Simple jig to set exact zero spot

I was fustrated this last weekend as I was milling a part and it was difficult to get the correct zero point. I useally have not had issues as I am milling larger parts and zero being off 2 to 3 mm is not an issue but this weekend I needed more precision. First method is to replace the bit with a finer pointed bit or a point into the router and use this to set zero – not practical as I had to do 20 parts. Tried this also but the x-carve is not that close when it comes back to the home position (repeatablity was a little off) or if you have minor movement in the placement of the product on the x-carve platform. I decided to print a 3d part on my printer to slip over the bit on the router that came to a point. Did a simple Tinker Cad part see photo. May need to sand the 3d printer part a little as the curl of the point of the PLA on the top not sure you see this on the photo. The part on the right is the printed part with a large raft to support when printing it breaks away and has a hole in the center 2mm that can be easy to drilled out for the bit your using on the router.


I wrote a post about automatic 3-axis zeroing with the Xcarve a long time ago. Just search for it.


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Make a bump stop or fixture for repeated location of your material.
the you can use last XY zero for each subsequent part.
If you machine is not consistent going back to XY zero you have mechanical issues that will result in poor accuracy no matter where you start from.
Tighten the ship as someone has recently stated.

  • Homing switches! :slight_smile: Instant reference system.

If your rail gets bumped while powered off, I dint think even sending it home will resquare the rail. I usually use a set of mdf blocks (exact same length) to bump the left and right rail ends against the front x axis rail mounts and then power on. If you power on after bumping on accident, the left and right ends of the x rail are different distances from home. There is no way for the steppers to know that without a position sensor on every rail. I could be wrong, but don’t see any other way.

Correct, it wont. Consistent homing precision require a consistent machine.
Squaring blocks at power-up then home will solve inconsistent Y-axis.

Interested in this.

What do you mean on creating a bump stop for your work piece?

And also what the squaring blocks mean ?

Pics please.

I just clamp my piece to the work table wherever or anywhere different projects each time, even if they are the same size pieces (flags for instance ) and then I eye up the zero point at the bottom left with the bit (get it pretty close to zero zero on the piece by eye ) and set the zero point then every time like that.

New piece new project same process I use, so that eliminates problems if it was moved while machine was off.

Simpler better ways? Quicker ways?

Thanks guys.

Have a look.

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The idea sounds good.

I don’t see many explanations on how it is used or videos.

Any input? Or other examples or things ? Thanks.

I haven’t been in touch with Charly for quite awhile now.
But he used to have a video on how it works.
I use mine all the time.

Although precise , seems far more involved and time consuming than eyeing it up and using the supplied z probe.

I use mine on 99% of my projects. Worth it’s weight in gold in my eyes.

Hmm… maybe I don’t fully understand then.

Do you have to type all that code in each time ? Or just hit prove like normal in easel.

After you have everything installed it works just like your z probe. You do not need to install the code each time.

My apologies.
I posted the wrong video.
That one is really old, have a look at this one.

Ok. Pretty impressed by that video. More questions if you don’t mind. Does it plug into the current z probe outlet plug on my xcarve ? And does it auto touch each side of that plate and then the top all on its own through easel? I didn’t see that part.

Yes, it does the XYZ automatically.
I don’t use Easel so you may want to contact Charley.

Talked to charley on the phone for 45 minutes at triquetra. He was probably one of the nicest people I have talked to in years and the longest phone conversation I’ve had in years. Super super super knowledgeable and extremely nice.

He says it all works perfectly with xcarve and easel.

I’ve paid for and ordered mine instantly!

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And if you DO have a problem with it, he will spend as much time as necessary to walk you through it.
Simply a great guy.