Result of crappy calipers?

I’ve been carving a ton of projects lately and have had no issues with the bit cutting through the wasteboard. It seems like all of a sudden I am carving everything through the wasteboard. Im pretty sure it is my cheap 20$ calipers from canadian tire (harbor freight) they seem to be giving me different measurements everytime I use them on the material. After getting hit with these battle wounds I think I might go invest in a good pair of calipers since I use them so often now. Does anyone have any recommendations?

My digital calipers were under $20

And they are very accurate, unless you have a mechanical failure in your calipers it is difficult to understand how they could be giving an incorrect reading.

The problem is most likely somewhere else.

I would check to be sure your wasteboard is really flat with respect to your spindle. If you have not skimmed you should really do that before checking anything else.

Also be sure your Z axis motor has been adjusted to the correct voltage. If it loses a step that can really cause depth problems.

You can also install a touch plate for a more accurate Z axis zero.

Thats the thing I use the zprobe. so confused how its all of a sudden being innacurate

I would check your wasteboard. Get a large cutter and skim about .03 inches off the top.

a wasteboard is there to waste.


Is the collet tight on your end mill?
Is the spindle clean? (where the collet seats)
Is your collet clean?
I’ve been in the machine world for over 48 years.
And yes, they do suck out of the collet.

If your going to resurface may I suggest a few things.
1st get a surface bit. They are pricey but work well and will surface faster than others.
The one Inventables sells is angled. see below.
Meaning the edge is not straight. I ran this on my waste board and it left a ridge. If you use this bit you will need the step over about 1/16 to 1/8 which is useless in regards that you can use a 1/8 mill end to do the same thing. :confused:
The one I want to get is pricey but will make what ever your doing flat.,0?source=googleproducts&gdffi=df1cb0f3ab644accbe5cae9671f148bf&gdfms=AA242E0DC0D84D99A12D3465D8BBF418&gclid=CPvzwuiEs9ACFZdMDQodxv0LaA

They show several but its the $89 one.
Most use planners to get the board flat but this will not help if the surfaces do not match up to your spindle.

I would do as suggested. Get your waste board flat using the expensive bit like I am going to be getting or use a 1/8 bit you have on hand.(the smaller the bit the longer it takes)

Then use a planner to flatten the bottom of the board. (you can use a hand planner for this)
once the bottom of the board is flat then place that on the waste board so you have no bulging when clamping.
Then use the mill to level the top side of the board and it will be flat and level to your bit.

Hmm, I did some research on planning the waste board but the responses for bits where everywhere so I didn’t budge on buying any. If I did buy the bit you suggest, how long roughly would it take to mill a board flat? Lets say a 12"x12" board for example. Would it be more efficient than going out and buying a hand planer? I’ve got a few things on my need to buy list, like a oscillating sander and also a dust collector. My small vacuum is currently pluged up and in rough condition, hoping I can refurbish it and get one of those dust deputy bins.

After watching the video on that site you linked me, I think I’ll also be waiting for my dust boot to be coming in :stuck_out_tongue:

The time it takes to do the waste board will vary on the bit and its feed/step over.
I have not used the one I suggested as I do not have it yet.
There are some calculators out there but plan on spending at least 2 or more hours getting it flat.
The last time I did mine with the bit from inventables it took 4 hours. I used default Easel settings which the step over was too large. This left ridges.

Use a hand planner for the board or if you can afford it get a planner.
The sander will not flatten the surface.
The reason I suggest the planner is so the surface will be as flat as possible so that when you put that side to your flattened waste board you do not get any bulging or uneven areas.
This will make carving better as the wood will stay down evenly across the entire surface. Then you use the surfacing bit to make the wood level to your bit. I have had issues when this is not the case and I didn’t plane or flatten the bottom so it had areas that bowed up as wood was removed. This left lines or dips as the wood shifted in Z.

Ridges can also be caused from Z axis not square to the wasteboard.

You really do not need an expensive bit to mill the wasteboard flat. I use this bit and it works perfectly for about $6 (including shipping) This bit needs a 6mm collet, but I recommend you get that anyway.

I did buy this bit and it left ridges
If they do not have Vcarve or know how to set it up to have a smaller step over then it will not make it flat.
I used easel to do my wasteboard and it has ridges cause the bit blades are slightly angled. Its not designed for bed leveling.
Also he will need a collet that is 6mm for the shank. the one inventables sells is 1/4"

Yes I am ware of that too. I aligned the Z to the waste board multiple times.
I did use another bit that was a standard end mill and it left on ridges.

The bit is designed to level the wasteboard, I use it all the time with a 15% step over and it has never left any ridges. I am not sure why you would need Vcarve, Easel allows you to set the stepover at what ever percentage you want.

Plus it is not enough just to be flat, it needs to be a constant distance from the spindle over the entire X/Y area.