole thing too high for my bit to home, whereas it would have been able to home properly without the extra height of the smart clamp.

So my question is whether it is possible to
a) deactivate the “area under the smart clamp” limitation (I would pause the job after homing and remove the smart clamp so that there be no collisions
b) remove the automatic z-offset associated with homing with the smart clamp (I think it’s 0.5 inch) so that I can hold the smart clamp in my hand outside the Carvey and manually press the button when the bit reaches my desired height.

I understand that these are not the expected “normal” uses of Carvey and that doing this would be under my own risk, but sometimes I get really frustrated when I try to do something and am limited by these two seemingly trivial constants that Easel uses.

2 Likes

We were just thinking the same thing. We’re working on designing linoleum stamps in our classroom, but need to carve everything on the 3"x4" material besides the raised stamp. We’ve made it around all but two last sections and now we’re stuck on what to do next since the we are clamping on a side that has already been carved down. We would love to be able to home it at the original height if possible.

One trick I found was to use an unmodified piece of our starting material during the home process and then immediately pause the carve and switch in the piece we actually want to make the carve with. This allows us to fully clamp down on the material and trick the Carvey into thinking the home height is much higher.

There is a technique for clamping down a piece where you do not have anything in the way.
You create a hole slightly larger than the work piece in a scrap piece of wood or mdf. Then use wedges that fit in there to wedge the piece into place so it cannot move.
See pic below.

4 Likes

Thanks for the ideas!
Indeed good ideas that I will put into practice in some cases.

However, both of your ideas work well for rather short pieces, but what if the height of my stock is at the limit of the height allowed by the carving bit? (which is currently my case)
Placing the smart clamp on top of the stock makes it so that the carving bit is lower than the smart home button!
If I could avoid the height of the smart clamp, I would be able to home it and use my tall piece.

And honestly, I find @StephenCook 's idea someone wasteful, since I would also be carving the borders of my piece, which would damage the MDF around it and thus make it one-use-only :s

its not my idea but its good if you are making a lot of them.