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carpenter
02-01-2015, 12:02 PM
I sent my machine in to be fixed in DEcember I got it back about 2 weeks ago I carved 3 successful patterns. and now I am getting a board tracking error message I have my machine in my garage I have read that if the temp. is not above 40 degrees that the machine will not function yesterday was a warmer day garage almost 60 degrees. Will the temp affect the the tracking roller? I also read on a post about having to make head preasure adjustments with different temps is this neseccary everytime I want to carve.

fwharris
02-01-2015, 12:20 PM
It should be a common practice to always check your head pressure before carving. Especially if the machine has sat for a while or if the shop temp is on the cool side.

DianMayfield
02-01-2015, 12:23 PM
I run my machine in my garage, and it averages 50-55 in the winter. I think it might actually run better cooler.

Tracking errors are more about how the machine is reading your board as it runs in and out of the machine. Some things to check:

Is the board cut parallel? More than a 1/16 inch difference in width from one end to the other can cause the board to bind up when it runs past the sliding plate that you push against the board. When you slide the plate over, put a business card in between the plate and board to give you some wiggle room (remove before carving). Almost all of my tracking errors early on were binding issues.

Is the edge that rides along the tracking roller clean, splinter, ding and twist free? Go to Harbor Freight and buy a big batch of painters tape - ALs law, run tape along the edge that hits the roller on EVERY board, you may not see slight imperfections that cause it to lose contact with the roller. Some wood is just naturally too smooth/hard for the roller to bite into, tape gives it that surface.

I bought a bathroom scale to keep in the garage, and I check the head pressure every once in a while. Depending on the lubrication you use on the guide posts, temperature can effect the pressure as the lubrication firms up in the cold.

carpenter
02-01-2015, 01:37 PM
thanks for the input I use melamine for a sled I will look at the edges I noticed that the head preasure is around 85lbs is that to high for a temp. of 45-60 degrees is it possible to only have between 50 and 60 lbs of head pressure without the clutch again thanks for the help

DianMayfield
02-01-2015, 01:51 PM
Optimal head pressure is 75-85 at any temp, I believe. I am not sure what you mean "without the clutch".

Melamine is very slick, and would certainly benefit from the tape :). I use 1/2 in MDF, and the roller never leaves marks, which means it is not really biting into the surface. Hence the tape magic. I find the MDF is very straight, doesn't erode over time, and if parallel, never gives tracking errors from project to project. I just leave the tape on the sled, and replace as it shows wear.

fwharris
02-01-2015, 01:55 PM
thanks for the input I use melamine for a sled I will look at the edges I noticed that the head preasure is around 85lbs is that to high for a temp. of 45-60 degrees is it possible to only have between 50 and 60 lbs of head pressure without the clutch again thanks for the help

Make sure you are using masking tape on the board edge that tracks on the brass roller. It does give a better bite on the tracking wheel.

85 lbs is at the top limit and if not monitored you could be putting to much pressure on the X drive gears. Pay attention on how the X travel. Yes you can decrease the pressure based on how many clicks of the clutch you do. With the scale in so several readings to verify repeatability.