Hey guys, new to the forum here and I’ve got a few questions maybe you more experienced folks can help me sort out. I apologize if these questions have been answered, if they have please just point me in the right direction. I have a 1000mm x-carve with a wasteboard from Inventables, and Dewalt 611 Router.
First let me give you guys my symptoms and what I did to trouble shoot.
I have performed a dozen or so carves mainly larger signs about 20x24 inches. While carving i have broken 4 bits. Upon further inspection, I noticed that the right hand side of my carve was deeper than the left hand side. So I pulled out a 2ft level (i’d like to note my table is perfectly level) and checked the X axis, all was well there. I checked the Y axis, all was well there. Next i pulled out my 16" framing square and measured the x rail from multiple points on the wasteboard, there was a minor discrepancy. I ran the framing square along the waste board to check for inconsistencies, it was too hard to tell because everything looked all right from a glance. I then grabbed my 6ft framing level and plopped it on the wasteboard, and wow is there a problem. To be further certain my level wasn’t lying to me, I zeroed my bit to the bottom left hand side of the wasteboad on a piece of 3/4" aluminum. I ran the spindle / aluminum all over the board to find that there is nearly 1/8" difference in some spots!
I checked all my pulleys and v-wheels to also rule out there being further problems. I noticed that on my x-carriage and y rails i can’t seem to get all 4 wheels to be in sync. Some barely touched the rail while others are snug.
So that’s where I’m at, here are my questions…
- Is it common for the wasteboard to have inconsistencies of 1/8" or greater?
- Is it going to be necessary to skim the wasteboard?
- Would shimming my project help correct this?
- Is it necessary that all 4 wheels on the rails be touching?
I thank you in advance for your help!
1 - No Xcarve is 100% parallell to Z at first (No other machine either before its been aligned/machined/matched up) For height critical carving you need to skim cut your board surface, this will ensure board surface is parallell to Z height.
2 - Yes, after you have aligned the board as best as possible.
3 - Yes, plus tramming the router
4 - That would be ideal.
Thank you very much for answering my questions. I just wanted to be sure before I made any further adjustments.
I just ordered a nice surfacing bit that should have that wasteboard shaved in no time. As for the vwheels, I’ll have to spend more time tinkering with them to see if I can get better alignment.
Thank you again, I look forward to getting this machine fine tuned! I’ve seen a lot of work people have done on this forum and it’s been a true inspiration.
I had an issue with mine and everything is level one day i noticed the machine had a gap under one corner. all the same symptoms you just described
Hey Jeff, have you done anything to correct the issue? I’m waiting on a new bit to flatten out the board. Just today i watched a couple videos and read a few other threads posted on the forum about very similar issues. This appears to be a pretty common problem with a few solutions, however most folks recommend shaving the wasteboard.
The only reservation i have about shaving the board is I plan on using material larger than the carve envelope. This may cause a little more of a hurdle in regards to leveling larger items.
It’ll eat into your workable Z depth a little bit, but you could put a piece of thin plywood on top of the wasteboard, then surface that. That way your large work pieces will overhang the plywood, and you won’t have a “pocket” in the Inventables wasteboard.
Also, admittedly plywood may not be the best choice… But some other thin, easily milled material - you get the idea (hopefully).
That’s an excellent idea. I’ve kinda been doing something similar to that already. I have a 3/4" piece of plywood that has inconsistencies in thickness and it has served as a makeshift leveling device.
I like the idea of surfacing a piece of wood instead of the actual wasteboard. I agree with you on the plywood, im not certain how well that can be surfaced. I will look into a suitable material and I’ll be sure to update my progress.
Thank you all again for your responses, it’s truly appreciated.
If available locally I can recommend particle boards, preferably the ones used for sub-flooring in wet rooms. They carve and hold their dimension well.
believe it or not in used a couple of shims between my table below the extrusions and the extrusions, it was rocking so i just made it so it wouldn’t. it solved the issue
Hey guys just a little update here. So i was able to find some thin MDF to shave down, however I haven’t had the need to try this yet.
Instead I’ve been shimming my projects to offset the differences. I just place a couple door shims under the wood I’m using on the side that has the low spot. To ensure that the project is level, I use a 1" piece of pine and lower the bit on top of that, then jog the spindle all over to see if the bit touches. I have found this to work pretty well, however it does add a little time to each project.
Ultimately, shaving the entire waste board will be the route I take. For this I bought a 1" Spoil board surfacing bit on Amazon for under $20.