Jagged Profile Cut

I did my first profile cut through the other day. Just trying to cut out a simple letter. The machine was super loud during the end of the cut and even rattled some. Letter came out pretty jagged. Any idea as to why? I use Carveco Maker. Used a 1/4 downcut bit. Cut into 1 inch hardwood, so I set my finish depth at 1 inch.
Stepover = .1
Stepdown = .1
Feed Rate = 75
Plunge Rate = 25

This looks like the piece came loose while being cut free in the final pass.

Did you use tabs to hold the piece in place while the final cut-through pass was made, or hold it in place by some other method (like double-sided tape)?

Ahh, no I didn’t. So either add tabs to my toolpath in Carveco or make sure I actually secure the letter itself to the wasteboard with tape or a nail through the middle or something?

Exactly - any piece that is being cut free will very likely move around on you, potentially ruining the job.

This includes “waste” pieces that are cut free as well. For example, if this was a letter O, the center circle would be waste. If you don’t restrain it, it can bang around, and throw the bit off course, ruining your “keeper” pieces even if they’re restrained.

Search the forum and/or YouTube for “work holding”, “hold downs”, etc. There’s a lot of great info out there.


This seems like common sense now that you explain it! Thanks a bunch! Learn something every day!

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The other place I’ve seen this happen is when you “trace a bitmap” to create a vector in Illustrator or Inkscape, or other similar way. The resulting vector may have dozens of hundreds of tiny “nodes” and the CNC will attempt to cut them all. This can leave a really chattery edge, cause a “simple” carve to take a long time, and cause extra machine noise. Something to keep in mind also!

Yessir, I think that was also an issue. I had a ton of nodes in my vector. Going to try to reduce those. Thanks a bunch!

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I’ve had this issue and it drove me nuts… The software was fine… When I checked the machine, the Z plate screws were loose… who knew? Now I go around and make sure everything is snug before I start the day…
Hope this helps!

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