Bowl bit probing

Carving simple catchall dish and trying to use bowl bit. Everything is centered in vcarve but is carving the dish out of alignment. I feel it has something to do with the way im probing XYZ as bit is not centered on corner when it goes to starting position, then carve is .25in off on the top. Im using whiteside 1372 bowl bit and imported the profile from the site. It shows bit diameter in vectric as .75. When I probe I turn bit so cutting blade touches probing block.

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Most people use a .250 bit to probe X,Y,Z then switch to the other bit and then re-probe Z for the new tool length. It’s more time consuming but eliminates the error in how the dish bit touches off the probe. If you have a v-bit like this you can use it (you can install it upside down in the collet too)


They also make bits specific for this purpose but are probably unnecessary.


That makes sense, I will give it a shot on my next try. Thanks for the info!

@rustin40 amplifying what @WaywardWoodworker says: the X-Y finding process is about finding the center of the collet, not the center of the bit you are going to use.

Any bit may not be the size it says it is. Even it it started that way, it won’t be after getting used for awhile. When I need precise X-Y finding or using anything other than a spiral bit, I chuck a 0.250±/-0.0002 gauge pin. That said, flipping a bit per Derek or using a quarter inch up or down cut is precise enough for my woodworking.

If you keep the X-Y design location in the same spot throughout a design that uses different bits, you do not need to re-probe for X-Y.

Z setting with a probe block or paper method is needed every time you load a bit. Some don’t use the block for V bits to preserve the tip. I have gotten over worrying after burying it a little too deep a little to often in wood.

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Carved a couple dishes today and probing with my .25in endmill first then re-probing Z with bowl bit has fixed my issue. Thanks for the quick responses!

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