This is a continuation (Part 4) of an introduction to the Super Compact — including it’s capabilities.
The cutting rate on most concrete is between 15 to 30 feet per minute. If an undercut occurs, do not try to recut the groove. It could make a costly mistake. It is much easier to fix an undercut in other ways. When track free engraving, it is helpful to have an assistant hold the vacuum hose and cord. Do not try to drag hoses and cords along with the engraver. If operating alone, try taping or bungee-cording the hose and the cord to your leg, or throw the cords over your shoulder.
Long sweeping free form arcs and serpentine grooves are relatively easy to do. Serpentine grooves with short radiuses can be difficult to accurately produce. Draw the proposed line to be cut.
When a groove is to be parallel with the edge of the slab edge, use the edge marker tool. When a groove is to meander across the floor, a piece of PVC pipe or a strip of wood makes a nice lofting tool.
Set up the engraver for track-free cutting. Use the short axles and single wheels. Do not use the multi directional wheels for serpentine cutting unless you prefer the peculiar type of cut it will produce. Put a lot of downward pressure on the engraver to keep the wheels from skidding sideways in the turns.
Forward progress must be maintained. Once you begin the cut, do not stop. If forward progress stops, any attempt to restart the cut will create an ugly bobble or a kink in the groove. Use your legs or body to apply sideways pressure and torque the engraver to make the curves.
Due to the blade being six inches behind the pointer, the sharper the curve, the further the pointer will be off the drawn line. Practice this procedure before applying it.
Whenever possible, start on the straight cut that leads into a curve. It makes alignment much easier. Make several trial runs at making serpentine patterns before turning on the motor.