Is it possible to carve in one direction?

Long story short… I’m trying to surface an end grain cutting board with a raster toolpath, but it seems that every time the machine makes a cut in the X+ direction, it burns the wood. In the X- direction, it makes a beautiful cut. I’ve tried changing the feed rate and spindle speed but without much success. Picture for reference below:

Is there an easy way to create a toolpath that will cut in the X- direction, jog up and back to the starting side, and make all subsequent cuts in the X- direction?

Or if there’s something else I’m missing I’m all ears. Thanks!

You can create a series of parallel open vectors spaced appropriately for the bit you are using.

Then go into node edit mode (N) and change the starting point (green node) to the end of the vector that gives you the X direction that you want. (Use the right-click menu.)

Then create your toolpath by selecting all the open vectors. You might have to select a tab about Order and choose one of the selection approaches.


An alternative would be to use my surfacing generator. I originally made it for this exact use case.


This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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How about setting up as a pocket cut? Would be a lot less wasted travel time…

I have, lately. been using a 2 inch mushroom sanding pad (60 grit or finer) to finish surfaces like this. As long as I make light cuts and fairly slow feed, it leaves a nice surface. I definitely recommend a dust collector.

I think you’d best address the problem that is causing the burning in our direction issue, first and before proceeding with projects. If it burns in one direction consistently, then whenever you’re milling and the machine is moving in the “burning” direction, then, guess what? You’ll get burning!

I believe this may be caused by your tool being dull, or, if it’s new then it may have been improperly sharpened or somehow damaged. So the first thing I’d do is try using another bit - and for purposes of this test, it doesn’t necessarily have to be as wide as the one you used, but it would be better if it were as that would duplicate the parameters. The second issue may have been caused by the rotation speed of the cutter being too slow. Correct this by setting your speed to the suggested one for the test. Finally, it may be that your machine is out of kilter (the correct term is tram), meaning that the cutter is tilted - even ever so slightly - to one side or the other, or from the front to the back or the other way around. There are several different YouTube videos on the topic; search for “CNC tramming” and you’ll find it.
Hope this helps, and again, I’d strongly encourage you to get to the bottom of this, and now, before proceeding with your projects.
All the best,
Apex Woodworks
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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