CNC ready for surfacing again

Looks like the CNC bed is ready for a good surfacing again. This time around we’ll get close to that broken screw in the front corner so we’ll need to pull that out.

@JoeN if the file is saved on the computer I can help do this, I know you’re busy.

I saw that the other day. I can’t remember if it is saved on the desktop. Also someone used a regular nail gun on the table. Now there is at least 2 nails in the table.

I can do it on Friday. I will leave the file on the desktop of the cnc desktop. I have the files on my desktop of my own laptop at the moment.

1 Like

The broken screw in the corner appears to be exceeding long and likely driven through the bed and into the 8020 aluminum frame. It needs to be removed, not ground down, it’s in the rail itself.

Ok. I will see what I can do to remove the screw

That unfortunate screw placement suggests a little mini-project (that I would be happy to do): we could potentially mark up the side guards with visual reminders that say “Rail here! No screws along this line!”

It would save the need to peek underneath and eyeball it to decide “is it safe to attach holdowns here?”


Yes and screws lengths that make sense. We should stop using # 2 phillips for a better screw head such as #2 square drive.

I think guidance on how to measure your project and cut depths would be helpful. There are cuts on the spoilboard that are 1/4" deep for no reason.

That screw showed up shortly after the most recent spoilboard glue up. For it to have hit the rail, that screw had to be over 2 inches long, probably 3 inches. There’s no reason to use a screw that long.

I agree with Joe, some updated guidance might be good. I can put together a one pager we can laminate and keep by the machine.


See, if you had 2" thick lumber, you might need a 3" long screw to secure it. There is a case for using very long screws- just not to that depth.

There’s I think 3 steel nails and a second steel screw in it

Thank you @dannym for the info. Thank you @Mollie for making the guidelines. I will leave the program on the desktop so it is easy to find for future flycutts.

Definitely agree. I don’t mean to say that providing rail guide marks is a rationale to use inappropriate screws. I just know that sometimes you don’t have exactly the right length given your material, so knowing where you definitely shouldn’t risk a long screw is helpful.

Also agreed that I’m tired of stripping out Phillips screws. I’ve personally changed over to T25s.

1 Like

I’ve had good luck with pocket screws and the square drive head. I think the smooth shank helps as well. I also throw out my screws after using them once, as it does seem to weaken them with repeated use.

Good news is the screw that was broken near the home point was not in the rail. The bad news is someone put about 10 steel nails in the table. The awesome part is having to dig them down below the flycutt depth. The next time we flycutt we get to do this again.

I was able to almost cut the entire table. It is the tiniest amount remaining on the far side. It will not cause issues unless you are cutting something that is 62" wide in the Y axis. I will come back to cut the last bit remaining sometime Sun. I’m going to tweak the gcode to run the 1.5" flycutter. The file will be set to run from the home position so we can cut the whole table. I didn’t go down the 1/4" depth to clear all of the table. I think having some scars is a good reminder to measure your stock.


Thank you Joe for surfacing the CNC.

I was trying to use it on Thursday and had all sorts of problems. My first one is that I wasn’t able to convert my cnc file because the software would not open. It said that it couldn’t connect to internet. I tried sharing my phone connection but that didn’t work either. Did you experience any of that on friday?
Luckily I was only flattening some slabs so I could use another file I had previously converted but smaller, so I had to change my origin point at each passes.

Also, I’ve noticed that the breaker tends to trip quite easily when someone else is running another machine close to the CNC. It happened to me three times that the whole thing shut off while I was running a program. The first time the sand blaster was on and the other times it was one the small belt sander by the wood turning shops were on.

Last question, does anyone know where the extra spacer is for the cnc brush? My bit is too long and it gets for the dust extraction to work unfortunately.

Thank you guys and I hope you have a great weekend!

I have experienced the sand blaster causing the breaker to trip as well. I meant to post about that sooner, sorry I forgot. I haven’t experienced the sander causing that issue yet, but I know that station has always had breaker issues.

People keep moving the plug that runs the sand blaster to the same circuit as the cnc router 120v. It is supposed to be plugged into the overheard reel that is in the autobay. If we ask a single circuit to run the compressor, dust collector, cnc computer, stepper drive power, abrasive blaster, and occasionally the panel saw. We will always have problems. The sanding station tripping is a coincidence. We are working to move the compressor to another circuit. One day we will not have any extension cords on the floor, and rando power strips.

Not sure about the internet issues. When we redo stuff in the shop. We will run 2 cat 6 cables to the area and other critical items.

I have been thinking about the dust collection issue. I don’t have the bandwidth at the moment. If someone is interested. We should 3d print a different boot. It would increase the suction by reducing the area to just around the cutter.

1 Like

Speaking of dust collection, I was going to post about the CNC dust collection having very low suction last time I used it. It hardly had enough lift to pick up 1/4 inch chips. After getting all of my dust suctioned up, I noticed that a ton of it was just sitting in the upper portion of the tube (pictured below) and hadn’t been vacuumed all the way. I ended up positioning the tube so the dust would all slide out and used a normal vacuum.

I checked the contiainers and neither the trash can nor the bad were even close to full. The bag did have a hole in it which I taped over but that didn’t improve suction.

I emptied the dust bag about a week ago, sorry if I missed the hole in it. I have only ever noticed the suction not working good when the pvc pipes about the trash can come loose. Last time it happened, one pipe had come out of the cyclone set up. I also noticed when that happened, the pipes sometimes jam with debris in the bends on top of the trash can. I’ve cleaned those out before, and that seemed to help with the suction.


The shaker felt bag needs to be beaten. That renews the flow. Also, it can be laundered.

1 Like

Michael and I gave the CNC dust collector a good clean out today. All the bags and bins are empty and the felt bag got vacuumed and beaten. The flow is better.

1 Like