So I have a pretty big sign project that I’ve been working on for someone that I have about a week left to finish. I ripped a bunch of cedar and edge glued it together. Looks real nice. bout $40 worth of wood and a few days glue up time. Now on to carving.
Since I consider this one of my bigger projects I made sure to go over the machine to make sure everything was tightened and such. start carving. looking good…then it carves into the board about an inch off on the x-axis. I pause the machine but it’s too late the damage is done…I realize that I checked everything but the belts…
I realize that it is my fault, but it doesn’t make me any less frustrated that every time I want to use it I’m gonna have to go over it with a fine tooth comb. I know that it is a DIY machine but that doesn’t change my frustration. I love the machine but I’m getting tired of being unsure if my next cut is going to be a success or crap the bed.
But I guess I will know for next time.
After you have run the machine for a while, you’ll get to a point where you can keep it doing what you want it to with very little effort. My first month with the machine was a lot of learning and tweaking.
I broke bits, drove a 1/4 spiral bit down through a work piece, ruined materials, etc. Hang in there and you will come to be one with your X-Carve.
I thought I was pretty good mechanically, but I ate my ego and let myself learn my machine from scratch. Now, my machine is extremely reliable and has helped me make some pretty cool stuff.
How long have you been using the machine? Curious if your belts are still stretching. What did you use to secure your belts, I used zip ties and it’s been like a year without an issue (Knock on wood)
I used shrink wrap, and zip ties on my 500, and they still stretched and needed monitoring. The 1000 I just bought used, didn’t even have zip ties. Not sure how the guy i bought it from got it to cut, but he did.
Just do a quick sanity check before you cut, snap the belts, and see if they are near equal tension. If you play guitar, the guitar string - tuning analogy works well.
I’ve had my machine about 7 months now, use shrink tube for the belts, it’s been pretty good for the most part.
Just feels like even when I think I go over everything there is some unknown variable.
I have had my machine for over a year now and it seemed like one thing after another with a 75% fail rate. Lost some good Walnut and Maple even went thru and lost over a hundred bucks on Aspen wood panels testing the machine a couple months back - did not want to but it will take so long to sand they are not going to be finished any time soon. Honestly people need to do several good tests out of scrap woods even be willing to sacrifice some hardwood to understand speeds feeds and cut quality. No one should be saying hey I got this machine that is going to be here, never used it but, I am ready to start pre sales on stuff. There is not only an adjustment curve over the mechanics there is a learning curve on all principles of the tool that is a CNC even if it is a 20k Shop Bot you most likely will have to run it through a few test cuts for a break in period. After tweak hear, upgrade there and now I have a better understanding of how the overall unit runs - I felt something off on one of the y axis removed the dust shield and found a loose vwheel almost ready to cause a problem. It can be frustrating but now I have enough faith I have metal hold down clamps on the front of the unit and no project fails in quiet a while tho now that was said I will break something today… It is not an exact science there is always human and machine involvement but you will get there.