Spent some time at the Hive today and replaced the damaged, by me, spoilboard. I think we can flip the other spoilboard and run the surfacing bit to get a nice surface. The BigCNC is usable but the spoilboard might not be properly “flat”. I can’t be at the Tuesday meeting, if I can swing by this week I’ll try to surface it.

For some reason a few of the breakers in the electrical room were tripped when I came in. The lady that does the lead glass also had no power. We reset a few breakers and everything seemed OK. Not sure what happened.



Just got back in town.

Thanks for the attention to the spoilboard.

I’ll be at the CNC Thurs.



I did some tests with the surfacing bit on a separate piece of wood and it looks great.
I had to slightly modify the end cap on the far X position so the bit would catch the edge of the spoilboard. It appears there is no X limit. I think I could have walked the spindle clean off the gantry. We might want to check some of the setups.
Learned about having the bit proud of the vacuum skirt (sprayed sawdust out the small gap). :smiley:
I would like to get a laminated procedure steps document for the BigCNC placed near the computer. There is a ratty piece of paper with some of the steps but I think it might be outdated. I’ll add this to my list of things to do . . .


I will be in in the AM tomorrow (Wed) around 10-12.
We could discuss what to put on a print-out.

Is a ratty piece better than a mousey piece or a dog-eared piece (or a positively batty piece ; p )?


I think a nice, easy to follow instruction sheet could be posted on the wiki, but having a legible (and tough) printed document that lives by the CNC would be very useful.

We could make the instructions the wallpaper for the CNC computer. :nerd_face:

I can’t make the meeting tonight (son’s birthday) and I have to work tomorrow. I could chat some in the morning if that is helpful.

I’d like to make a holder for the imperial collets, maybe with the size carved into each spot.

Good times.


Pretty sure the instructions are posted to the wiki. Always meant to laminate the copy of instructions that was by the CNC but never got around to it, so if someone else wants to do it that’d be much appreciated!


Just back from the Hive.

I don’t know who’s in charge of this (who’s on first), but the “CNC Cookbook GWizard” on the twin screen PC in the electronics area has “expired”. (Maybe it was a demo install.)
I think the one on the CNC PC is OK.

The copies of Vectric VCarve Pro seem to have an update available.
I don’t think I can install that myself (didn’t try). It’s just a “point” update. ( I believe that, as a “MakerSpace” licensee we have up to 5 copies to be updated.)

I guess you fixed the X limit? When I ran Ref All Home this AM, X & Y both moved to the respective 0 position and stopped.

I will try to email you an updated list of instructions.
Maybe we could CNC carve a plaque, then LASER cut the instructions on both sides. (I say both, because I have it divided into initialization and project-run sections.)
(Of course, that assumes we come up with a way of naming the “latest stable version” of the profile, say
“When Mach3 starts up, look in the Profile window for ‘CNC Profile 20xx mm dd’ and chose the most recent date”.)

Just my $0.02

John S.

Personally, I prefer rebel collets… ; p


Thanks for looking into it.

I was referring to the far X travel. I manually moved to the far “right” to check for the surfacing bit catching all the way to the edge. The spindle pushed out the end cap and seemed ready to go clean off the gantry. I cut away the end cap so the bit could surface all the way to the edge.
I’m assuming there is some max X travel in the setup. With the X axis zero defined by the prox switch (far left) it should not travel past the end of the gantry.

I’m not sure on the software updates. I ran a G Wizard update (on the CNC computer) and it seemed to work OK. I think the Vectric is on some yearly subscription, perhaps it is due.

The instruction idea sounds awesome. I might lean toward two different plaques as someone will forget the plaque is two sided. :yum:

I’d be happy to take a look at your instructions set.

Is there a general place where we can share files in the Hive server system?

Thanks again,


It seems there is a 9.0 release of VCarve, as well as an update to 8.5.

The license says “updates within 1 year are free, (otherwise) the annual MakerSpace license fee is $99”.

Can we get the 9.0 version either way?


Oh, the +X, not the X 0!

There is a place in Mach3 for that. I just don’t know where it is.

John S.

For some reason I thought there were some concerns on the 9 version.

We could always try it out and revert back if needed. (I might be thinking of Mach3)


Based on what I have seen on YouTube,

it looks like the maximum X limit should be set by entering a value in the popup window
located via the Config drop down, selecting Home/Limits
enter the the maximum X travel under Soft Max. ( the X row) in the current units


I’m there tomorrow (Thurs), using the CNC in the PM

I don’t say we need it immediately, I’m just saying it’s available.

It is a .0 release, so waiting ain’t necessarily a bad idea.

John S.

On the topic of the big CNC, Can we delete all the profiles for it from Mach3 EXCEPT for the one that works?

I feel like every time I go to use it I have to ask around to find out the one profile that works out of the half dozen that come up.

I agree.
We should have a “use this profile” and then allow others (experts) to have a unique one for their needs. Maybe they maintain a separate folder where they import their special profiles for their use, while only having one in the startup window for less frequent users.
I don’t know where all the other ones came from.

All of the other profiles are OLD. From when we first set up the machine. Yes, we should do this.

From: Brad Walsh
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:49 AM
Reply To:
Subject: Re: [CHP] Re: Big CNC

I agree.
We should have a “use this profile” and then allow others (experts) to have a unique one for their needs. Maybe they maintain a separate folder where they import their special profiles for their use, while only having one in the startup window for less frequent users.
I don’t know where all the other ones came from.

There used to be 2. Then someone was playing with it and made a third - this past summer/fall iirc. Is there more than that?

There are like 10.

One that works is called:

CNC 05-09-2017



The Vectric website only has the 9.0 version for “client” download.
The problem is, VCarve Pro 8.5 won’t upload a file from 9.0
So, either we need to find someone with the 8.5 exe (maybe the Hive PC has it), or we’re going to need to add 9.0 to the Hive roster.
(not sure if both can be active on the same license at the makerspace).

The version at Hive works for folks who downloaded the “client” software until it became 9.0 (just last week, I think),
but anyone who downloads it now from Vectric will run into the compatibility issue.

Do we have the 8.5 exe on the Hive machines?