X-Carve Maintenance/Troubleshooting Videos - Add Your Own!

Here’s a video I made on performing the X-axis stiffening modification.


Here’s a video I just made on measuring belt tension, and includes a method to make a quick tension gauge using scrap wood and a gallon of water.


And, here’s the last video of mine this weekend. A guide to adjusting potentiometers, hopefully it’s not too confusing.


Thank you for this. i just ordered my x-carve today so i will now have a couple of weeks to watch these videos and absorb the information


Here’s another video that I hope will help. It shows how to adjust your stepper calibration (steps/mm) through Easel.


I just realized that I haven’t linked my assembly tips video on here yet. It’s got some problems I noticed, workarounds, and alternatives that I came up with when I was building my X-Carve. Hopefully it’ll be useful for those who are getting ready to assemble their X-Carve.


It’s not a video, but here’s a link to the thread (and project) for a calibration test pattern:

The test pattern is a combination of precisely sized holes and such, designed to ensure there’s no lost steps or other issues that can cause less-than-perfect carving. The 6-page PDF in the project explains everything, and even includes a datasheet to record information on.


This video covers installation of a new secondary wasteboard, using the X-Carve to drill holes for access to the threaded inserts and to mill a pocket to square material to the home position. It also covers how to diagnose that a spindle is out-of-square with the wasteboard, which can cause lines or squares on the bottom of a pocket.


You know, I really appreciate you posting these videos because it will help me tremendously! I hope to get to these topics over the next week.


Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks so much for the video. It really helped me dial in my machine.


Hi Robert,

This is great. I am just at that last stage before turning my machine for the first time. However… I am not sure about one thing: In the link that inventables sends you to, the state:

Do not over-torque these pots - they are tiny and gentle and will break. The pots have 270 degrees of rotation.

I see you are turning clockwise from your perspective, thus, I assume, counter-clockwise from the GBRL-shield normal perspective. I can not see very well in your video the marks or anything else, because of the blinding lights.

To the point, I have been unable to find a clear photo or squematic where they tell me:

  1. The range where I can move this trimpots safely
  2. The end that marks or indicates the level that I am at.

I have my own assumption, but I may be wrong, so if you can tell me if I got the range ok.

And if you can tell me what is the end that indicates the level we are in:
A B C or D?

It’s confusing for me…


From your picture, I would assume that clockwise is “up” and counterclockwise is “down”, like you have marked on the Y. I’m not sure what the positions are, but you should be able to gently turn it all the way up and down and feel where it goes without breaking it.

Knowing where the exact range is on the pot itself isn’t necessarily important either, just mark one spot on the screw and mark the spots on the box itself where you start losing steps from low voltage and thermal cutout (high voltage). That’ll give you a relative (and useful) range in which you can position the mark on the screw.


Out of curiosity (I know it can vary), can you share a photo (like mine) of your positions?

Only if you can.


Here ya go. It looks like I have almost a 90 degree useful range on the Z, and much less on the X and Y. Makes sense with the amount of weight added from the steel bar and the router.

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One question though.

I just turned my x-carve on for the first time. Passed by easel Setup. All the wiring is fine. Nevertheless, when doing the homing (and also when I move it manually), the Z axis starts moving up, till a moment where it can not move more without reaching the limit switches. Like if it was difficult for the machine. I still didn’t do the potentiometers adjustment. But I can not do that before setting easel first, so I am stuck. Do you think it’s related … or that it’s something else?

Here is a video that shows the problem.

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

Any tips would be very appreciated. I checked and there is nothing in the way or so. Nothing is colliding, or misplaced.

Looks to me like it could be a couple different things:

  1. Potentiometer, turn the Z pot up a hair at a time until you’ve turned it 45 degrees. If it doesn’t change by that point, that’s probably not it.
  2. Could be the threaded rod binding on the delrin nut. Did you run the nut up and down it a dozen times or so before assembly? It has to be broken in to work well. There’s also potential that the threaded rod has a slight bend, which could also cause binding. Mine is slightly bent, all I had to do was work it up and down a little more. Hardly affects the machine.

I don’t recall. I think I did.

For point 1. All clear, I will do that.

For 2. Do I have to dissasembly the Z Axis to run the nut up and down a few times?

There is something with the backcurrent going to the motor chips if you move it manually no? When is it ok to move the Z axis manually turning the nut? (With the machine off?)


You can always run it up and down while installed, but it’ll be slower. You want to avoid backcurrent, so you’ll have to slowly move the nut up and down by hand a few times unless you loosen the Z motor mount and take off the Z belt.

The assembly instructions used to reference running the nut up and down the rod a few times before assembly, it’s easy to do if you chuck the rod in a hand drill.

How did you get the X-Carve to move 700 mm at one time?