Pocket cut not cutting to depth

Hi folks I wondering if somebody could help me out with machining some pocket holes. I am making a spoiled board and I’m using tea nuts. I’m using aspire and I made two toolpaths using the same tool The first one cuts out the flange on the T nut that’s going to go in the bottom and the other cuts the hole for the body of the T nut. I ran the first file which is the flange cut only a millimeter and a half deep and it turned out perfect for all 100 holes but then I ran the second toolpath for the holes themselves and I’m not getting a cut all the way through the waste board I have it set to cut 0.77" deep but I’m only getting approximately 5 to 6 mm deep into the board and then it moves on to the next hole. I zero everything with the factory zero block and when I’m done I tell it to return to zero before I start the cut and it goes right to the zero point right on the board perfect. I did notice that when I start cutting the holes and I see that they’re not cutting more than a few millimeters down if I stop the program and tell it to return to zero it returns to XY zero but the z is about 10 to 12 mm off the face of the spoil board. I think this might be a clue.

First guess: when plunging 5-6mm into the board you are appoaching the -z limit, so the router cant go deeper. This would also explain the wrong Z-zero at the end.


@IMS_Workshop I think that JHahn has it, Terry. Remove the spoilboard and see if you can jog down in Z to touch the table top. If you can, you have a different issue. If you cannot, you have your solution. Lower the router in the clamp so that the bit will touch the table top with Z a bit higher than bottom.

I’ll ‘third’ the previous comments. I scratched my head over and over about this kind of issue, albeit at a deeper depth. I could not figure out what was going on until I realized the machine -thought- it was going to depth (the DRO - digital read out in UGS will show you what Z depth it thinks it is traveling to) but of course the physical travel wasn’t going any further.

Without a bit in the collet, bring the router all the way to the bottom of the Z-travel (you’ll hear it bottom out) and then measure the distance to the spoilboard surface. That will allow you to determine how deep you could approximately go with a given bit length.

If lowering the router in the clamp doesn’t give you enough you may need to use the lower bracket or buy a longer bit I’m afraid. I now understand why a few others have a double layer spoil board. That is another option, set your spoilboard up as an insert and then you can cut the spoilboard at a taller height on top of some scrap and then drop it in the ‘frame’.

The whole spoilboard/surface/worktop question is still open for me. Right now I just have MDF clamped to an Ikea kitchen island but I don’t feel it is sturdy enough and I’m not happy with the dimensions (I accumulate a lot of things, bits, zeroing block, power bar, caliper etc) next to the machine and would like more space. I’m considering connection the two identical Ikea islands I have together to make a ~4’x5’ total area. The main driver for that, in addition to more space, is figuring out a more elegant wasteboard/clamping/alignment solution. That’s a thought experiment in process…


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