Work Zero moving arbitrairly

Hi all - trying to figure out why my work zero seems to be moving anywhere from .0100" to .0300" or more, on both the X and Y axis. Maybe a bit more on the X.

This is a freshly upgraded X-carve, so have the new belts, stiffenters, motors etc. I even found a cracked armature on my dewalt 611, so that has been replaced. I’m using easel, x-controller, on Firefox in Linux. I home before carving, belts are tensioned about 3.5 lbs at an inch, machine is as square as I can measure, I don’t believe I’m losing steps as my design is consistent on the piece (and it’s literally all drill operations, no carving, so no side forces to speak of), it’s just not starting where it should - which is at the lower left corner of a 5.5" square MDF pocket jig in the middle of the wasteboard.

I have reset work zero countless times by measuring the offset, then resetting work zero with a jog and a G92 x0 y0 command, and yet it is off almost every time. I have not calibrated the steppers, but that seems like it won’t help if the offset of work zero is different by .01-.03 or more every time.

Before I make more waste, any ideas?

I would start by calibrating… It’s a quick thing to do and eliminates one more question. Also are you homing your machine before each work zero measurement?

I am homing between each, but when I see it’s off, I stop the carve. I am currently checking the calibration, but it’s looking like it’s fine so far

I’m assuming you’re not treating the park as home.

I’d mount some waste, set zero on the waste and manually jog down to drill a hole. Then do an air carve just moving X axis, and do a re-home to see if it lines up.

Then do the same just moving Y Axis. (and for giggles, the Z if you like)

BTW I has a weird issue when I did my upgrade a week ago - one of the idler covers fell off on my X-axis (not during a carve luckily!). when I investigated, I found 2 washers between the idler bearings - not the usual one. Fixed, remounted, and all has been good since.

Calibration shows x/y to be as close as I can measure with what I have currently, I’ll try your process next.

Of course, it goes right down in the hole after homing/work home. Going to try a real piece again.

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ok - so If you have an issue now, it has to be spindle related?. I personally moved to the Makita spindle when I did my upgrade (got it at a great price in the Black Friday sale!). I’ve had great results since - although I’m not sure how much is the spindle vs all else I upgraded. I do know that with the Makita spindle and the precision collar, my carves are now spot on.

I have a precision collet, but no wrench (on order), and a elare collet on the way in a couple days.

I was hoping that the new router and collet would have taken care of this but I’ll know if my work home offset is changing in about 30 minutes.

Next step is to make a new jig in case things are shifting underneath - but I don’t think it’s it. Its screwed to washboard and the work is already friction fit and clamped well.

Sounds good. BTW I also use this woodworkers tape with great effect.

It was my jig :clown_face:

It was not loose, but it must have shifted at some point. Milled a new jig, and everything has been in the .001-5 range.

The price of learning this was a half dozen ‘coasters’ and oh, about a dozen hours of stubbornly refusing to redo the jig which looked fine, but wasn’t.

I hate milling MDF that much haha :dotted_line_face:


Glad you found the solution!

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