This is exactly what I did. I just used a 1/4" end mill to drill proper size holes for my inserts for 1/4" bolts. I did use vCarve to generate the hole pattern. The just released replicator tool in Easel wasn’t available then. I might have decided to use it if it were available.
As you said, you can only mill the holes inside the cutting area of the machine, which was almost 30 holes.
As far as the grid, I found out the sharpies wear out fast on MDF. I went through 3 of them drawing the lines on my board. There is a lot more line length that what you first think… right at 300 feet worth.
Maybe instead of drawing it, you could use an 1/8th inch or 1/16th inch mill and carve it. Or just do a 1 inch grid instead of whatever the default is. I like the idea from the video to screw down a board to give you a square backstop for your material as well as the rotating clamps. I also like the idea of a few t-rails embedded in the waste board. I’ll have to think about this.
I’m ordering my x-carve tomorrow. I started filling my shopping cart today and was surprised the cost was higher until I realized they finally ditched the default spindle and are instead including the DeWalt 611. Now if they’d include a stiffener for the X-axis and options for 1500 and longer rails that would be fantastic.
I was wondering if you got a piece of 8020 if you could just bolt the makerslide to it for added stiffness to a longer Y-axis. I wonder how the rails would line up or if you’d need to find someone with a TIG welder to weld the rails together if you added a 1500mm rail to the existing 1000mm rail.
So many ideas. I’ll just get the default 1000mm unit and figure out expansion later. I wish it didn’t take 3-4 weeks to ship…
I’m sure you can get 8020 with the correct slot spacing, but I haven’t identified how to bolt 2 faces together along their length and tighten joint tightly.
A ball point pen may be a good option. Of course, by the time I realized the sharpie was going to wear, I was a long way into having it done. Afterwards I though of milling grooves with my 22 degree V bit, and perhaps hilighting them with a dark stain, but just decided to leave it alone until time to replace it and then try something else. Hopefully somebody else will learn from my efforts and come up with a perfect solution by then!
As far as bolting two rails together, you’d have to drill holes in one rail and use the slot nuts. I’d think a bolt and nut every 8-12 inches would give enough support. I’m thinking if you used a 20x80 extrusion you might be able to mount the support rail to the maker slide so the support rail sits higher than the slide. This would have the benefit of shielding the slide from dust and chips. It looks like there’d be enough clearance.
What I’m really interested in when I get to expanding the xcarve beyond 1m x 1m is changing from the belts to bicycle chain and cutting replacement plates for mounting the gantry so I can mount it higher to increase z-axis.
ACME rods, as they get long start to “whip” and cause inaccuracies as it moves the device. Therefore Rack and Pinion can accurately control much longer systems for the same size drive system.
Conversely, ACME systems allow the motor to stay fixed in one place for the axis so wire flexing and routing issues may be easier.
I’m sure an exception can be found, but I’ve not seen a high accuracy system driven by chains. Rather I see chain drive used in very high load/low accuracy requirement situations.
I made my own wasteboard out of 18mm MDF i got it cut at the store at 1000mm x 1000mm.
i learned when putting it on the machine that it would not fit it was to tight and the lower weels on the rails hit the ends. So i routed out the left and right ends to allow the rollers to have room to move but still left about half of the board there for support and i don’t have a table saw to cut it accurately so yeah. then i sanded the 4 corners where it goes by the end supports to give me enough clearance. i drew a 10cm x 10cm grid on the board with perm marker. i have yet to put threaded inserts in but im not sure i will. i have done a few projects with double sided tape and a few by using the clamp set and a wood screw thru the hole and just screwed into the wasteboard. I the used 4 of the M5’s to attach it to the machine and counter sunk 3 wood screws and fastened the board to my work bench.
I used the plans from this site. I cut the board to length with a circular saw, using a clamped straight board to give me a straight cut. Then bought a $3.99 ruler from Harbor Freight (http://www.harborfreight.com/48-in-aluminum-ruler-69365.html) which has mm one side. I marked off all the intersecting points with a pencil and drilled them out. I purchased the inventable threaded inserts and used my drill to drive them. Whole project took about 1.5 hours. Cost about $60 for the 4’x8’ 3/4" MDF and threaded inserts. It was about $260 with shipping for me to order the pre-made one.
After cutting each 1x6" board to length, I believe I ran it through my table saw ripping off 1/4" or so from the width just to ensure that all of the boards were dimensioned identical. I just happened to cut a 1x4" board for both the front and back boards but this should not be necessary to do. You should be able to use only 1x6" boards with the one in the back specially ripped to width (or possibly just left out altogether).
The clamps seen in the photo are made from door shims with the plastic knobs and 1/4" plate-head bolts both acquired from the specialty hardware bins at Lowes.
As you can see, a hole is drilled at each end of a slot to allow for clamps to be slid into place on either side of the work piece.
An advantage of having a segmented wasteboard is that if one or two of the board segments become worn or damaged, you can easily replace them without having to replace the rest of them.
In this particular photo, I was setting up a temporary bump stop. I later made a permanent one from a carpenter’s square.
Speaking of planing, rather than producing g-code to plane the wasteboard segments and risk making a huge mistake (at a time when I had no experience using the X-Carve), I planed them manually. That is, I used a 3/4" router bit and moved it by jogging it back and forth using Chilipeppr. I just set the jog distance to a small value like 1/10th of an inch and planed away (by pressing the arrow keys). Now, I’d probably just do it in “full auto” mode and I’d start by removing the front segment in order to set the cutter depth. Did I mention that a segment can easily be removed by loosening three screws?