Problems with making holes

Ive noticed when trying to make holes for a cribbage board that the machine will not hold a tight circle. Is there a way around this or do you have to make the holes the exact size of the bit so it just goes straight up and down (which I havent tried yet)

What do you mean by a “tight circle”?

I was trying to cut a 1/8 hole with a 1/16 bit and it comes out more like a wobbly circle/oval

Somethings not right. Are they out of round in the same plane if you cut multiple holes?

That would be called “pecking” which Easel do not support.

An oval shape => the X and Y are not similar in flex and one of the axes is dragging, hence the lopsided circle.

it doesnt?

wow how hard can it be to implement? must be the easiest operation out there.

alternately the steps haven’t been calibrated properly on at least one axis

True, I am making the assuming that the steps/mm are calibrated to a decent degree of accuracy :slight_smile:
Small circles will amplify the effect of one axis dragging, on a larger one the discrepancy is easier to ignore.

When you say dragging are you referring to an axis belt maybe being to tight and causing more drag then the other or something else.

Post a picture for more clarity as to your issue.

I see several issues:

In yellow:
A lot of flex, the tearouts highlighted show sign of give when the bit is carving. When carving there is a sideway force applied to it and it want to deflect. This lack of rigidity is causing this.

Same issue manifest itself in the radiuses, shown in green.

In purple, l suspect steps lost as the vertical centreline of the holes do not match the centreline of the “box”.
Top purple seem centered, the others not so much…

What were your bit/feed rate/depth per cut and RPM?

So I am brand new and have only had my machine for like two weeks so bare with me as I try to describe:

For the Rip issues I went back and checked all my belts and wheels and found that my lower right wheel on my Z axis was loose causing give. I tightened it up (its one of the adjustable wheels) and that might help a little.

I was cutting .1 for the lines and .5 for the holes on depth.

I don’t know what feed rate is or how to adjust that on easel. I am assuming that might have to do when I choose the type of material I was using. This was just a scrap piece of oak pallet wood and now that I think about it I dont think I paid attention to what type of wood I told the machine I was using.

For RPM I am using the router on the lowest setting of 1.

I do see your center line issue. I had been modifying a .svg file that I was able to get for a different size cribbage board. I noticed that I can not select multiple circles in easel and modify them at the same time with out changing their position. Super frustrating.

Thanks for all the comments it is really helping my learning process.

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The feed rate and depth per pass are located in the Cut Settings menu in Easel. You can click Custom to adjust them.

Lop-sided due to grain in the wood and bit deflection.
Slow down the feed rate or run the cut again multiple times.

Is there a recommended feed rate for a standard setting or does it need to change per project?

The default values are just a starting point.

The formula is

Feed Rate = Spindle Speed x # of Flutes x chip thickness

The spindle speed is 16,000

You need to calculate it based on the material that you are using and the type of bit you are using. Also the depth per pass matters as well. I like to start with a shallow depth per pass and run the machine faster and gradually increase the depth per pass until I find the optimal settings. The recommended settings are for the bits in the menu with the materials tested.

We have recently added Feed Rate Override so you can adjust it during machine operation to be faster or slower.

It’s a “sweet spot” type calculation you can be going too slow which will cause rubbing and excess heat or too fast which could cause scalloping or the bit to break off.

I’m still betting on steps/measure calibration being off… all the holes are consistently oval in the same dimension, and the outline cuts look to have a similar offset.


Based on Christopher’s join date I would assume he is using the X controller. I would think the X controller produces enough power to break a 1/16" bit before loosing steps.
But possibly if the axis are binding that could cause loss of steps.