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Messages - 2bits

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This thread is done!

I might have solved my issue although I don’t trust the calibration because I had it correct last night and tonight when I got home it was off again (.016).  While I checked runout by turning the spindle manually, my eyes are no longer as sharp as they used to be and my son said he could see a slight blur on the bit at speed but he wasn't sure.  This is a brand new router, but the way things have been going, anything is possible.  Anyway I recalibrated and replaced the collet and nut with a brand new set and I’ve cut 2 items out exact to spec.  I cut Grahams file exact, the holetest_g3 whoever created that one to spec.  Currently cutting a third to see if I can keep going.  I’m actually quite surprised to see it cut out .175!  So I should now be able start cutting again, barring this whole fiasco starts over again, but it’s looking better than it has since I discovered this.

I appreciate everyone's help in this and I hope I can return the courtesy to someone else in the future, I have a lot to learn.

Thanks again.

ps: 3rd part finished to spec  .5" hole - .5"

I can see me purchasing a higher quality collet system in the future.


Will have to try that tonight when I get home.  The builder finally got back to me, he's out of town.  He thought my controller may be set at 1/8 step mode, but the config file is based on 1/2 step mode.  If this were wrong, I'm not sure if it would be off by alot more or not.  Says he's never had a controller go bad in 5 years or the motors, and agrees this is odd that I can calibrate but be off when cutting.  Wants me to send the controller back.  I'd like to pop the case apart and check the step setting, but I'm not sure how it comes apart and I don't want to void the warranty unless he tells me to go ahead and pop it apart to check.

I wish it were as simple as a misIdentified bit.  I've measured it and it's .1181, I get the sames results with a different bit size anyway.

SteinarN, backlash compensation is off and I did run that test, but it was off because of the same issue I'm having right now.  Calibrate X and Y which appears to be correct, but when cutting it's off by .020-.025.  I'm at work right now, so I don't have the numbers I recorded, I'll post the results when I get home tonight.  I didn't get around to mentioning it earlier because I was ticked off it was still wrong after calibration and it basically ended up the same as all other test cuts.

MachineMaster, I'll check the 1" jog tonight as well when I get home.  Sure glad this is a hobby venture, I'd be out of business by now trying to get this up and running to make a living.

Alright, grabbed new pc, downloaded and installed fresh copy of Mach 3.  Got my portable vise and digital calipers out, ran calibration on each axis using the Mach 3 utility for 5" moves.  I did this until I got 4.999 on X and 5.000 on Y and then I did it 5 more times getting consistently 5.0 +- .001  Even if my calipers aren't the high dollar ones, it consistently gave me close results.  So at this point you would think everything is good to go.  Restarted Mach 3 and cut Grahamns file, results are:  Outer dimension of pocket; expected 1.0 got 1.025, Inner Island dimension; expected .175 got 1.50

It's .025 off, how can it be off .0125 on each side when i did sufficient calibration to get 5.001?  I did another calibration check, 5.001, It's like calibration and cutting are two separate entities, neither one has anything to do with the other.  What's unique about this .025?  it's always been off in this area, .020 - .025.  On the controller, if it's supposed to be 1/8 step, but it was strapped for 1/2, or vice versa, would this be real obvious, or could this be a reason? Or maybe the controller is just bad in some way?  Pc is ruled out, software is ruled out (CAD/CAM and Mach 3), gcode issues ruled out, system appears to be able to calibrate, but fails with .025 overcut consistently.  Motor to lead screws coupling is tight, can't change the threads per inch, no backlash noted especially when it's .025 over all the way around.  New Router, less than 4 hours on it, new bits, no runout detected.  This doesn't leave much but the motors and the controller.  And it would be real nice if the builder would return my emails!


Because of the design of this system and using 1.5" bits, there is not enough travel to as far as required, so I had to raise my sacrificial board 1.25" from the get go  which puts me alot closer to Z zero. 

Graham, thanks, I was not restarting Mach3 after changing steps, so I'll give that a try.  Tonight I'm also going to install Mach3 on a newer, faster pc and try that as well just to rule out the pc I'm currently using.  It's at the minimums and seems to run it ok, but it's 1 more thing to rule out since this seems to be such a strange issue.

Sorry, out of time tonight to get to the files you want me to cut.  I'm beginning to wonder if this system can and will hold a calibration.  Do I need to spend the money and get a dial guage with a block setup to dial this as close to 5.000 as possible? If I'm 5.006, is that enough to throw this off when cutting the island from .175 to .148?  I'm picking 5" right now because my calipers only go to 6".  I know the dial guage would be the most correct, I'm just wondering if I'm spinning my wheels, because I'm not getting an exact true measurement.  Or, is there something wrong with my controller or motors where I'm skipping or gaining steps at random?  Even with the calipers, it would vary +-008.  Sunday after playing with it all day, I had finally successfully cut twice to spec, and the last two nights the calibration seems all over the place.  I don't know if it's because I don't have the right tools or if there's something wrong with this unit.  Once calibrated, should I expect the same measurement everytime or within say .003?  At this point, I don't think there's any point in cutting test files until I can get the calibration stable.

I'm running behind tonight and will try and get to it.  While I don't have a dial guage I got thinking I do have a digital calipers that seems to be pretty accurate.  So I rigged up a portable vise and hooked it to the gantry and recalibrated again (5" runs).  According to the calipers, it was way off, so much so I wonder if the specs for the machine I got are correct.  Originally I was cutting while doing the mach3 wizard, measuring and entering that value and eventually did some manual calcs and entry for fine tuning.  So anyway, I thought I'd try this (wish I had the change to buy some good precision tools), when done, I cut a 1" square and was with .010.  From there I have tweaked manually and got a 1.0 square +-.002 (for now???)  So now I'm currently recutting the file from Graham to see what that does, then I'll try your files. It's getting late, so will see how much time I got yet tonight.  Thanks!  By the way, for tweaking, is going off a 1" square correct?

I agree, the gcode is correct and looks fine, just don't get how I can adjust and get a 1" outside dia as anticipated and have the island off.

If I understand your question, I only specify the bit, the depth, climb or conventional, an optional finish pass, inward or outward on pocketing (neither make a difference by the way) the clearplane height etc.  Nothing that overrides the toolpath dimensions.  If you mean the tool window in Mach3, no.

Correct, it was to designate that it was configured as conventional.  Climb the normal default, made no difference.  Using a finish pass made no difference.

As far as creating the job, yes, I select a Area Clearance pocketing function, select the toolpath, bit, depth etc, optionally pick toolpaths of the 'islands' to avoid and generate the gcode.

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