What happened? Everything was fine.... and then it wasnt

I was cutting out a guitar body that was designed in easel and all the sudden the router went off path going from the outline of the guitar towards the pickups and then back on path. My settings were 60 ipm/.062 depth

V wheels maybe. Check for anything being loose

Gremlins or the chupacabra… get yourself some wolfsbane and a few garlic cloves and you’ll be right as rain…


Hey guys, James was asking a legitimate question. While we all enjoy a little humor, it really doesn’t help this fellow maker with his problem. BTW, James, try clear resin mixed with sawdust.


So what is the problem and solution for the lost steps? It was 5/8ths of a inch into the body outline (total thickness 1 3/4) and then went off path…

Let me tell you… it didnt sound pretty routing 5/8ths hard maple lol

I wonder if once you got that deep the into the cut the wood flexed/bowed a little and closed on the bit? I have had that happen and cause similar issues. Only solution with deep cuts, especially in hard wood, is to make a wider cutting path so the bit doesn’t get snagged if the wood moves.

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Can be a number of things, or a combination of several.
Symptom was lost steps, caused by either overheating the stepper drivers or friction (sudden or increased gradually) of the mechanical side of things.

If your Z-axis isnt true 90deg squared to X/Y then the problem of rubbing the bit against the wall of your cut line increase with increased depth.

A better workflow is to leave say 1/2" of material and use a band saw or similar to rough cut the blank out and then use a flush bit / trim bit to take off the excess flange.

I had things go very bad the first time I cut maple. In my case it was a much harder wood than I anticipated and the cut settings I was using were too aggressive.
Though your settings seem pretty conservative. :confused:

Brainstorming here:

Also all that extra noise = vibration and something could have rattled loose?
Check your belts, both for tightness and squished teeth.
Check your V wheels - always check your V wheels.
Check your pulleys to make sure the set screws didn’t loosen.
Check that your controller is not full of sawdust.
Did you calibrate the motor currents?

Have you cut maple with these settings before?
Could be a dulling bit? - The cut looks good otherwise no charring?

“Bad” noise usually means the cut strategies could be better. Speed, depth of cut or RPM.

Maybe a USB error? IF it keeps happening try a new USB cable, maybe even a powered UPS hub.

I have had a cut go off the rails like this a couple of time do to physical obstacles. Once the bottom edge of the spindle was hitting a clamp (I had made sure the bit would clear but not the rest.)
Another time it was the dust collector hose getting snagged / squished.


Why do these random WTF errors always occur with the expensive wood?
You cut scrap all day no problem, but as soon as you start on that chunk of wood you have been saving… :disappointed_relieved:

Alright, so I changed the speed to 60ipm/9/ .04 dpm and slightly tightened the belts… and viola. No issues cutting these two necks of hard curly maple.


@JamesNylen what was the orientation of the guitar body? I find that my right to left (climb) cutting is more chatty than right to left and bottom to top. I don’t know if easel optimizes for climb vs conventional, but that’s something to consider as a possible culprit.

I’ve seen similar behavior on some my carves.
I found out my feed rate was too aggressive and depending on the path geometry the stepper motors would skip steps.
I could cut profiles with large curves easily but the moment that I switched over to a path that had tight corners my motors could not keep up. This was also affected by grain orientation. Depending on the wood cross cutting would be tougher than cutting with the grain.
I upgraded my stepper motors for higher torque ones and had to be a bit convervative on my feed rate.

I don’t know the orientation of the workpiece so I’m going to assume the centerline and neck pocket are along the y axis. It looks like the y axis stepper motors overheated and stopped working. That’s why the part that wondered was 90 degrees to the center line. Adjust your potentiometers and you should be good. Also, tune-o-matic bridges need the neck angled back some to compensate for the extra height the bridge has. Otherwise, the neck pocket would be real shallow and the strings very far from the pickups. I don’t think P-90s will have enough height adjustment to make up for it.