Different Depth of Cuts Across X-Axis

I have just gotten a Shapeoko 3 from a friend and I’m loving it! I have started making some small projects as I get familiar with it. During these projects I’ve noticed a couple of things that I can’t explain. I believe i have set the machine up correct.

  1. Pockets on the right side of the machine are shallower than pockets on the left along the x-axis. I have leveled my additional spoil board and when I place a level on the machine all seems good.

  2. I was making a end mill tool holder today and the holes that were made with my 0.25" and 0.125" were not very circular, see below. I used a smaller end mill than the hole size so that it could spiral into the stock. Is this a setup issue?


Hey Darren,

Welcome! The fun has certainly just begun.

Anyways, what kind of speeds and feeds are you using to cut those holes? In my opinion, it appears that there may be some mechanical adjustments that could be made. I’d double check your belt tension as well as v-wheel tension too. If you can rock the z-carriage or y-axis carriages at all by hand then that will surely translate to something like you’re experiencing. If your speeds and feeds are on the aggressive side then belt tension will be more critical; however, belts and wheels being sufficiently calibrated, there’s potential of lost steps for overly aggressive toolpaths.


In addition to @RoughDraft40’s advice, check that your pulley set screws (the ones that hold the belt pulleys on the motor shafts) are tight.

For issue #1, when you “leveled” the wasteboard, did you surface it with an endmill in the machine?


deep thanks for your advices guys. I was wondering that for a while and never actually asked it. I remember we’ve discussed about this with my friend but we haven’t got an answer.
thanks again for advices, we’re both thankful.

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@RoughDraft40, @neilferreri.

Thank you for the help I appreciate it! The feed and speeds were selected from the Carbide Create library for Hardwood. I used #201 for the pockets and larger holes and #102 for the smaller holes. The feeds and speeds where default from the library. I did speed up the pockets by 10% once the initial stock had been cleaned away but then I returned it to default.

@neilferreri, yes I surfaced the waster board with an end mill in the machine.

I will try checking those details tonight.


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