Trying to carve a name [Uneven pocket floor]

Trying to put a name on a piece of 1x3 pine. Bottom of letters very irregular. Leaving lots of different levels. Any ideas

Can also be wood, bit and machine related.
Need more input / pics :slight_smile:

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I’ve been having the same issue when I make pockets, I’ve noticed it most with my 1/8" bit. I’ve checked belts and v-wheels though that doesn’t seem like it would be the problem. I also squared the z-axis.

With my 1/8" 2-flut up cut, I generally cut bamboo at 40 in/min, depth of .05".

Any luck figuring this out, Randy?

An upcut bit will try to pull the workpiece and the spindle together. It is more pronounced with a deeper cut depth, especially on that final pass IF it’s set to do more than one pass depth. . . I suggest using the Depth per Pass and the design item depth and math to set it to have a very thin final bottom pass which could help with this issue. . . BUT also using a downcut will help too.

IF you like you can share the Easel project and we can take a look at all the current settings to try to help with the issue. . .
& can you show a photo of the carve results?

Thanks for the response, Seth! This is an older example but accurate to what I see frequently (this is a little more severe than what I’ve seen this week, but not much).

I hear what you’re saying about the upcut bits, I’d be surprised if it was that, but I’m also the one that doesn’t know why this is happening so I’ll check it out. I think with the recent carve, this depth was .07" and I was doing .05" passes… so really not taking off a ton of material. I generally just run my machine on the lowest router setting which I think is 18k rpm.

I can send the file tomorrow, if needed. Time to get off my feet for now…

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0.02" isn’t too bad for the final pass.

a downcut bit will definitely help
But also make sure the machine is as rigid as it can be . . make sure wasteboard is supported underneath. A lot of people put a piece of 1" thick rigid foam insulation underneath to help support it. And also you might want to see if the Z axis itself has any up/down play by trying to lift the spindle by hand see if it can move up/down at all it should be very rigid and not have play in it. IF it does have play it could be any number of things from loose Eccentric nuts, to the Nyloc Nut at the top of the Z axis (for Pre Nov 2021 models) Or even there’s 2 Screws that hold the Black NutBlock to the back of the Z where the lead screw goes through that could be loose, those 2 screw. . .

Thanks for the suggestions, Seth!

I went through a pretty extensive process and measured the x and y axis, made sure they were square and also checked all of the belts and v-wheels and bolts. Fortunately or unfortunately, they were all almost perfect. I was hoping maybe the Z wasn’t square, but it was. The wasteboard is pretty darn flat as well… I was a little bummed to find out that everything was tight, I was hoping it was just a loose bolt or something. There’s a slight amount of play in the bit but really not a whole heck of a lot…

So after I got everything back in place, I ended up slowing my machine way down and that definitely did a better job (or me checking all the bolts did something). The pockets still aren’t perfectly flat but they’re better. My goal is still to get rid of all of those tool path marks or at least to an acceptable point… this last pass was close.

Since I use Easel, the program picks the bit up and moves erratically sometimes, rather than just finishing a section and moving to the next. I’m thinking that may have something to do with it, in case it’s not coming back to an accurate depth when it comes back to finish a section. That’s movement doesn’t make sense to me. I’ll be able to try a few more things this weekend and see if there has been progress but, in the meantime, I’m open to more suggestions if you have any. I’ve run out of ideas… Thanks again for your help!

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