View Full Version : board sensor

Richard D. McSweeney
03-22-2008, 05:23 PM
I'm having a devil of a time getting the board sensor clean. I bought a can of compressed air but can't get the nozzle to spray on the sensor without turning the can upside down (which it says not to do). So I tried cleanex tissues dry and wet then dry and managed to get the sensor clean one time but after one short job I get the sensor error again (400). It's a real pain to crank the head up so that I can get under it to wipe the sensor and back down only to get the error again and again. Does anyone have an easy way to clean the darn sensor the first time after a job? I'm really getting to my wits end. Help -- Dick :confused:

03-22-2008, 05:32 PM
Richard, the first thing to check is your board sensor reading. Press '0' then '7' on the machines keyboard to go to the sensor test menu. Scroll (use up/down keys) to the board sensor screen and record what it says with the head cranked all the way up (should be '0'), and with it cranked down on a board (should be over 100).

Note: the sensor is optical so if you are trying to carve on a dark colored board you might have problems. Your board also needs to be at least 1/2" thick or the sensor will not be able to see its edges. Measure your stock as even if you buy 1/2" stock it may be a little under.

If when cranked down on your wood your board sensor reading is low then you should check to make sure the head is level and that you have the correct head pressure. Measure down from the flat spots on all four vertical guide posts to the top of the bushing on the head with a small scale (steel ruler). It should be the same on all four corners.

If your head is level the next thing to check is the down pressure. Place a bathroom scale in the machine like you would a piece of wood. It needs to be positioned so that the pressure rollers will come down on the scale. Crank the machine down until your handle clicks five times. Your scale should read about #85.

Try all that and let us know what you find out.

03-23-2008, 10:44 AM
Last week I got the error 400 message and, after cleaning the sensor, it wouldn't go away. Called CW and they had me run the sensor test and the number wouldn't change at all. Result is they are sending me a new sensor as they believe the one I'm using is fried.

Cliff in Roswell

Richard D. McSweeney
03-23-2008, 01:20 PM
Thanks for the replys guys. I ran the tests and got the following (up - 0 reading and down - 156 so I guess the sensor is normal. Also I put in another board and it measured ok so I guess an overnight was what the sensor needed. Than I had a time getting the bit out but that's another story. Got it out and changed. Used some WD 40 so maybe that's the answer to the quick change bit. Hope so anyway. Thanks again for your responses. Dick:grin:

03-23-2008, 01:47 PM
Cold temperatures can play havoc on both the machine and the board sensor. And, dark woods will also throw the sensor off. I just fired my machine up today for the first time in several weeks. It was quite stiff going up/down originally (air temp was about 55 deg F), so I lubed the vertical guide posts and cranked it up and down a few times to loosen things up. I was also using 1/2" stock (just barely 1/2") and that did not help matters either. If your stock is under 1/2" the board sensor may not be able to see the edge.