500mm to 1000mm build up (log)

I’ve had my basic vanilla xcarve for a little over a year now and this year I figured I’d spend some time upgrading and getting to the things on my X-Carve wishlist.

I did everything I could to trim the price down when I first got my xCarve so I pretty much got the minimum choice every chance I got. I got the 300w spindle and soon replaced it with my makita rt0700. I have a hitachii m12vc that I’d eventually like to move up to. After seeing earwigger on these forums I feel like this will not be as hard as I had originally thought.

The biggest issue so far was finding a list of things to buy in order to upgrade.
I had emailed inventables for a list of things to buy but was not given the clearest of answers. I was given some part numbers to allow me to search for items to add to my shopping cart which I used.

My plan was to go from a stock 500x500 to a better-than-average upgraded 1000x1000

I knew I wanted the nema 23s all around, I wanted the acme lead screw, and also a drag chain because my current zip tied cables are a mess.

My list of items so far
Aluminum Extrusion (20mm x 20mm) - Black

Description: Length: 958 mm, Width: 20 mm, Height: 20 mm, Color: Black, Finish: Black Anodized, Type: Extrusion
Unit price: $18.63
Quantity: 3
Aluminum Extrusion (20mm x 20mm) - Black

Description: Finish: Black Anodized, Length: 1000 mm, Width: 20 mm, Height: 20 mm, Type: Extrusion, Color: Black
Unit price: $14.00
Quantity: 2

Description: Length: 1000mm, Type: MakerSlide, Color: Clear Anodized, Ends: Not Tapped
Unit price: $20.93
Quantity: 4

ACME Lead Screw Kit

Description: ACME lead screw, Delrin nut and hex nut
Unit price: $30.00
Quantity: 1
Button Head Cap Screw

Description: Finish: Black, Length: 10mm, Pitch: 0.8mm, Quantity: 10, Type: Screw, Screw Type: Button Head, Thread Size: M5
Unit price: $2.52
Quantity: 2
Extrusion Bracket (Gusset)

Description: Type: Bracket, Bracket Type: Gusset, Finish: Clear Anodized, Height: 30, Length: 30, Width: 20
Unit price: $1.50
Quantity: 6
Pre-Assembly T-Slot Nuts

Description: Pre-Assembly T-Slot Nuts - 25281-05 (x10)
Unit price: $5.00
Quantity: 2
Stepper Motor - NEMA 23

Description: Motor Type: Stepping Motor, Holding Torque: 140oz-in, Form Factor: NEMA 23, Shaft: Single w/ Flat, Rated V: 2.3v, Current / Phase: 2.8A, Inductance / Phase: 2.2mH, Length: 51mm
Unit price: $39.00
Quantity: 4
Stepper Motor Cable
Description: Length: 1 ft, Category: Accessory, Type: Cable
Unit price: $1.00
Quantity: 36

I also ordered:
gt2 belt:

18x25 1 meter drag chain:

aviation connectors:

Things I didn’t realize I would need:

-new bolts to secure the nema 23s, I’m using some 16mm m5 machine screws from Lowes with nylock nuts.

-new pullys for the nema 23s … ( I just recently discovered this, I was able to elarge the ID of the current pullys with a 1/4 drill bit. They seem to be working so far)

Extra M5 bolts and nuts…

I also figured I’d try to video bits and pieces (my first attempt at actually contributing to youtube instead of just watching everything)

My end goal is to hopefully provide a little extra help for those who are interested in upgrading from the stock 500mm xcarve.
I’ll keep updating with videos and pics if anyone finds it helpful.




so I already hit two snags… both my fault.

First was that I rushed when tapping one of the maker slides. I was going slow and careful, go in a few turns, back out, go back in. On the last few threads of hole my drill was on the last bit of battery and it stalled. So I squeeze the trigger more, and it surges and breaks off. UGH!

there was a little bit of the tap sticking out, but it would shatter and chip everytime I got a good grab with vice grips or pliers. So now I have a 1000mm makerslide to mess with in other projects. Lesson learned and New makerslide is on order from Inventables

screw up number 2:
I moved on to belting the x axis and carriage… Again, going nice and slow and using heat shrink I get things snug and I start to move the carriage back and forth and I notice the movement is very erratic. Long story short, I think its the pulleys and they aren’t true.

This is my fault again, In my first post I noticed that the pulleys for the nema 17s would not fit the shafts on the nema 23s. So I ran a 1/4 inch bit to widen the holes. This seemed to work but now I’m noticing that each of the pulleys has a slight wobble… enough wobble that I’m not comfortable with it to continue until I get the proper fitting ones.

So… I have some new stuff on order.

yeah… this was actually hole number 8 and was going pretty well.
But that’s what I get for getting comfortable with it.
My dummy tax.

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Latest update 8/4:

Progress is slow going as I only get an hour or so in the garage at night when everyone is sleeping. But any progress is good to me! So, got the new parts (pully’s and makerslide) and the frame is together. Now its the details that I’m working on. Routing wires, work area ideas, dust collection… I’m thinking about picking up a fish scale to work on belt tension. I’m close but I’m going to take my time and not rush. Gotta keep those mistakes to a minimum!

Video for those who want to see;

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well its been a while but here was things a few hours ago…

but then I got the new wide maker slide in the mail today so its time to upgrade… but first a quick and crude measurement.

I pulled the slide out 17 inches to the middle and put a 12 inch clamp… and a square up to measure the top of the clamp…

looking at around 220 mm

then I add a 5lb weight to the end. about 3 mm drop

probably not the best way to measure but… it gives me a gage…

to be continued

Next a lazy install of the wide slide… I really should have taken things completely apart… but I only have a few hours… I just pull the two maker slides off.

install was straight forward… just had to line things up and fish some line through the new maker slide… took about 30 mins. I not sure I saved time by just pulling the makerslides ( I hung up a bit with running the wires.)

getting my gage back up… 17 inches in

making sure I’m back at 220mm

Now I add my 5lb weight to the end of the clamp…

looks like a drop of 1mm… Not bad!

and since I didn’t get a new badge with my wide slide… I had to get creative

Hee hee… X carve

Back together… And running in a few hours.