Tramming/Surfacing Nightmare

I’m attempting to tram. I have followed the step-by-step process here by Aiph5u. I have tried tramming twice now with a single dial indicator. Both times, I am satisfied with the results and go on to surfacing. I am not trying to get it perfect. Attached you will see my results.

  • Boards are numbered 1 through 5, left to right.

  • When I run my nail from left to right on boards 2 and 4, my nail catches on the blue circle.

  • When I run my nail from right to left on board 2, it catches on the red circle. How is that even possible?

  • On boards 1 through 5, running my nail from front to back, it will catch on the green circle.

Everywhere else on the boards there are visible lines but I cannot feel them. I have attached my surfacing file. I followed a tutorial I found on youtube here. This is driving me nuts. I’d appreciate any help.

Spoilboard Surfacing - 0.02 in.crv (53 KB)

Hey Doinok,

I should say that when I wrote the step-by-step process I did not have the QCW Frame in mind. In the meantime I got one, but not yet assembled, but I have some doubts about its stiffness, and also whether the screws will remain tight in the long term. Can you rule out that your surfacing bit moves or presses the wasteboard strips when milling?

And you are using a glass plate?

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Hey Aiph5u, thanks for replying. I am using a glass plate. I am using the “One sheet 5/16” x 5" x 12" Float Glass for Scary Sharp System" from Taylor Toolworks. Regarding the surfacing bit moving or pressing the wasteboard strips - I am not sure how to determine this. What do you mean by “presses the wasteboard strips?” Thanks!

Hey Doinok,

the step-by-step process is for checking tramming of the router, not for surfacing, which means, I assume that when you do the step of surfacing the wasteboard, it is flat and planar afterwards (except the grooves of the bit, which you bridge with the glass plate, and which finally will disappear when tramming is perfect).

Usually after surfacing, you should have the grooves from the bit, but not mountains and valleys in the wasteboard slats. Thus my question on whether your frame and wasteboards slats are stiff and fixed, or could move during milling.

The other thing could be that the router is not correctly fixed or has play, or the dial arm…

It is difficult to say something without being there.

Yes, all is flat except for the grooves.

I will get underneath tomorrow and make sure all of the screws holding the boards in are tight. Is it possible that there is something wrong with the bit? I noticed blackening on the bottom of 2 of the 4 blades. I have a spare collet and nut that I can also try tomorrow. I’m pretty certain I can rule out the dial arm because I have two different brands and they both are reading almost the same after testing both.

My whole goal was to go into this just to get it good enough and get a smooth surface. I’ve been at it for weeks now and haven’t been able to enjoy it yet. My own fault but I just have a hard time giving up.

And just for fun, here are some close ups of the grooves: