Tips for a newbie

Hi There,

I’m on the way to place my order for the X-Carve through their UK dealer. I have a few questions, hope someone can explain me those things.

First of all, through the UK dealer I can only choose the DeWalt spindle and it’s fair good as I wanted to improve the spindle first. If I can order the Bosch Colt router instead of the DeWalt will be perfect. Someone have it? (The Bosch Colt)

Second question is a general question: What I need to know to avoid assembling problems? What I need to check with accuracy or something like that?

All info are well appreciated of course.


Ultimately, you may be happier with the Dewalt. The Colts have had some run-out issues in the past. This according to who discontinued making collets for the Bosch.

Really? Thanks, that didn’t know that. Do do you know the power in ‘hp’ of the DeWalt? I assume the EU versions is a bit different 'cause we use different V.

Our US Dwp611 is 1.25 peak hp.

Before you do your assembly, you should check out a few of the unboxing/assembly videos that are out there. I tried to make mine useful, and put tips on how and how not to do a few things. You can see mine at

You should also do a search for “maintenance videos”, there’s a forum thread with four of my videos that show how I have done X-axis stiffening, belt tensioning, potentiometer adjustment, and stepper motor calibration. Most of the problems people seem to initially have are due to incorrect potentiometer settings.

A couple of other “gotcha” items are:
-Don’t make the V-wheels too tight, should be able to spin them by hand with effort
-Use loctite on your screws (medium strength blue, you may want to reposition later)
-Make sure one pulley screw is dead-center in the flat on the shaft, and use loctite to hold your pulley screws in place

1 Like

If I’m not wrong, the Bosch Colt has only one fixed speed.
That could be a problem milling different materials.

Ouch, didn’t know that also! Thanks!

Thanks Robert, that’s really helpfull!

With ‘use loctite’, did you literally means to glue the screws? And why? I can assume that the movement of the machine can loosen them?

Not with glue, necessarily, but with a thread locking compound like this:

The machine can definitely cause some of the screws to wiggle loose, especially if there’s a lot of chatter. The tiny pulley screws seem especially prone to wiggling loose, but the same can happen with the V-wheel screws and almost anything else. I used it on every fastener, and haven’t had any problems with screws coming loose. I even put a little bit on the eccentric nuts where they contact the holes in the carriage, and have only had to make a few slight adjustments on them.

Just make sure you use some sort of low or medium strength threadlocker. There are some out there that require high heat to loosen up, or that act almost as superglue and effectively weld the fasteners together. You want to be able to easily reposition if necessary without damaging something or stripping out bolt heads.

That’s a nice tips! In fact I have never heard about that ‘threadholders’. You know, I live in Italy and some of the stuff you usually buy on store like Home Depot or something like that, are nearly impossible to find here.

I hope to really not have ANY sort of problems/issue when the machine arrive because the shipment to Italy are extraordinary expensive, and the customs here really sucks. I bought a miniature flush router bit from Tools Today 12 days ago. Took 2 days to arrive in Milan from Chicago, and seems that customs have kidnapped it since.

Anyway, I’ve seen your video about the assembly and are pretty clear. I don’t actually know if I will make all the “modification/improvement” you have made but for sure I will secure the screw with that loctite.

Hope I can bother you if I’ll have some problems in the future :smile:

Oh, do you also know if I can upgrade the stepper motor to the NEMA 34? They are pretty cheap, and maybe more powerfull can be helpful.

NEMA 34 motors won’t fit the mounting holes and may not physically fit the Z axis position. The stock electronics are not appropriate for NEMA 34 either. I think that the NEMA 23 motors are just fine for the X-Carve.

Fair enough, thanks.

I’m always on here stalking the forums, feel free to bother me any time. :smile:

1 Like

All good responses above. Let me add a few suggestions.

Most likely you are going to want to have longer wires for the stepper motors and homing switches. I added about 1.5 feet to each wire and wish I had added more.

Use shielded wire for the homing switches and the spindle wire if you use a DC spindle. If you use an AC router just use the power cord that comes with it.

For the homing switches I used shielded 22/2 security wire. For my DC spindle I used shielded 18/2 security wire.

If you extend the stepper motor wires use shielded 18/4 security wire.

I also recommend Loctite. I used it on every screw. Use the “blue” type. I used 220 and 242.

That’s a nice advice too. I’m a luthier and far from guitar electronic I’m not so skilled with those modification but for sure I’ll try to make my best.

Hi Alex,

If you order your machine at the UK vendor, the package doesn’t have to go trough the customs. So you don’t have to pay import tax.

I have the makita router with the dewalt mount, and it works great. (the makita router is way cheaper than the dewalt)

Mikita is powerful than DeWalt? Pretty I basically just know that I will NOT make guitar with this machine, but it maybe have to cut me solid alluminium pieces and other hard stuff (wood included).

Alex, buondì.
Sono Massimo e sono di Erba vicino a MIlano, desidero acquistare la x-carve essenzialmente per realizzare delle targhette in alluminio e visto che anche te lo hai fatto ti domando cortesemente se ne vale la pena. Le targhette sono quelle che per gli amministratori di condominio. Desidero farmele da me così che possa avere una macchina che possa farmi creare altro visto che diletto con il legno. Hai avuto problemi con le incisioni su alluminio? I settaggi sono complicati… ho un pò di timore visto il costo e se mi dessi delle dritte o tue opinioni te ne sarei grato.

Ciao Massimo,

non ho mai lavorato allumini con la X-Carve. So comunque che è possibilissimo farlo. Nel qual caso ti consiglierei di acquistare la versione più piccola se anche i lavori in legno che andrai a fare saranno di ridotte dimensioni.
In questo modo la macchina sarà più rigida, avrai meno vibrazioni e lavorerai meglio.

Va inoltre detto che è fondamentale avere un piano di lavoro perfetto, non traballante, e ‘‘piano’’, perché la macchina è leggera e se il supporto vibra o si flette, la macchina si fletterà con esso.

Imparerai col tempo a settarla a dovere, e capirai usandola i limiti che ha e come settarla al meglio per raggiungere quei limiti.

In caso decidessi per l’acquisto ti consiglio di acquistarla da che è l’importatore per EU e si trova in Inghilterra. Eviterai così spiacevoli e costosi oneri doganali.

Un saluto,