Skimmed the wasteboard, ridges now exist

Hey guys, was dealing with an uneven waste board from this 3 week old machine (that’s about to be for sale). I’ve lost more money on this machine than I care to disclose, the stack on wood with uneven cuts is growing out of control. I just used my Amana 1.5 spillboard bit to take off 1/64 from the high end, which was closest to my 0,0. Are these tolerances acceptable by Inventables? Now I have a spillboard with ridges on every pass, as if the Z axis is crooked… Do the Shapeko guys have these same problems? This is terrible for a machine that cost this much, and is practically brand new. Who do I see about getting a replacement 1000mm wasteboard?

Signed, a disgruntled customer.

It’s MDF, so I think 1/64" of in flatness over 3ft is pretty good.

You’ll need to work to get everything square and tram. That Z axis needs to be perfectly perpendicular to the wasteboard.



A 1200 dollar Hobbiest cnc router will not have the stiffness and accuracy that 10,000 dollar machines may have. I have found that my X-carve (a former upgraded shapeoko2) has greatly benefited from Y axis stiffeners, 9mm belts, and an aftermarket z axis. If you are leveling a work table, you may want to try a bit that has rounded edges too, but it’s still not going to be like a machined metal surface.

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I MY opinion.
People are waaay to quick to start cutting on the bed / waste board of their machines.
Once you get the machine built, you MUST tram it in with a dial indicator in the collet of the spindle.
If your machine is out a 1/64, that should be very easy to adjust out with the end plates and or the adjustment in the Z axis…
When I first trammed in my machine, it was within .005" overall.
I was geeked and defy anyone to find that error on a piece of wood.(without instruments)

However, since then I have replaced the bed with a piece of ATP-5 fixture plate.
i did that because my machine is in a pole building and I was starting to notice slight movement due to weather changes.

Don’t give up.
Once you have it trammed in you will love the machine.

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New day, new you, right? Off to a great start so far. Been attempting to adjust the tram all morning. Got the Y axis pretty close, still have a small .0015 ridge from side to side, on the front portion of the blade closest to me. Now doing the Z axis. Lists of parts this machine has eaten so far:

1 Aluminum clamping block.
3 plastic clamps
1 dust collection head and bristles
1 Z limit switch.
1 Router clamping screw

Im done touching this thing until Inventables returns my email/phone calls.

Ha,thats funny, (yet not funny cuz it really pisses you off when it happens)
I’ve eaten a few clamps myself, but never a step block.
That my friend is a programming issue and not a machine issue.
The machine goes exactly where it’s told to go.


That is true. However when the $1200 dollar machine is advertised to be within a certain accuracy and it doesn’t even come close unless you spend many more dollars. Then is it ok to be disappointed in the X-carve?

Not trying to be rude. It’s just that I couldn’t help but notice whenever someone complains around here they tend to get snarky responses from other x-carve owners who’s machines actually work.

I can relate to the complaints because I know that depressing feeling after you spent so much money and it begins to set in that the machine is not going to perform as advertised in it’s stock form… If you want it to perform then you’ll have to spend a significant amount of money and time getting it their.


I’ll take issue with that Ernie.
When you assembled your machine did you go through the process of tramming it in?
If you did, and THEN it is not within the specified tolerances, THAT is when you have a legitimate complaint.
That being said. Inventables is an excellent company to do business with and I know (from first hand experience) they will make it right.

Have I upgraded my machine? yes I have. But that is only to improve its performance beyond the advertised specifications.
No different than buying a new car or truck and then start hanging aftermarket products on it. (I do that too)

I hope you don’t think that my responses are snarky, because I certainly don’t mean to come off that way.
Just trying to give back a little that I have learned along the way.


I don’t think my response was snarky because it is just plain fact. I bought a shapeoko2 and ended up mothballing it for a few years because it just was too flexible. Upgrading it to Xcarve specs improved things but still didn’t get me the accuracy that I’m now achieving with the upgrades I mentioned.

I have 2 other commercial cnc machines that I bought over the years, not including one I made from scratch. One I spent 4000 dollars on about 10 years ago. The xcarve now works better than that one ever did. My other machine, a K2 with antibacklash screws, linear guides, and a solid aluminum Z axis performs just a little bit better than the X carve does now.

Rigidity is an important factor in any cnc machine design. When you pay $ 10000 for a machine, you tend to get a more rigid machine. The only way you learn this is by experience or seeing what other machines can do. You get what you pay for in cnc machines, router bits, and pretty much everything you buy today.

The X carve is an amazingly well engineered product for what it costs, but if you are not really satisfied with how it performs for the products you make, then some upgrades could be something to take a look at. Ideally in the future the Xcarve will include these upgrades as another package or with a higher entry level price. The OP obviously has some tweaking to do with the machine but after those occur and it still isn’t where he wants it to be, then perhaps it’s time to look at what can be done to it to make improvements.


Well, after a short break from work, a cold beer, and a long drive, I revisited the issue at hand. Managed to repair the broken Z axis switch, rehomed the machine and went to work. Wasteboard is nearly perfect, and my work was nice and symmetrical. Here’s a few picture of what I put together.

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Nice work.
But I don’t quite understand the significance of our flag with a reticle on it.
Or am I misunderstanding something?

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It’s for a company, that’s their logo. They requested it. Here’s a few more I’ve done with the X carve. This particular flag was big, the Union (star section) was 30” wide, so the machine being out of alignment really showed itself. On smaller flags, not so much.


I’m sorry you take issue with a comment not intended for you. But for the record I wasn’t talking about getting a machine beyond it’s advertised specs I was talking about machines that don’t reach those advertised specs. People have a right to complain and be upset when they pay for something and it doesn’t meet advertised claims. I’m glad your machine has lived up to your expectations but not everyone has had that experience.

Do you have a recommended tool to use to tram the xcarve? Could you please provide a link.

I have a Shapeoko 3 XL never had those sort of problems. the secret is making sure everything is square when you build it, check and recheck.

Agreed…I was just saying that it’s the same on the X-Carve. Care needs to be taken in making sure the axes run perpendicular.

Mike this is awesome! What bit did you use for the stars? I’m just getting started and I want to make some flags.

Thanks Christine, it depends on the size of the flag. For the larger ones, I like to use the 120* V Carve bit from Tools Today. I bought their sign making kit, AMS-132. For smaller flags, I use a 90* V carve bit.

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Update. Installed the new wasteboard courtesy of Inventables awesome customer service.Installed Y Axis stiffeners. Could not seem to get the Y Axis parallel to the board, so I ended up having to shim the board with some washers and tin foil. Result : beautiful straight cuts. First time I made complete cuts and the bits actually penetrated the material and left me an easy to remove piece.

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This is good to hear. Reading some of these posts is giving me anxiety. I feel like I want to make a wasteboard to cover my wasteboard. I have visions of it getting carved to shit for some reason.