Setting Z-axis origin to the spoilboard

Hi. I have always used the top of my material to set the Z-axis origin, and then added .5mm or so to ensure cut-through. As a result, my spoilboard looks like a battlefield. I know that Estlcam allows one to set the Z-axis origin to the machine bed, but what then? Does one have to specify the depth of the material being cut to a negative value? Does this affect the depth per pass also?
Confused.

1 Like

Yes precisely. I think it’s useful if your material isn’t flat and to need a known z reference I’ve only tried it once and that was thickness planing a cupped board. Took forever but worked ok. If you try this remember you will have to plane both sides so don’t set the first cut to your finished thickness.

I’m sure there are other uses as well.

1 Like

Concerning contour cuts, I handle this process manually. First I measure my stock in multiple places with calipers then I add just a bit to that number for the stock thickness in my CAD software. If my 3/4" plywood has a max measured thickness of 18.1mm, I’ll specify 18.4mm in CAD for the thickness of the stock. When doing the cut, I zero against the spoil board using a touch plate, move up 18.4mm, and then zero Z again. I then setup the X,Y origin for the cut. The bit should just kiss the spoil board on the final pass. The only downside to this process is that I have to remember the 18.4mm (or whatever) number for each contour cut.

1 Like

Thank you gentlemen.

1 Like