Things that I now feel I can ask after running the machine a while:

Having used the machine for a little over a month there are some questions that I haven’t been able to figure out. Thanks for the amazing advice I get from this gathering of talented folks.

  1. Will Z - stick? Example: I’m doing two boards of the same thickness, one right after the other - do I need to set the Z zero for the second one or will it keep the Z zero until changed? (My X-Y will be slightly different for each board so I would then just reset it)

  2. Hot glue best practices: First, let me say that hot glue has been a game changer, wow. Now more clamp panic is a good thing. I’m currently clamping down a salvage board and then gluing my work piece to it. So, help me understand the best practices" A. Is there a particular glue stick that’s better for this? B. Is a small “blob” better than a large one? C. Should I maybe use a sanding sealer on the salvage board that I’m gluing to? (Would that help removal or hurt adhesion?) D. What should I have asked about hot glue but didn’t?

  3. Spindle: Manual or Automatic? I bought the IOT Relay but haven’t hooked it up yet since I wasn’t comfortable with letting the machine decide. Am I correct that if I enable automatic it will start the spindle when I hit “Carve” and then stop the spindle when it finishes? Love to hear any thoughts on the benefits of manual vs automatic.

I always re-zero my Z-Axis when I change material as there can be slight variations even with the same item. I use a probe and it goes very quickly.

I have been using a relay, since the beginning, to turn my spindle on at the beginning of a carve and off at the end. Is is better? Personal preference…I do prefer it. I am usually working on something else in the shop while the X-Carve is running. When the router turns off I know it is finished carving.

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Make z-zero the wasteboard. You need to re-zero when you change bits, but if you do it to the wasteboard you don’t care about variations in the workpiece top.

Thanks Phil - that will save me some time overall. As for the hot glue - I wouldn’t put it under, I’ve been doing dabs on the two sides and top (letting me align the front edge). It’s a game changer for me. I did by chance use a salvage board that had been coated with a clear enamel and it did make it easier to remove the glue post carving.

Erik can you tell me more about the relay you’re using to turn on and off the carve? I also thought that would be a great addition. The more detail you can offer the better.

Thanks!!

When I was running grbl with the x-carve I used this:

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Great, thanks for sharing that. Would you mind giving some detail for us some what technically inclined as to how this is implemented in? I’m guessing something is needed to tell this to kill the power at a specific point. Thanks in advance for taking the time to go over it.

I no longer have mine connected that way as I am not using grbl anymore. It will depend if you are using the x-controller or the original Arduino and G-Shield. Someone should chime in that is setup that way.

The Xcontroller has a “SPINDLE (PWM)” output and a “GND” output near it. You connect a wire from each of those to the switch active input on the relay itself. Then, in Easel, you go through machine setup and tell Easel that you have automatic spindle control and it will implement the code necessary to turn the spindle on and off (which is “M3 S1” to turn on (with the proper Easel setup) and M5 to turn off. But again, Easel will handle that if you have it set up for that.

Excellent info everyone! Sounds like I should implement this.

Thanks again.