So further investigation revealed Dremel bits are the same size as this machine takes and I have a ton of dremel bits. I've spent some time trying to figure out which of my bits were appropriate because, you know, they were all just thrown together and not labeled.
One of them looked like what I believe is called a "ball end" mill, so I thought I would give that a try. Psyche! Used the same file in carbide create, changed the toolpath to add the proper size for the ball mill specs, saved it, ran it, and now the mill doesn't even cut into the wood. Saying I'm confused is a bit of an understatement.
Couple of observations right off the bat. The "clamps" that came with the machine are both worthless and frustrating. On the todo list for later is to get some superglue and painters tape and try this technique https://www.nyccnc.com/super-glue-fixturing/
For now, I'm using a 1.5mm burr bit that came with the machine.
Griffith Test 1:
Depth per pass 0.179
All movements are working properly meaning x y and z all travel in the correct directions. The quality looks more like the bit is tearing the wood rather than carving it. There are "fuzzy" pieces of wood still attached to the workpiece all around the carved portions.
Since this is just a starting point, I have absolutely no idea which way to go from here. Am I using the wrong type bit? Too fast, too slow, too much depth at one time? Maybe this is just the best it gets. Who knows? At this point I am planning on letting the job finish, snap some pictures to add here, and asking for guidance from the facebook group.
Purchased a cheap chinese cnc mill from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PXKMG96?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_dt_b_asin_title). So far I have assembled the machine, tried a cut on scrap walnut flooring and soft pallet scrap with the supplied v and burr bits. Those results were less than impressive. Also did a test burn with the laser module in walnut and thin plywood. Those results were much better. This project space will be an attempt to chronicle the journey from horrible results to solid settings that will produce predictably good outcomes.