Hi guys. Six months in, I decided to go ahead and say a few words about my experience with my X-carve. I bought myself this thing for my b-day back in Jan. Spent a few weeks building it. One of the best builds for a project ever. Amazing instructions and support. The only thing that makes it complicated is the vast array of upgrades. When you’re just starting out, it can be overwhelming.
I decided out of the box to ditch the ardunio and go for LinuxCNC, which without any real evidence to support this, I think to be a big upgrade
I bought cheap drivers and a breakout board off of ebay, and this is one slight regret. I’ve actually been able to keep these drivers going so far with good results, but I’ve read several threads about how horrible these things actually are.
I’ve got a set of half-built James Newton drivers that will one day replace these, so will post about these once the day comes.
On my machine, I decided to cut corners on things I felt were overpriced. I removed the router and end switches and waste board and tool kit. This was kind of a case of my not taking enough time to read what you get for your money. Once I realized the router included the mount, it came out to the same price as amazon. Duh. I was lucky that I was able to add it back before my kit shipped.
The waste board, I also didn’t realize that price included the inserts. Ooops. I had to buy those later and pay separate shipping.
In the end, I’ve got a great unit that makes great cuts, albeit after considerable time invested and much tweaking. Luckily i enjoy working on it.
X-Axis with the 30 minute stiffening mod (machine screws). Seems very solid IMHO.
L brackets under the Y supports (there are in process, actually).
All eccentric nuts modded to eccentric nuts a la mike and phil.
LinuxCNC dedicated computer
Savebase china breakout board and drivers, cooled with pc fans and an arcade power supply.
End mills from M&M Carbide in Ohio, made in USA and great end mills.
Precision collet with spring 1/8 and 1/4 inserts to replace stock collet.
Homemade MDF spoil board. Leveled with a 3/4 craftsman straight bit. Lines cut with a 30 degree bit and holes cut with the CNC itself. A coat of polyurethane, as once the MDF is planed it’s pretty dusty.
Dust collection is a big-■■■ shop vac hidden under the table, a HEPA-rated filter, a swimming pool vac hose, a dust deputy, all venting outside the basement. The boot is similar to various found on this site, drawn by me in inkscape.
Many thanks to Zach and team inventables for making this all possible. I really wanted to learn about CNC, and building this kit kind of forced me to follow through.
I’m currently about to start building walnut boxes using a demo of a product called fingermaker. It’s at tailmaker.net, written by a very bright guy named Gerald, who has so far been very patient with my questions.
Thanks for looking!