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Thread: long bit and flex shaft

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Berne NY
    Posts
    35

    Default long bit and flex shaft

    so before I bought the long bit I did a little research on the form here... what I found is people posted only about braking bits and from what I could tell it was because they had something wrong or a part not as tight fitting as it should be. I know people normally only post when something gos wrong, Im no exception! I will try to add the good too. I don't have a lot of hours on my newer carvewright (150 cutting) and I have always used a super powered dust collector on it. so its vary clean. no dust getting caught in and on everything sucking the oil and life out of it! if you don't have the dust collector attachment you need it, it will save you from a lot of the problems you will have! I am a chainsaw carver, so I carved and scanned in a few of my carvings. I did nine 3x5x2 owls, I carved a bird house out if 4 - 2"x12' and scanned in each piece, and a bunch of other wall hangings. I have had it re-carve my work with good success at 1 1/2" deep in pine. I do all my stuff in pine. the owls came out good at 1 1/2" deep for there first test carve, but when I did it at 2" deep I had issues. first problem was half way through the carve and a knot it got a z or y error massage, so I started it over and let air carve for a few hours and it stopped at the knot again. The wood was rough cut, really old pine so it was probably a lot harder then the 2x12's I was getting from lowes. But as far as I know it should be able to cut hard wood. I had it at best setting so it would take its time... at 14 hours to carve 9 little owls! the next time I tried it with a piece that had no knots. I checked it half way through and the flex shaft was warm but not any were near to hot to touch. when I came back it was done... it did a good job. if only it did not melt the outside of the flex shaft in the process. The insides were still good and felt lubed... It really sucks because I had just replaced it with a new one I had on hand (I even lubed it with carverwright lube) a few carves before when it wound the guide spring around the inner flex shaft and snapped the end off in the motor 90 % of the way trough a carve for no apparent reason. Im sure I let it carve nonstop to log, but there is nothing in the instructions that I remember that said I should not... I know "they" say there should not be any problems with the flex shaft when the thing is working correctly and its a consumable wear and tear pice, but from my experience with an A, B (traded to me) and C (new) machine they don't run trouble free and a vary simple heat probe would save a lot of people 100's of dollars by stopping it before it needs to be replaced. I have just gone through 2 flex shafts and need to buy a 3rd to keep it going in the last week or so... and a even more on my older Carvewrights...
    I like the idea of the 2 inch bit, but so far I think it puts to much stress on the machine, I will be carving at no more then an 1 1/2 from here on out and hope that helps, its unfortunate because 2" was going to make it a lot more useful for me.
    a few other things to note is I had a little bit of trouble with the z stale error on 1 1/2" - 2" carves, turned out to be skipping from the y. I tightened it up a little bit and that went away. I can foresee that extra tension wearing out the bearings in the motor faster tho. I have not snapped a long but yet, thankfully! I think as long as your rollers are tight and your motor keeps spinning your alright in that aspect. and iv seen it do some tough carving when it skipped before it staled out.

    overall I think the 2" bit is nice, but I think it will put some tough wear and tear on the carvewright and I would not expect it to do a lot of 2" carving... and that's just my experience with carving pine.

    I would like to hear about others experience with the 2" bit and anything I might be doing wrong to be going through flex shafts like I am... and no I will not sit there and watch it the whole time to make sure nothing gos wrong! what I can make in an hour it takes 10... its would be nice to have even a few extra pieces if I could get it to do that, but so far I have spent more time working with it to keep it working and figuring out what is wrong then its worth.

    here are some things im working on, hopefully I will have time to wright up instructions and get them in the store some day...
    I scanned in a pattern for a bird house like the ones in the back of this pic with the green and red roof, sorry I have yet to take a pic of it.
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ID:	79900 9 little Owls
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ID:	79901 dragonfly and humming bird wall hangings
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ID:	79902I call this one van castleton wall hanging
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ID:	79903Two owl wall hangings
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ID:	79904 Wolf howling at the moon
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ID:	79899 A new one Im working on that I think will be really cool when done... I want to add a small led light behind the owl and tucked up in the bottom. Also Im going to add a shelf with bark like edges at the top and one above and below the owl... I want to have different options so Im going to scan it in now then add the shelves and scan it in again... hopfully it will be able to handle carving it...
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NE PA USA
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    9,984

    Default

    Good info and GREAT Projects...

    AL
    Favorite Saying.... "It's ALL About the Brass Roller"..... And "Use MASKING TAPE" for board skipping in the X or breaking bits.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    897

    Default

    You clearly are a talented person! Very creative projects! Thank you for sharing your carving experience. I am puzzled by your flexshaft experience. I have two machines with many hours and so far no flexshaft problems. I do keep them well lubricated. Is your flexshaft supported in the wire guide so that the bend is gradual?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lancaster, PA
    Posts
    79

    Default

    Rk, I've only ever carved 34# density rigid polyurethane foam with the 2" long bit at full depth. That material is quite expensive but cuts easily without straining the CW. Others have expressed concern with most woods, except for the very soft ones; balsa, etc. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as all of us on this great forum gain a little more insight with your experiences. Joe
    Plea of Insanity for Addiction to ol' H-D Sporters

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    2,401

    Default

    I have used the 1/8" long carving bit in many projects and on many different species of woods ranging in hardness from Bubinga to Douglas Fir. Flat or 3D rotary I have never had any issues. Each long bit project is designed with the bit in mind and I always upload the projects using the "optimal" setting so the step-over passes are very small. If used properly there shouldn't be any problems at any depth.
    Last edited by SteveNelson46; 02-10-2016 at 08:58 AM.
    Steve

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Berne NY
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Thanks for your post Steve (and everyone alts!) Do you do a lot of 2" deep carving? do you have any problems with knots, that seems to be the one of my down fall I have had with the 2" bit and even the reg bits... How many hours are you carves? long carves are the other! From my research and experience I feel I design my patterns well. They just tend to be vary long carves, sometimes up to 15 hours! I don't like to do tiny things, just not my thing.

    I just ordered some thermal switches to wire into the cover switch... hopefully it will actually stop it before the damage starts...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Berne NY
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Hi Dbemus, yes I keep my flex shaft lubricated and it is supported by the guide wire and always seems to be bending just right when im looking at it.

    Im working on making the UCB right now, that should make things easier, wont solve any of my bigger problems tho!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    897

    Default

    Yes the UCB will save a lot of wood. Keep us up to date on other problems. There are some great problem solvers on this forum. I see we are on opposite ends of NY state.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Berne NY
    Posts
    35

    Default

    So Iv tried to carve my bird house pattern in my new UBC... UBC worked great, but I keep getting y stall error. It carves about 3 inches and then it just stops bit still were it would be if it were still cutting, meaning it does not pull it up when it stops... its not jumping or skipping... I started it again and let it air carve, it air carved the part already done and then did another 3 inches then y stall... I did this about 4 times and it did the same thing every time. I think it must be something with the cut motor, I checked the brushes and they will need to be replaced soon but not not yet worn out... I has stopped a few times and asked me to check cut motor, Im not sure what it wants me to do for that error. I checked the flex shaft and turned the bit by hand. no more restriction then normal... I changed the quality setting also and it still did the same thing...
    any one have any idea what I should try?


    I was able to restart the carve 4 or 5 times and it was right on every time with the UBC, That is nice...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    8,193

    Default

    Are you carving with the grain or across the grain? 1/16" deep bit or 1/8" deep bit? I know that carving with the grain with the 1/16" deep bit can cause problems. When moving to the right, the bit can bend into (under) the grain and cause a y stall. (This is why we cannot use the 1/16" deep bit with the rotary jig.)

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