Extending Y Axis over 6 feet

I’ve searched all over the forums and I know this is possible but have yet to see anyone put up any detailed in instructions of exactly how to extend your Y axis. I have the 1000mm XC ready to order but I want to make sure I have everything I need.

The projects I will be working on will need a working area of 6 feet by 1 or 2 feet

My understanding of the Y axis of the 1000mm has an actual working range of 800mm (2.62 feet)
I would assume the combining two 1000mm would maintain the 200mm loss of work space giving me 1800mm (5.90 feet). Very close but I want to ensure I can reach the full 6 feet. That only leaves me with the option of adding the 1800mm rails to give 2600mm total working length (9.18 feet). Now I will have gone over by 3 feet but I have the room so I guess that’s ok.

I am building a torsion table for the xcarve to stay on.

So the order will have:
1000mm XC, fully upgraded and use a dewalt 611
1800mm makerslide x2
~6000mm GT2 belting

How do I join the makerslides together?
Cable management for the 2800mm axis?
I good way to stabilize and keep the y axis level over 2800mm

What else would you order to ensure I have everything I need?

If anyone has build a similar configuration and has some pictures with build details that would be a huge help.

I needed extra length also so I added 2x 1800 maker slide to my order plus 3x 1800mm 20X40 extrusions to replace the 20X20 that comes with the 1k.
I only extended mine to 1800 and I’m still working on it. I also raised mine 50mm over stock.
I also went with 9mm belts for the long axis.

There is a you tube video out there that a guy shows his machine extended to 4’ x 8" don’t have a link to it though.

Making the machine bigger is doable


Two things to think about: 1) Which axis is Y? 2) Will your software allow tiling?

When I was planning my system (an SO2), I decided to make the gantry the shorter axis for strength which in my case is Y. I made my gantry 600mm overall so I get about 17.5" of travel. My X axis is 1500mm, or 59", but I could make something much longer, if necessary.

I use VCarve Desktop for most of my work which is generally smaller items. It has a limitation of 25" by 25" but you can lay out something much bigger and cut the drawing into tiles for carving. Match the tiles, glue them up and you’ve got something however big you want.

I am new to CNC so I could be getting my X and Y mixed up.

The gantry will run the short distance.

This is my first cnc purchase so I have no software right now but I am willing to buy whichever will get the job done for me.

Tiling is not a good option as I currently work with 6 foot boards and cutting them down to only later put them back together would add a lot of work to my jobs.

Tiling can be used with a long board in a CNC with a smaller workspace. For instance, the six foot board can be broken into three 24" segments. The drawing would be done in its entirety and tiled into three segments. The board is placed into the CNC at segment 1, cutter is zeroed and start carving. Repeat for each segment.

If you want to try it for yourself, download the trial version of VCarve Desktop. You won’t be able to cut your drawing with it but you can see what I mean about tiling.

Ok, I understand now Bill.

That is probably going to be my best option I think. Doing that way would mean I will need to re-position the boards twice for each piece but that is likely going to be less work then attempting to build an experimental cnc build on my first time ever owning one.

I should be able to setup a stop block configuration to aid in my alignment as my work pieces are always cut to the same length

I will check out VCarve desktop.

Thank you

I mentioned VCarve Desktop because of the standard size of these machines. There is also the Pro version that will work on almost unlimited size projects. Although I can make a project about 17.5" by 59", I haven’t spent the additional funds for Pro. Vectric has a generous upgrade process for their customers whereby the upgrade from Desktop to Pro is only the difference in original cost.

Did you end up using 1500mm rails instead of the 1000mm?

I may end going with a 1000mm gantry and then use 1800mm for the length, this would allow me to not worry about combining maker slides and complete my work piece with moving and re-aligning the work only once instead of twice.

In this case would I only need longer GT2 belting, wiring and drag chain to accommodate 1800mm?

No 1500mm Makerslide was available when I built my SO2 early this year. I ordered 1800mm and cut it to 1500mm.

Pay close attention to the work area available in the desktop vs the pro versions. I know the pro version supports basically unlimited sizes as well as tiling. I seem to remember a 2’x2’ area in the desktop version, but don’t remember if that is all it would let you cut, or all it would let you draw.

One great thing w/ the vCarve software is the company will let you upgrade to a higher level version for only the difference in software pricing.



  • use 9mm wide belts
  • use Y-axis side supports
  • consider buying V-rail of some sort and bolting it to the extrusion

Here is a Video I did a few months back of my Shapeoko 2 upgrades. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIvJAUrtQmE
I have upgraded my Shapeoko 2 to 1000x1800. I can say use as much extra support as possible. I have braces every 600mm along my Y and I also added a 20x40 extrustion to the makerslide also just to stiffen it up. Without support you have a lot of deflection. My Gantry is also beefed up added a 20x40 extrusion between the 2 makerslides Since that Video was made I have also upgraded To Bigger Stepper motors and 9mm belts. If going bigger than 1000x1800 I recommend going with wider belts also.

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