Problems with oak!

So I am having problems cutting oak on the x carve and i really need some help

My material

1" thick oak from pallets

My problem is that it seems like almost everytime I cannot get a good cut without having chatter or slipping a belt and loosing steps

my machine:
1000mm x carve
dewalt 611 router
x axis stiffen mod

my feeds and speeds
attempt 1:
80 inch/min doc of .125" speed setting 1 (broke my z axis completely off the machine probably due to material not being secure)

attemp 2:
60 inch/min doc .100 speed setting 1 very hard sounding on bit

attemp 3: 60 in/min doc .90 speed setting 2 slipped the belt and lost a step

attemp 4: 60 in/min doc .70 speed setting 6 material came off the machine

I have been using a onsrud single flute straight carbide tipped cutter

any help on this issue would be appreciated

thanks let me know if you need more info

here is a pic of the pieces I am trying to make but this one is out of pine and it cut great

I have had tons of issues with oak. I have come to hate it with a passion at this point. What size bit were you using? I think your feeds are still too high. I think you need to be down around 40 ipm, with speed set to 1, and your doc probably well below the 50% off diameter rule. I ran a 1/4" 2 flute upcut and had to keep my doc down around .03-.05 to get through my carves. For the 2 pieces that I managed to complete in red oak, I probably ruined a dozen or more. I went through 16+ board feet of red oak to get less than 3 board feet of finished signs.

Keep the Dewalt speed under 2, keep your depth of cut at about half the diameter of the bit, and feed rate of 50 should be fine.

I have found that attaching a secondary 1/2 inch MDF wasterboard to the top of the existing wasteboard will allow you to screw your material directly to the top wasteboard and completely eliminates any clamping issues.

Just be sure to have the X-Carve skim the top of the new wasteboard to be sure it is flat with respect to the Z axis. If you have a large diameter fly cutter you can skim the board in just a few minutes


I run a lot of oak as well and I’m pretty close to @RobertCanning’s settings as well. Usually in the 40-50ipm range and DOC 0.04-0.05"

hey thanks guys for your suggestions I really appreciate it I will try working on those settings you listed and see how they work for me I just have alot of this old nice oak that i can cut so i want to make the most of it

1 Like

Whenever I cut oak, the bit absolutely screams as it moves through the wood. It sounds horrible but it seems to cut just fine. Depending on the cut I generally use a .125" straight flute solid carbide bit. Most of my other bits are 2-flute carbide upcut spiral bits. The top of the cut ends up a little fuzzy but easy to clean with a scraper.

The open-yet-dense nature of oak makes it a real pain to do anything with, but it’s about the nicest “dark” wood available at most home centers.

There are a some good threads here and there on it. Seems to come up a lot.

I find myself referencing here as a starting point a lot too:

1 Like

I had another long chat with my onsrud rep today and he suggested a 0 flute bit to help and deal with the reduced feedrates associated with the x-carve

1 Like