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Good plywood to use

The baltic birch is great, but what I was showing was Revolution Ply from Lowe's. It's $16 for a 1/4" 4'x8' sheet, which Lowe's will cut down to 4 Red-sized sheets for free. It has a blank side and a grainy side, so it's versatile for various projects. It uses sustainable wood and tries to minimize glue, in an effort to be better for the environment.

I use it for almost all of my low-end projects, saving the baltic birch and the cherry plywood for the really fine pieces that I want to make. Of course, if you want 1/8", then you can't use it. --Stephen

Another vote for the Lowe’s plywood. Note that it is sold as 5mm ply (0.197”) and is in practice 3/16” (0.1875” / 4.7mm) thick. My settings for it are

  • Raster 40% speed Z 0.6” (defocused for dark raster that doesn’t go through top layer)
  • Engrave 35% to 60% Z 0.18, depending on how dark a line I want. For a broader darker line I raise the Z height.
  • Cutting 3.6% Z 0.15”. For perfect confidence that straight lines on the left of the bed go through I drop to a second color at 3.1%.

All at 95% power 250 ppi density 3. --Flip

Kosher materials


Most of these are due to log jams & other friction for stuff Joe is not looking after. Pester tools committee for explicit rulez & schedule.

Z-height is visibly off, and at some point in its range the motor sound changes and it doesn’t move

This is almost ENTIRELY due to debris getting into the thin gap at the rear of the bed/airbox area. Typically it's the lower right corner too, there's a corner weld that stuff catches on. it needs to be lowered slightly and have the debris removed from the gap, then rehomed. I've rehomed the unit before, it would certainly be a good idea to have a few regulars at the space available for this since it happens a lot. the best way to prevent it is to make sure you clean out the bed and make sure small bits aren't blown off the back of the bed when you're done, also inspect that are before you start moving the bed. Matt

Z needs to be dropped manually to the bottom before hitting re-home Z, because if you just hit re home z at the top & it jams going down it will cause the z location to be completely messed up and will require manually resetting the height by hand( a pain) so do not try this without consulting with Danny first.

'Insufficient flow from air', WTF?

Turn on the air.

Display indicates computer crashed

Bounce the system by resetting the breakers on the bottom left in the back. Pester Danny for a low voltage power supply & spare like the Meanwell Rob already got.

Manual jogging

I have a project that has alignment marks on them and wondering if there is a way on the Red laser to move the laser head manually either by the arrows or coordinates so I can check my overlay?

There’s no way to position Red. You can do that with Blue. I do alignment in one of two ways: 1) by laying a sheet of paper on the bed and slicing it with 90% speed. 2) by cutting out a frame jig before hand.

The jig or paper lets me know where to put the item I’m cutting. If I need ~2mm precision, the paper works. Less than that, take the time to build the jig.

Danny's CNC router

Report all problems to


Cleaning Clean the ways, wheels, & leadscrew & re-lube weekly. Z jitter can be caused by debris in the ways. If not that, it can be a worn lead nut.

Sparktech eBay name drillman1, carbide plus store


Jason, Antonio


Clean the machines weekly to avoid problems with dust blockage & friction

Sawstop cleaning The Sawstop tilt & height can get jammed. It can be cleaned from the access door on the side. Depending on where it is jammed, it may require reaching in & cleaning it by hand.

Miter Saw cleaning Turn off the saw, start the dust collector, reach back & pull the debris blocking the dust.

Bugs We should rework the station a bit: add lights; fiberglass a cowl that accounts for the angle of slip; add a better debris guard in the design; add a pencil holder; add a tape measure cubby. Joe

Small routers These are working but in disuse. They are a good place to learn CNC; fire one up & go for it!



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