Started good...then...not so good

Hello everyone, This is my first actual project, I’ve done the test carve and it was fine. So…Got a bunch of bits, decided the first thing I should make was a tray to hold them(was supposed to be a hinged box, but since there’s no lid, we’ll call it a tray). So, designed in Fusion 360, found the inventables tool library, downloaded the tools, applied them, planned out a very slow cut path, post processed to Easel. Opened in easel, homed, probed, all is well, began carving. Carving for the first two sections went great, the third one, not so well. I cut off the machine, after taking a few photos and videos. Without further ado, here’s my failed tray.

It was cutting fine, then poof, it adjusted itself about .20" on the Y axis. No bump, not controller disconnect, just sitting and watching. I plan on using the mill to take off this layer, then try again, but just wanted to make sure that there wasn’t something off in the GCode.

I look forward to the day that I can look back and laugh about this, but it’s sorta rough when it’s your first project, you played by the rules, did it all by the book and now you’ve got problems. Attached is my rough cut GCode. (4.9 MB)

Something is loose on the Y axis. Check out belts, allen screws. You are losing steps and my guess it is mechanical.

I’ll check that tomorrow. I appreciate the quick help. There isn’t much about proper tensioning in the setup guide, so I basically guessed and I thought it worked fine because of the test cut. I know the screws are tight. I’ll adjust the belt, shave off the top and carve out the lid on this piece. Fingers crossed.

1 Like

Good luck with it.

For the belt tension I used a mechanical fish scale, in the center of the belt my displacement at 1" was 4lbs on the scale.

1 Like

Very interesting way to measure the tension. I assume that is with the spindle at home position? I’ve ordered a mechanical fish scale specifically for this purpose. I “finger checked” the tension on all three belts. X is tight, One of the Y is a little looser than the other, both Y are looser than X.

I also noticed that when my spindle is descending, it rocks right to left…I don’t think that’s normal.

I usually push my carriage clear to the back and the router to the left, for your spindle check all your v-wheels make sure they spin with a little tension on them. Might be worth it to check all of them.

Good luck takes a bit to dial them in. Steve

Tightened both belts on the Y axis.
Adjusted the V-wheel adjustable bolts.
Everything seems to be working as intended. My mechanical fish scale was delivered, haven’t had a chance to measure the tension.
Here’s my first completed project. I didn’t do a final pass to detail, just happy it turned out.
Thanks for all the tips, I’ve learned a bit over the past few days.


Glad we could help the project looks nice. I started a thread with one of my first projects and pretty much every project I make I upload a picture to it. I wish everyone did that to display their work.

Keep them coming. Steve