Problem with carving stars

Ok so I’ve been doing this for a few months now and while I’ve had some issues, I’ve been able to use this forum and other sources to figure each problem out. (Usually user error). But now I’ve got an issue and I’m not having any luck with it. Only seems to occur when carving stars. I made one flag with no issues, replaced the board, set everything up again and now I’ve had the same issue repeated 3 times in a row using the same file, and also different star pattern files. It doesn’t seem to do it to every star, and the same gcode won’t do it to the same stars running it a second time. I’ve slowed the feed rate, I’ve sped up the feed rate, plunge is only at .1.
Like I said, I ran the file and had perfect results, ran it again (separate piece of wood but cut from the same board even) and now it seems to do it every time. Only thing I can imagine is that it’s something physical on the machine but I’m not sure what. I’ve attached a photo of the before and after the problem started. (Edit: since I just created my account I can’t post more than one photo at a time so I’ll post the problem photo.

Here is the photo of the stars with no issues.

Things which cause problems when V-carving:

  • unlevel wasteboard
  • uneven stock thickness
  • mechanical problems (check eccentric nuts, V wheels, pulley set screws, belt tension, &c.)
  • feeds and speeds — wood is a natural material and what works in one block may not work in the next
  • worn endmill — check before each use

Out of Will’s list it looks to me like it’s most likely mechanical problems. Check to see if there is play in your X and Z axes. The way the tips of the stars are curved would suggest X-axis (I think).


Yep, and my bet would be on loose eccentrics. My second bet would be undertensioned belts, but less likely since previous jobs were ok and belt don’t loosen that fast.

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