Help with tramming on XXL HDZ by

I am making a box from a cherry board. On the right and left sides it appears I need to tram the router. It appears to me the ridge is on the right side. When project is finished I will get loupe and verify. If the ridge is on right that would indicate router is higher on right side and right side would need to move down a few thousands. Please give your opi ion if my assumption is correct. The lines going across are smooth indicating the router is teamed front to back but tilted right to left.

I used my new Rikon led light for the pic.

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I’ve trammed my router a couple of times in an attempt to minimize this effect. My personal experience is that it’s the wood type, soft or hard, that is what’s causing this. Not to say that retramming wouldn’t help, but I’ve never been able to get rid of it. The enlightening moment came for me after surfacing some aluminum and it was soooo smooth. Went back a softer wood and right back to a similar result as your pictures show.
Looking forward to seeing the finished box.


I would still like opionions on this issue but I used a150 sanding block with the project still clamped up. A few more passes and the marks will be gone.


I’ve found that measuring the tram error with a dial indicator in the collet (or stick in the collet or other instrument)

is the best way to tell if it’s tramming. A larger bit can also show things up more clearly.

I’ve had this sort of finish issue due to speed of cut, sharpness and type of cutter as well as depth of cut and the material in wood and Aluminium. If the cutter isn’t really nice and sharp on the face or the feed speed is wrong it can push / pull / burnish the material at the surface in the direction of the cutter and create the appearance of marks as well as ridges between adjacent passes.

If there’s a distinct flat ramp which is repeated then I’d suspect tramming. If it’s more a flat base with ridges inbetween then I’d suspect cutting artefact.


so if you have a surfacing bit, it’s better to use that to check (just bigger so it exagerates things to make them easier to see). Yes this COULD be the material, but the way to solve that is to only take a very small (say 0.02") pass instead of a full depth one… and if you have a piece of MDF that’s even better since that is “perfect” in this regard.

If (and only if) the direction of the incline is the same on both sides would I consider this a tram issue; if it is one way on the left and the other on the right it’s a “wiggle” not a “tram”.

Seeing this on a picture is hard, but feeling it with your fingers is likely easiest. Or if you want to see… find some method that colors only the high bit (old carbon paper will do this, but so will kid toys like stamps or water color paint on a ruler)… that way you can more easily see the high vs low

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