It's Alive

This one uses a ballnose for the entire operation, so in order to cut all the way through it really has to dig into the wasteboard.

I really like the look of the joints, but it really takes some time to get the settings so the joint is nice and tight, but not too tight. I think I am there now. I have not used the dovetail gadget yet, so I really can’t compare it. What I do like about the tailmaker program is that all of the joints are cut with the board flat on the wasteboard.

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Here is the box, just pressed together. I need to cut a bottom and do some sanding, but I think it comes together very well. With a little bit of cleanup, not much, it will be good. I’ll hit the sharp edges with a roundover bit on the router table and I may do a small relief carve on the front face.


Here it is glued up and after a quick trip to the router table to ease the edges with a small roundover bit. Needs some sanding and a finishing.


You are really making the Tailmaker software look good. I promised myself I would not be buying any new software for at least 6 months, but I really want it!

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The program works well, but it was a lot of trial and error to get really good results. I am still tweaking things, but each one is a bit better then the last.

Yesterday I removed my mechanical homing/limit switches as I started getting noise like several others. I replaced the homing switches with hall effect limit switches. I purchased 5 of them from:

These switches have 3 connections instead of the 2 on the mechanical ones. 1 goes to the Arduino Ground, 1 to the Arduino +5 volts and the third to the appropriate pin just like the mechanical switches. There are 2 LEDs to indicate the state, tripped or not, red and green.

I have run the homing sequence about 200 times since yesterday when I installed them with no issues at all. I set a point using the G28.1 command, homed the machine and sent a G28, I was able to get repeatable homing every time.

I tested them as limit swithces briefly, as I sent the gantry into the switch at 175IPM and it stopped movement perfectly. I will add switches to the other end of the X and Y Axis this weekend.

Here is a quick video of the homing sequence.


Were you using the mechanical switches as normally closed or normally open?

Initially they were normally open, then I switched them to normally closed a few months ago.

Ah, so still a problem in either configuration. Well thanks for the link. Those are some pretty cheap switches. I’ll bet they could be easily potted in some hot glue to keep them from building up too much gunk or corroding.

Started a new project…

I am using an Arduino Due as the brains for this. I chose the Due for 2 reasons, First, it emulates a USB keyboard very easily and second, I had one not being used :slight_smile:

The buttons are wired into a 4 x 7 keyboard matrix, so I have 28 buttons. I will take it all apart, build a box for this to sit on and house the Due and the wiring and paint it.

I decided to go wired as I don’t tend to wander around too much while working. This will sit in front of the X-Carve on the stand.

Everything is wired up and the program is written. All the buttons work great and control the machine through UGS.

The only button that I haven’t gotten to work is the Abort button, UGS has no way (that I can find) to send a CTRL-X to the machine.

@MechanicalGoose - How is your abort button configured?

@WillWinder - Is there a way to send CTRL - X through UGS to the controller?


@ErikJenkins - I had 3 buttons tied in to a wireless 24v relay to push pause, abort and start commands from the remote to the board but after trying it out it is not very reliable. I could get a better relay but I’m trying to keep the cost down because I plan to offer these up for sale. So I’ve decided to move those 3 buttons to the control box next to the e-stop and hardwire them in. I would like to do it from the command line with gcode in UGS with the remote unfortunately I was reading that it is not currently supported.

Cycle start and feedhold works through UGS.

Cycle Start = ~
Feed Hold = !

I have 3 buttons hardwired into the controller as well and they work fine, just wanted them on the pendant as well.

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Ah, maybe it was just the abort I saw. If those are supported they I will most likely add them as buttons on the remote then also.

@ErikJenkins in the UGS Platform version you can configure the “Soft Reset” shortcut to send 0x18 (aka CTRL-X).

If you try the nightly build the cancel button now does the soft reset automatically.

How are you interacting with UGS?


I am emulating a USB keyboard and sending the commands directly to the Command box in the nightly build of the of the Classic GUI.

For example for a short move in the X direction I am sending: G20 G91 G0 X0.01

go to work zero of all Axis: G90 G0 X0 Y0 Z0

to Zero just the X-Axis: G10 P0 L20 X0

and so on…

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Is there anyway to send the CTRL-X through the command box? It would be great if a ^X could be recognized as a CTRL-X and sent that way :slight_smile:

You should be able to send the ASCII codes for control X

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I can send a ctrl-X, but the command box in UGS does not accept it. In any format I have tried.

My pendant is assembled now. The pendant is acting as a standard USB HID device and sending commands to Universal G-Code Sender through the command entry field. The pendant works with both UGS Classic and UGS Platform (nightly builds).

Box complete, glued up, painted and clear coat.
Button matrix wired and soldered in place. (4 x 7 matrix with 28 buttons)
I used an Arduino Due for the brains of the box.

All buttons function perfectly except for the Abort button (I will keep working on that one).
I added two LEDs, one will be an indicator for a shift button. I will use the lower right button as a shift key to allow a total of 4 jog increments.
Currently the jog buttons move 0.01" and 0.1".
I will add 0.5" and 1" once I add the shift key.

The second LED is waiting for a purpose.

I also need to mark the buttons so I remember what they all do :slight_smile:

If I find I am not using certain buttons, I can change their function at any time.

Here are my buttons currently:
Go To Work Zero X, Y, Z
Go To Work Zero X
Go To Work Zero Y
Go To Work Zero Z
Home the machine
Zero Z-Axis with Probe
Zero All Axis with Probe (1/8" bit)
Park at G28
Park at G30
Zero X Axis
Zero Y Axis
Zero Z Axis
Cycle Start
Feed Hold
And 12 Jog Buttons 4 for each axis.


That is a nice piece of kit! Nicely done.

Can you use the second LED to indicate when the machine is homed, so you don’t accidentally send it into the rail with the G28 or G30 command

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