Converting to a Chain Drive

hook or drill a stainless steel bolt instead of high carbon, much easier to drill SS.
why use links at all? can’t you use a small bolt maybe M2 or M3 in place where a roller would have been?

Also for lube use a product like LPS "greaseless lubricant ", there are plenty of different brands, for bicycle chains or guns.

I Cut my plates in 6min.
25 Plunge
.03 DOC
Dewalt 611 @ #6
Lots Of Lube
1/8 straight bit 2 flute

Me and some other CNC buddies lined up the last piece of the puzzle steps per mm… it was fun. I got it dialed in and it is a cutting like a champ. I can swap the lights out to LEDS and put the cover back on with the dust collector. I set the spindle physically on my Bosch and with the new 40 x 40 upgrade 1 piece I think it will work… now to throw the water cooled spindle on and go for it or knock out some backed up things before trying since it runs perfect now with chain drive…

Able to do a full 3d Eagle in Purpleheart at 70 ipm no roughing pass and pretty good finish. I will keep the testing going and lay out some videos of the upgrades. May have to sell the sets and parts to convert to chain but at around $250 complete much less than any threaded rod upgrades. And I can stay in Easle land with this upgrade.


Another and easier option for this is geared axis like most professional machines.
Long gear bar can be attached under Y and X axis rails for dust protection, couple extra holes for motor mouths.


The theory is there are several options. From what I have seen the ball screw or rack and pinion cost a decent amount more to do than a chain drive or belt upgrade. I am not able to drop an extra 1k into my machine for better performance but if you have done this methid in a cost effective manner I would love to see it. The biggest concern I have with any metal alternative is the sourcing of parts, 3 precision racks with matching pinions that can be mounted to an aluminum rail is pushing the overall structure of the extrusion as well, but I am not saying that would not be possible.

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I didn’t say cheaper, I said easier and more reliable.I didn’t do it, because I’m happy with belt driving machine. Besides I have big one for heavier production.
Yes you’re correct, It’s worthless to spend big bucks for this equipment. But we all knew this machine have limits.

Agreed. Untill they snap. I use to measure approx break point!


I had the chain on my bike stretch after a year never thought of going to a belt drive tho. I know it has became more popular on bikes and if these were closed loop systems and much wider then the slipping and tension would not be as difficult.

I’m seriously interested in this. My 3GT belts have just given up and stretched, not sure if this is my fault for over tentioning or rubbish quality belt but anyway chain drive seems quite interesting.
I happen to work for a subsidiary of Tsubaki who make power transmission chains, not my field but I might see if the parent company can send me some sample bits :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

This chain drive has been working with fairly good results so far, I had to take a couple of weeks off of the machine but will be getting the system up and running. I have had some issues with the test pattern Robert had done, it cuts the squares circles and triangles out fine but when measuring them they are off slightly - set the machine to a mm steel rule and mm to mm across the whole thing is dead I need to figure out why it does that. Possibly tension or motor power but I had to take some time off of the workshop to get some other stuff done around the house. I will be building a custom dust collector and getting back to the chain drive before Christmas for sure.