I had to tell someone, and my wife doesn’t care about my garage projects all that much, but I finally performed my first successful carve with my 1000mm X-Carve! It’s embarrassing to admit, but I started this journey about two and a half years ago when I ordered a 500mm Shapeoko 2 from Inventables. I assembled it over a weekend and excitedly tried it out, but I was never able to get it to work correctly. It would perform most of the carve then suddenly move back and to the right without raising the spindle, and ruin the work piece. I took it apart to perform some upgrades I found recommended in various forum posts, and since then my machine has been in a constant state of flux, or gathering dust in my basement.
Over the years I bought all the upgrades Inventables came out with (the upgrade from the Shapeoko to the X-Carve and upgraded from 500mm to 1000mm, the dust control system, the X-Controller, etc.). I would work on things here and there, but never got it fully assembled and working. Then, last fall, I brought the machine up into my living room and really started working on it. I got it all done except for the wiring and moved it to my garage with the intention of wiring it up in the spring. Things happened and I didn’t get back to it as early in the year as I had hoped. Spring turned into summer, summer slipped into fall, and the X-Carve was still sitting in the garage.
Then I went to the Inventables Technori event where they announced Easel Pro. Listening to the guest speakers @Zach_Kaplan brought in to talk about their experiences and the business they started really motivated me to finally get this thing done and do something with it. I ordered the upgraded motor kit so I wouldn’t have to worry about wiring myself, mainly because I didn’t want to interrupt my motivation with my less than stellar soldering skills. Then I ordered the upgraded drag chain kit, and the Z plate with the hole for the screw to prevent the homing switch from being crushed.
Anyway, after two solid weekends in the garage, tonight I was able to complete the Easel test carve after performing the machine setup. I thought I was going to be able to do that last night, but when I ran the machine setup the home switches weren’t working. This morning I re-traced my switch wiring, labeled them, and made sure they were connected correctly. I ran the machine setup again, expecting something else to go wrong, but it finally worked!
Again, sorry for the long post, but I’m so excited and wanted to share somewhere! With the holiday coming up this week I’m sure I’ll be spending my vacation in the garage carving things! I have Zach’s book and the kit to go along with it, so I’m definitely going to be running through everything in there. I also plan to finish the failed project from the Shapeoko 2, which was a simple address sign for the front of my house. I also plan to be a much more active member of this community and can’t wait to see what lies ahead in my X-Carve journey!