Was fairly unimpressed with the relative sponginess of the Z-axis along the X-axis and was resulting in some less than accurate and sharp cuts.
Upgraded to this Z-Axis similar to this one on EBay
The actual Z-Axis I have is 4.5" travel but its almost exactly the same as the one in the listing.
Initially I was a bit daunted by the fact that there are no mount holes, and thought about how to drill the holes to ensure proper alignment and eventual adjustment potential. Was considering having to drill new holes in the carriage assy, making adjustment slots etc. Eventually I realized I was seriously overthinking it and stayed with the original mount holes from the Z v-slide and router mount.
Some careful measuring and planing out holes and about an hour on the milling machine I had holes drilled and tapped and I am quite pleased with how well the upgrade mounted. There is just enough wiggle in the router mount holes that I can true the router to vertical without needing any purpose cut adjustment slots.
My only disappointment is there is about 3/4" of workable depth lost with how I mounted the Z-Axis. I plan on making taller end plates for the Y-Axis rails which will allow me to gain back and further expand the workable depth.
Still need to dial in the new steps/mm - I will report back with what I find.
If anyone wants a detailed write up of what I did with materials and hardware etc let me know.
Router mount holes - tapped for stock router mount screws
Backing plate, drilled and countersunk - required 4 hex head screws
Router mount bracket installed
Showing backing plate mount screws. Notice how the z-axis now sits below the carriage - need taller Y-axis end plates to fix
No spacer brackets required like I have seen in other peoples upgrades.
All in all it was as “plug and play” as you could get considering all that was needed was mount holes drilled