Need Z height clearance increase with the ability to revert to normal clearance quickly and without tools

I just purchased the fully loaded XCarve 1k mm and will be using it to cut several ABS enclosures that are about 3 inches tall. So when I place the enclosures with the surface to be cut upwards, its height is larger than that of the milling bit’s clearance. I plan to prep and cut several enclosures at once. One at the time wouldn’t “cut it”, if you pardon the pun.
So I do not need to increase the Z axis height in the sense that I do not need the milling bit to travel longer. I just need more clearance so I can fit these enclosures under the bit.
Here’s the twist. I need to then quickly go back to the normal height so that I can cut the front face or lid of said enclosures for the instrumentation and controls.
Could anybody suggest a good solution where I can quickly switch the XCarve from normal clearance to “advanced” clearance and back without “screwing” around with the screws? I greatly appreciate your input. Thank you!

You can replace your Z carrier with longer one instead. Many companies selling linear motion holder units. Here is one example;

You can set a much higher safety height, if the Z axis makerslide and X-carriage will clear the workpiece then you should be able to adjust it to take the spindle and bit all the way up to the homing/limit switch.

Make a new waste board that also functions as a tooling block to hold the part. Cut holes in the board to place the parts and then replace the board when your done.

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I’ve been considering the same issues and am planning on creating new Y Axis ends with multiple sets of holes to mount to. That way I could go up or down by whatever the spacing in the Maker slide is (approx 1 inch or 25mm). The only potential hangup I can see is the bracket to hold the belting couldn’t have the tensioning screw in it.

I’d like to find some 1/4 x 2.5 inch aluminum bar, but the widest the box stores carry is 2 inch. I’ll probably end up buying a 12x12 sheet from Amazon (Rose Metals Products).

Considering that I have the Dewalt router, I really don’t know if I would ever need to go back to stock height. It already reaches to the bottom of the waste board with a 1/4" end mill (used it to mill its’ own hold down holes) and I could insert the router at least another inch into the clamp. I’m thinking if I raise the assembly 2 inches I would lose nothing, but only gain Z height. People milling aluminum all day long may disagree due to possible chatter during cutting.

Hope this gives you ideas.


You would be better off not moving the machine up and down but moving the work surface up and down. This could be done it 2 ways. 1 remove the waste board and build a new table for the machine that has raised sides that lift the machine 2 inches above the surface of the table. drill the table for threaded inserts for your clamping system. Now an enclosure can be clamped to the table.
2 Build a torsion box that fits inside the rails of the machine that you can get in and out without any trouble. Make that torsion box 2 inches tall and drill the top for threaded inserts. Put a hole through the box at each corner that lines up with a threaded insert in the table so you can install 4 hold down bolts with knobs on top so you don’t need tools to install them.

The other more complex way to do it is built a table that the center section is a movable torsion box that has lead screws 1 on each corner that are connected by chain drive so when you turn a crank all four lead screws raise or lower the center section of the table.
This is far more complex and would cost a lot more than the first method.

I would not move the machine up and down to big a chance of getting the machine out of square or keeping it level in both directions to the table.

Hope this helps


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Definetely. I am studying all possibilities carefully.Thank you for your response.

I think that may be the way to go. Will keep you folks posted.