Vcarve goes too deep

Hi all,

I’m fairly new to CNC. I have a Shapeoko XL and my vcarve goes too deep. My stock is pine 3/4 and I have set my Z thickness to 0.750. I’ve tried with both #301 and #302 bits. The size of the board is 9" x 14". I had once a good result but, I had made a typo. So here I go and start a new one on a new board, with the same stock thickness and now, after 2 tries, it goes much deeper. I’ not sure what could be wrong. Is it me or the machine? I’m using the BitSetter for tools change and Z reference as well as the jog option to position the x-y and z. For the z height, I use a piece of paper. Once these are where they should, I zero all. I also have the Touch Probe hook-up but haven’t use it yet since my clamps are usually in the way. Picture attached:

Your help will be greatly appreciated.

this clearly indeed looks like it goes too deep, but it goes too deep everywhere
not incrementally so…
almost like you lose some steps before you even start

can you check what your retract height is set to ?
(this is in the “sprocket” menu if you use carbide create)

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I do use Carbide Create and Motion. My retract height is 0.1300 inches.

Setting the height of a Vbit with paper can be tricky, the bit will slice through the paper. You can use your unused probe to set the Z only, this way you can place it anywhere on the surface. Set your X and Y by hand then use the probe to set the Z in the middle of your workpiece. Another option is to use a metal feeler gauge to set your Z manually as the bit will not slice through.

En passant Benoît, tu es de quel endroit? Je suis dans l’Outaouais.

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Maybe it is tricky but we are talking fractions here. My vcarve is too deep by more than a fraction. Just to be clear, I use the jog to set the z height on the very top of my workpiece.

Luc, j’habite dans le coin de Vaudreuil-Dorion.

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Does the V bit angle match the one specified in the design?


Did you probe for Z with the Probe set for XYZ?

Yes, it does match. I’ve validated already.

No, as mentioned, for the Z zero, I’ve use a piece of paper. My X-Y were positioned to the lower left, just as it was configured in Carbide Create. I then set everything to zero in Carbide motion. Then, load the code and ran it.

What bit are you using?
Are you sure it comes to a true point? If not (if there is a flat), you’ll need to offset your Z zero to accommodate.

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The possibilities are:

  • something wrong in setting the zero — review that
  • something wrong in how the G-Code matches the machine and V endmill — check the angles and so forth and verify in a previewer
  • something mechanically wrong, check pulley set screws, belt tension, &c.
  • something electronically wrong, check the wiring and so forth, if you have a machine with DIP switches check their settings
  • lost steps due to a mechanical collision — check retract height, &c.

Contact us at if you continue to have difficulties and let us know what you did and we’ll do our best to puzzle this out with you.

This one is using #302, both in the software and on the router.
Comes to a true point, not sure what you mean?
I’m starting to think they may be something that need attention on the CNC. It’s fairly new, I saw some post on things to check like set screws and such. I’ll take a deeper look soon.

I’ll take any pointers you all may have.

The basic points of adjustment for a machine are:

It is also important to be sure that the collet is correctly tightened, the endmill fits correctly and doesn’t slip, and the router is mounted securely in the mount, and that the mount doesn’t shift. Note than endmill pullout can happen gradually, especially when profiling against tall walls.[4]

Also feeds and speeds may be a consideration: and see for concepts on this and for a testing technique and see the series #MaterialMonday: #MaterialMonday on YouTube

Beyond that it’s usually a matter of ​calibration and squaring the machine c.f., and and

Troubleshooting concepts:

To eliminate the software, please check it in a 3rd party previewer such as CAMotics: ​ ​The machine is able to move based on: ​

  • impulses from the stepper driver — usually if they don’t work right there are horrible noises
  • sent through the wiring — check the conections and wiring — if you or a friend have a multimeter use it to check for continuity
  • received by the stepper motor — these almost never go bad
  • which rotates the motor shaft — check that this is true and not bent
  • which rotates the pulley — check that it has two set screws at least one of which is on flats and that they are secure:
  • which pushes/pulls on the belt — make sure that the belt tracks true through both the pulley and the idlers and is in good condition, secure at appropriate points and well tensioned
  • which moves the machine along the V rails guided by V wheels — make sure that the latter are properly adjusted and the former clean and in good shape

Thanks for the hints. Lots to check but, I will.

I have epoxy curing right now so, I cannot make any dust for a few days. I’ll do a test with some very shallow pockets and some less shallow ones to see if I get consistencies.

I’ll update the post with my findings.

I just had a similar issue with Vcarving Stars. Which version of CC are you using? The most up to date version has an Advanced Vcarve Tool path where you can set the bottom depth of the cut. Took me a few tries but was able to get my stars correct.

Side note, is “Foreever” a nod to golf or some other inside reference? If not, it’d be a shame to get the carve depth figured out and miss a typo.

The rest looks great!

He did correct that in the second carving.

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