[Solved] Am I changing bits right?

Okay, so I’ve got my X-Carve all set up and working. Belts tightened, eccentric nuts are adjusted. All of the hard stuff is taken care of. Now I’m struggling with something so easy, none of the videos or instructions even mention it. How do I insert a carving bit? I mean, what is the correct way? It seems super simple, but what happens is that after a few seconds of carving, my drilling bit is pushed up into the collet, up and away from the material to the point where it stops touching the material completely. The spindle continues to follow the path of my design perfectly, and the Z-axis appears to be working perfectly as well, but the bit just doesn’t stay put in the collet.

I thought I had it in there pretty tight, but maybe I’m just doing it wrong. I wasn’t sure how to use the collet wrenches supplied. Is there a simple video anywhere showing the right way to insert a milling bit?

Hi @KevinCogill, you need to tighten the collet but it should not take that much force. Did you verify that the bit and collet are both the same size? The default with the xcarve is 1/8" of an inch, did your bits come with the machine as well? If not measure the shank to verify it is the correct size. They do sell a 1/4" collet as well so maybe just verify this is the right size as well. The hole in the center of the nut is just slightly larger than the bit itself.
When I put in a bit I generally just loosen the nut and slide it in about an inch or so and then tighten the nut. You are not missing anything there, it is that easy.

The collet nut if you hand tighten it will stop at one stage then you have to use the collet wrenches small one for the shaft of spindle and the large one to the nut and turn anti clock wise to tighten. when you want to change the bit reverse the process there is temporary locking while undoing the bit if you turn the nut all the way out you can see the collet nut and the collet inside if you want to change the collet you can so you can use different size bits. The collet is E11 which mean the maximum outer diameter of the collet is 11mm.

@KeithGrunow @BhimarasettyChandra Thanks! I think I’ve got it… Just needed some more elbow grease. I got a wrench that fit the flat indentations on the spindle shaft and held it in place while tightening the collet with a collet wrench, and got it much tighter. For some reason, I thought the black part around the collet was hard plastic, and was a little too careful with it. Once I realized it was metal, I really cranked it in.

First real test carve went great! Just cut a little too deep (clear through the material) and lightly etched my daughter’s name into my waste board. Haha.

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At least you will never forget her name now!

@JkWestphal haha!