Getting X-axis perpendicular to Y-axis

How do you keep your X-axis perpendicular to your Y-Axis? When I manually the move the X-axis, I can move one side 1/4-1/8" without moving the other side, which leads to the X-axis not being at 90 degrees with the Y-axis.

I discovered this while cutting a 24" square. The left/right sides were perfectly square with the machine, but the front/back were skewed (one side was 3/16" lower than the other).

Do I just need to manually square the x-axis before turning the machine on? My friend suggested I put stop blocks on the back of both y-axis rails and adjust them so that I can push the x-axis against them to get it perpendicular before turning the machine on.

I use two equal size of Plexiglas pieces, stick them to edge as shown on the picture. Turning machine on while pulling axis. Steppers locks, your X axis is square. Doing this every time after turning machine off.


Thanks Alan, simple and effective :slight_smile:

I ended up doing something similar with two pieces of plywood and only had 0.01" error over a 24" span. Getting my machine perfectly square would probably get me closer to even less error.



I recently bought a 1000mm X-Carve but I saw that this loss of square between X & Y was going to be a problem. I wanted more clearance and I also wanted to only use 3 steppers instead of four so that I could use the same Arduino Uno /w g-Shield that is on all of my other machines. This simplifies tuning current and reduces the requirements of my power supply because using only one motor for the Y makes it equivalent to the X. So I developed an upgrade kit using a shaft to run from one side to the other driven by a single motor. Once the two sides are made even and your coupler and pulleys are tightened, your machine stays square. I can push the gantry from one side and the other follows (and it stays square). Not having to square the machine is one fewer hassle I have to deal with when beginning a project.

This mod isn’t trivial as it requires new gantry end plates and additional bearing plates with retainer blocks on both sides (as well as the bearings themselves and pulleys that fit the shaft). It also requires remounting of the Y and Z axis stepper motors which needs additional hardware. The stepper motor is on the left side and the right side only has a pulley mounted to the shaft. This can be reversed if you wish but the two plates are different (unlike the stock X-Carve). The new gantry end plates are taller by 60mm and have to be so that the stepper motor /w shaft and bearings can be moved back and upwards. Otherwise the shaft would pass right through the Z-carriage. The two additional plates are mounted to the gantry end plates with bearing blocks for support on both sides of each pulley. To make space for a shaft coupler that connects the Y-axis stepper motor to the shaft, the stepper has to be spaced out by an inch. The Z-Axis motor also needs to be remounted on top instead of hanging below its mounting plate so that the router can reach the table because of the extra clearance. The Z-axis stepper ends up being spaced 1.25" above its mounting plate. This requires you to reverse the direction of the Z-Axis in the configuration.

I am offering an upgrade kit (“Dragon Bridge”) for $125. Let me know if you are interested. I’m planning on making a video describing the upgrade but right now I want to know if there is much interest. It is a much better machine that the stock X-Carve. I used PVC pipe for the stepper motor spacers but I would probably use Plexiglas in the kit.