Cutting crooked

Hi gang, it’s been a while since i posted any questions here but I keep coming across an issue that I can’t figure out.

my shapeoko is cutting crooked. it almost feels like the router (if im staring straight at it) must be tilted slightly to the left (like the slash under the question make on a keyboard). I notice it on deeper 1/2 inch cuts that if i cut a 16" ring because of the apparent angle the left side ends up being thinner than the right. 8025 is the left side and 8026 is the right. so then 8028/8031

is not a perfectly shaped ring. i cleaned it up with a trim bit on my router table and this is what i ended up with

i’ve been using the blue tape/glue method to hold pieces down and sometimes pieces break free and causes more chaos and snaps 1/16" bits.

i know how to level the table, but it seems like no matter what i do getting the router and the cutting surface to be completely aligned is impossible.

any guidance or advice would be amazing

1 Like

Best thing for squaring up the machine is to work from large->small:

  • level the table — not strictly necessary, but it helps to start from a level reference surface
  • remove the belts
  • loosen all the hardware
  • make sure that the endplates and Y-axis rails are level and plumb
  • verify that the gantry is level and plumb
  • adjust things so that the carriage is level and plumb
  • adjust the Z-axis spindle plate and mount so that they are level and plumb
1 Like

sure, makes sense
does the tilting thing make sense? it’s been making my brain hurt

any tutorials out there to make those adjustments or is it pretty straightforward?

There are lots of YouTube videos that explain how to square / tram CNC machines in general, and maybe one or two for Shapeoko specifically. There are tools / accessories / supplies to make it easier. You have the Pro, and I am not too familiar with that specific model, but you should have a pretty good head start with getting things squared-up already.

From what you’ve written, it sounds like the major thing is your spindle is not square, but @WillAdams is right - if you have not squared / trammed your machine, you should do it right and start at the beginning.

  • At least one square is required. Two make things easier.
  • A straight edge is nice to have to verify things that should be flat are actually flat. A decent level will have one flat edge machined that should be good enough for our machines.
  • Shim stock / feeler gage material to shim things that can’t be trued using eccentric nuts or just loosening / tightening after adjusting. I bought 2-3 each from McMaster-Carr in 0.003", 0.006", 0.009" to shim my SO3. You may not need shim stock for your Pro, I am not sure.

When you finally get to tramming your spindle, there are videos that will show you how to do it, and you can do it with something as simple as a bent wire, or you can get something like this like I did because I love tools and gadgets.


I bought the SST version of that tramming gauge and really like it once I figured out how to use it.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.