Converting to Lead Screws

A few months ago i purchased the plates from @Phantomm to carry out the conversion over to a lead screw drive rather than the belts.
I’d had a number of issue with the belt setup over the years, from slipping pulleys to belts breaking. I’d changed from the GT2 belts to a GT3 which was an improvement however i still had belts failing and never managed to push the machine all that fast without issues. I moved house back in August and my X carve was packed up and then put in a corner which then turned out to have a leaking roof, i thought i’d fixed the issue but not before the MDF waste board was destroyed. So the machine has sat unloved for a few months while other things took a priority.

Following Christmas and i’ve finaly got some time i can spend on the machine. So i wanted to paint the plates first after this was done i could spread out all the parts

I just got the plates from @Phantomm as i was bringing them back in my suitcase when i was on holiday in Seattle. The rest of the parts i ordered from a number of UK suppliers and Inventables. I’m using all new V wheels, bearings and ecentric spacers as my machine is still on the old style ecentric nuts. This meant i could start putting together the plates before taking the machine apart.

Having the extra number of V wheels on each side seems so far to add significant rigidity however i won’t really be able to tell until its all together and cutting.
After fitting all the V wheels I went to install the limit switchs however i found it was very close to the hole for one wheel so i had to remove the wheel and refit using a small OD washer.

Now it was time to strip the x carve down

and clean the rails

I moved on to fitting the nut block for the lead screw. The holes in the plate are slotted for adjustment however once the plate is fitted on the rail you can’t get to the bolt heads. So i put it together but not fully tighten and then removed it and locked the nut block in place.

it would be good to be able to adjust the placement which the block fitted. I may cut some groves to take 2 tee nuts so i can fix from the outside and adjust up and down. We will see.

Next up was the end plates on the Y axis rails. a little bit of care is needed hear as one end is tapped for the stepper motor and one end isn’t. They came labeled however i cleaned the text off before painting. Again the holes for the Y axis makerslide are slotted for adjustment.

I repeated the steps for the other side and then quick put the X axis on to see what it would look like.

That’s as far as I’ve got so far.


Check your y nutblocks. Looks backwards.
Nuts on inside screws on outside.
If you are using hex screws then maybe they will fit. Just be sure to have enough space obviously. :grin:
Really like the yellow. Well done mate.

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OIs this what you mean?

Is this right or can I use the stepper connector and no collet? edit answered my own question, yes I need the collets between the stepper coupling and the bearing.

:+1:t4::+1:t4: Love the yellow!!! If you upgrade to the Cnc4newbie z-axis your machine should be a small beast. Keep up the good work and show your machine some :heart::heart::heart:

Bit more progress this evening, got two of the stepper motors fitted. Waiting for parts now.

Got the blue locktite out I’m sure some will be glad to see.
Started working my my new z axis, I got this Igus linear actuator free at a show. Came with a little knob to turn it but a friend turned the lead screw down a bit for me to fit in to my stepper coupling. Luckily all the mounting holes line up with some 80x20 extrusion I’ve got on order which should make it easy to fit. Just got to work out the stepper mountings.

Of course I chucked some yellow on there to match it in a bit.

I said Y. X looks fine. Y is backwards and will make fine tuning the alignment a small issue unless you have hex back there


Some 20 years ago somebody was selling a yellow Delta HF Integrale. The beast with the 46 WRC victories in the late 80s - early 90s. I showed up as a prospective buyer just to test drive it.


Will never forget how it sounded.

PS. This particular yellow hue was called “giallo ginestra” and looks very similar to what Alex is using here on his plates.


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one of the cars which would make up my dream garage. Such a beast!

I had a look at changing them over, however i can’t fit a spanner between the Y axis makerslide and the plate. I’m thinking of routing a small recessed slot behind the hole to take a tee nut. The recess would stop the nut from being able to spin whilst allowing up and down movement for adjustment.

What is the best procedure for checking alignment?

Found the elefantino logo in vector and made a couple of variations to go on yellow background.


I’d print this on sticker paper for a side plate :stuck_out_tongue: . Here’s the svg if you feel adventurous. (10.7 KB)

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It’s your standard mechanical alignment procedure. Move to the extremes and check for binding.
Also the Spanner does fit from the side. And there are low profile spanners that you can buy.

When I was a teenager, over two decades ago, my first vehicle was a 92 S-10. I highly customized it (just like my Xcarve lol) in the end, it was slammed to the ground with molded on ground efx and I painted it this same color of yellow. It was so much fun nd was a huge learning experience. It was defiantly eye catcher, especially for the Cops!!! Could not tell you how many times I got pulled over just bc. The funnest reason was bc my Tail lights were too low and once bc they were not bright enough. Both being completely BS. They were just looking for a reason to pull me over to check out the custom truck. I had to go through so many sobriety checks and searches. In my small town they automatically assumed I was a drug dealer. Lol. I did not even drink alcohol back then and I still don’t. Lots of ticked off cops. Lol.

Recently I was looking for a 2002 TransAm ceta special edition it is also bright yellow. I really like yellow. But bought a 2000 Artic White TA instead. At least I wont have to deal with the cops nearly as much as if I had bought the yellow one.

Yeah. I would not be surprised at all if he gets pulled over screw driving that x-carve around town.


drug dealer + yellow car = Better Call Saul


A bit more progress last night. Got my delivery of 80x20 extrusion for the new Z axis.

Cut this to length and mounted under the Igus actuator

This then nicely fits to the standard Z axis mounting T nuts on the carriage

I made a stepper motor adapter plate which bolts to two M6 threaded holes on the Igus part and two off M5 holes on the 80x20

I have a length of 80x20 left which will bolt to the igus carriage and the router mount will fix to that. I will need some spacers as the carriage sits lower than the end plates. Using 4 M5 bolts from the bottom side of the carriage up through the spacers and then some T nuts in to the 80x20 should do the trick. I will need to bolt that on before attaching the igus actuator to the main 80x20 which is fixed to the carriage.

Of course I’ve now taken this apart so the adapter plate can be painted Yellow. Got to keep my new Drug Carving rep up. :stuck_out_tongue:


Check your z motor. Your flex coupler looks a bit off kilter. May affect its lifespan significantly. It will compensate for a few degrees off but the higher the angle the quicker it can die. @PhilJohnson what do you think?

I think its the angle of the photo. the stepper shaft is inline with the leadscrew

Yes, it does look like it has a bow to it. Though, in that picture the motor plate looks still loose.

This should be easy to fix by drilling the plate’s mating holes a tad wider to gain some room for adjustment. Possibly the spacer holes too. First tighten the coupler straight, then the spacers, then the plate screws.

Well the main mechanical build is done.

Got the Z axis together

I ended up with just the two mounts for the stepper as the back two bolts ran in to the 80/20 voids and i couldn’t get clearance for the nut. My old Openbuilds C beam just used two mounts so i’m not to worried about it.

Next Step is the new waste board and the Y axis covers/supports. After that i’ll move on to rewiring the machine. I bought a X controller to replace my original X carve controller. Last step for the machine build will be fine tuning all of the build and alignments. I think need to rebuild my enclosure as the foot print of the machine is now to large to fit inside the old box. That should then keep the machine nice and dry if i have any more roof problems.


Well as with most pimped our yellow drug dealer cars my xcarve ended up on blocks…

I needed to add some t nuts for the Y axis covers


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