Struggling to get straight cuts. HELP!

Please see screenshot. My issue deals with cutting a pocket, a profile and anything else for that matter. I am out of ideas on what do do. My machine is not cutting to spec and I’m so frustrated as I cannot get all my projects done—maybe machine maybe user error. Any ideas or next things I could try would be so appreciated. I have a Shapeoke XXl with a Zplus router mount.

Here are a few things I’ve done.

  • I’ve tightened the belts
  • To ensure accurate measurements - I uses a caliper to measure the dimensions of the board.
  • The measurements were entered into VCarve Pro
  • I used a square to check the alignment of the router holder.
  • I’ve used a perfectly square block to ensure the workpiece when secured down is perfectly aligned.
  • I’ve use Bit 201 from Carbide to control other variables. Just to be certain, I also tested another bit jus in case and got the same misaligned cutting issues.
  • I measured across the cutting area diagonally and the measurements check out perfectly
  • The machine is level
  • I used the touch probe to set my X,Y, and Z coordinates
  • I ran that router at the 16 RPM
  • To ensure it was not related to cut depth or something I only cut a depth of .03.

Calibrate and square the machine.

Also ensure that Y-axis belt tension is even.

Please see: and let us know at and we’ll do our best to work through this with you.

I’ll add a few (naive) questions just in case Will’s recommendation are not enough:

  • do the stock dimensions you entered in CC match the actual dimensions of your stock ? and was your stock itself actually square ? (hard to tell from the pic)
  • what did you reference the square block to, when you aligned the stock?
  • can you post the G-code file for a check ? as well as the associated design file (c2d)

also one thing that was useful for me… witht he machine powered (but router off), if you try to wiggle the bit by hand, is there any play at all


On the first issue - I see that you are using VCarve Pro. In your material setup, in the XY Datum section, is “Use Offset” checked? It seems unlikely, but that sort of “shifted” issue could happen with a (negative, I think) value in the X component.

It is just a suspiciously regular delta of .75 that you are seeing… That sort of sounds like an “I was told to start farther right than expected” kind of deal.


cut a series on concentric circles, 0.5 in apart

post pictures of results

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