Troubleshooting Depth Issue

I finally got to play with my X-carve again after a few months. I went to do a carve today on .5 MDF and ran into this issue. It seems that the machine was having issues keeping a consistent depth cut in the center of the larger areas and leaving a slight ridge in the middle. Ant suggestions/input is greatly appreciated on how to resolve this.



What bit were you using?

I was using the 1/8 straight cut.

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That bit is not good for cutting out pockets. If you look at the tip you can see a space which causes those lines. I use the 1/8” fishtail bit from Inventables and it works good or the 1/4” spiral bit.

Thanks. I will take another pass at it with a different bit. I have 1/8 down cut bit I will try with and see how it goes. I selected the straight cut bit off of the inventables chart that said it was good for MDF. Honestly did not even cross my mind about the ridge issue. I will let you know how it goes.

Thanks again

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Tramming your z axis will probably help with this.


You can also use the pro setting and have it cut vertical or horizontal that helps hide and reduce those type of marks.



Thanks Stuart,

I will spend some time checking tram and see what I can see.


Thanks for the response. I was looking at the same. I am going to give it a run with the Raster the next time around. Will post the results.


I sent the images to inventables support and they responded with this.

thank you for getting back to me, I have reviewed your design.

"It is difficult to tell from your close up images of the ridges but it looks like this occurred in this portion of the cutting path:

It seems the contour toolpath has produced a ridge like the one that shows up in your project. I believe this is due to the type of bit you were using. Although 1/8" bits are good for general purpose carving, when carving woods you want to use a down-cut fish-tail bit. This will ensure you are getting a flat pocket carved out.

Additionally, you may want to experiment with using a Raster toolpath rather than a Contour toolpath. This is one of the Easel Pro features that may help avoid this issue in the future. You can select the Raster toolpath to carve along the X or Y axis by selecting the “Cut Settings.” Here is an image for clarification: "

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When I first started using my XCarve I tried the straight 2 flute bit and noticed that the carve wasn’t flat on the bottom. I examined the bit and noticed that the tip wasn’t flat. I then tried the fishtail bit and it worked perfect. So when you posted the picture of the problem you were having it looked like something I had seen before. That bit works great for cutting thinks out. I attached a close up picture of the bit and you can see that its not flat.
Hope it all works out
Good Luck



Thanks for the input. It is very much appreciated. I am hopeful that the change of bit will resolve the problem. I am working through the weekend and will give the cut another shot come Monday on my day off.

I will let you know how it goes.

Again, thanks.


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You’re welcome Joe, and thanks for letting us know how it goes.

So I ran a project. Using .5 mdf, changed the but to a 1/16th upcut bit. Used the rastar path selection and this is what I got.

The elevation issue is defined from one pass to the other and only really exists at the top and bottom of the logo. Also the clean up pass on the edges is about 1/32 lower than the field. I checked my paths on easel and everything appears ok. Wheels are tight and belt tension seems ok. I checked tram as well.

I blame it on my friends for asking me to do a Yankee piece for him, lol

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Is this all done with one end mill, one file?
Do you have a dust shoe? Make sure it is not creating any unnecessary forces.
Looks like you lost some steps before the S in Yankees was carved.
Can you share the file?

Thanks for the response. The “S” was my mistake. For some reason it did not stay when I moved the rest of the design in easel. I am using a dust shoe and it did not seem like it was to heavy on the piece.

Here is the file

Any suggestions are appreciated as this seems to not be the only piece I am doing with the same issue.

As you clamp your material down watch the material does it pucker in the middle. I have noticed that if my sacrificial board is getting some wear on it on my 1/4" PVC i have seen that. Also check the v wheels on your Z to be sure they are snug and can barely spin by using your finger, Might want to check all of them. Lastly grab your router and try lifting it, does it move or flex the rail in any way?

In addition have a look at your v-wheels. I had a similar problem when one of my v-wheels wasn’t tight enough and the whole x-axis was flexing when cutting.

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You’ll have to share publicly.
File–>Share–>Share with Link–>Save


Sorry, let’s try that again.

Here you go.