New Z-Axis and Making Chips Instead of Dust

Hey guys/ gals,
I have had my 500mm X-Carve for several years now, and I finally got around to designing and making my version of what the Z-Axis should be. The Z-Axis is the weakest link on the X-Carve with respect to rigidity as you all know. I went with the original height for the new Z-Axis because I really do not need added height at this time.

Prior to installing the newly made Z-Axis (obviously made on the X-Carve itself) I would have to cut aluminum at ~12 ipm/ 0.005 doc/ 40% step over, but with the new Z-Axis and good aluminum bits (only 3-flute at the moment, but I will be getting some single flutes soon) I am able to reliably push the machine to 36 ipm/ 0.015 doc/ 35% step over.

Here are a few pictures of the new Z-Axis.

The first project was actually a new back plate for the Z-Axis because some of the holes for the slides failed to tap correctly (uuugghhh…aluminum); saved by Magic Tap on the second one.

Here is the second project with the new Z-Axis. I’m sure everyone knows where the inspiration came from…Saunders Machine Works …; shout out to those guys. Designed and milled out using EASEL so that it will work on the standard X-Carve spoil board. The image is just from me showing my wife how it works at the kitchen table.

So far everything is working great, and I just wanted to share with everyone!


Brandon Parker


Looks good!