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Z-axis not plunging to cut depth

Hello, I have tried searching, so apologies if it’s been asked before. But I just set up my X-Carve and am trying to do my first carve. I have a basic text design set up but when I start the carve, the z-axis does not come down to the proper depth. It looks to have cut my first letter out ok, but then when it goes to cut the second letter, it started carving but was flush with the work piece at first. Then when it got to the third letter, it was a good 1/8" to 1/4" off the work piece.

I should mention that I am using the z-axis upgrade and adjusted the $102 (already set properly) and $132 settings as described. Everything is flat and level. The work piece is a piece of walnut that has gone through a planer. But I am out of ideas and now I’m stuck so any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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when you say “flat and level” have you surfaced the wasteboard using the cnc itself?
IF Not, you might need to either do that, or use the spindle as a depth gague and shim up the board so that the top is perfectly level to the gantry plane.

Personally I prefer to surface the wasteboard and joint one side of the board (bottom) and then surface the top on the cnc and then carve without removing it after the surfacing operation however the shimming processs does seem to work well when surfacing on the cnc is not an option…

It’s a 3/4 sheet of mdf… Would it really need to be surfaced? Should be no different than what they would provide, no? And I wouldn’t think it’d cause one letter to cut correctly and the one next to it to not cut at all, but then again I’m the newbie lol.