3D Carving Z axis Ridge Problem

First time post. I have been having a problem with a 3D carving file. Every time I cut, it results in ridges or slight notches in the end product that is supposed to be smooth (see link to pictures). However, the problem is not consistent, so I don’t think it is the file. I don’t have this problem with any other projects with pocketing, vCarving, etc. I have attached the file below. Any help or thoughts on what to try would be appreciated!

Pics: https://1drv.ms/f/s!Aljzw_5X2_zGhOpVa1Ktrcvpr4E3oA?e=mTKZzF

1911 - Wood Plain.c2d

How are you securing the stock?

My recommendation would be to use a fixture w/ threaded inserts — machine the holes first, then secure the grips using nylon screws.

Perhaps do a test cut using stock which is so thick as to not be cut through to verify the toolpaths?

Don’t you need to relieve the undersides? If this is a two-sided job you could machine the undersides first and also make the through holes, then secure them as noted above (if need be, after machining the countersinks).

Since your problem is random it could be as @WillAdams says your stock is moving. However maybe decrease your step over. I think @WillAdams suggestion of milling the grip screws first and then securing the grips would be a good idea. You can get nylon screws at the hardware store. My ACE hardware has a good selection of nylon screws. The reason for the nylon is during milling the grips you might hit the screw heads.

How are you going to do the checkering? My grandson builds guns and has his frames sent out and they put some really grippy checkering on the grips. They feel good and are a very positive hold when gripping the gun.

Where did you get the drawings for the grips?

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Thank you for the response. The grips are secured using CA glue and they don’t move at all. Also, the problem I am experiencing is in the z direction with no movement in the x/y. It is either creating raised ridges or recessed grooves. I do make cuts on both sides by flipping and putting in a mold for the back cuts, but no issues there. Only problem is on the curved front side.

I would suppose it is a mechanical issue. Have you lubed your rails on the Z. The recommended oil is Mobil Vactra #2. You could wipe the rails off and apply some lube and then jog up and down to spread the lube inside to the ball bearings. The recommended procedure to to remove the Z and remove the little set screws in the top and bottom of the bearing blocks and put the Mobil Vactra #2 oil in. The bottom bearings have the screw on the bottom which is why you must remove the Z to get access to them. You could just lube the top ones and eventually it will seep down to the bottom ones.

Also check that you dust collection hose is not binding up. That could cause problems with the Z. Not likely but check it any way.

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Thank you Guy, the lubing of the Z is something I have not tried. I will give it a try in the next couple days. I will also keep an eye on the dust collection hose while running the job.

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