Noobie here w/ 1000 x 1800 from the aviation community :)

Hello everyone! Name is Nic from the Austin TX area. Purchased the X-Carve last week to avoid massive delays from our 3rd party suppliers of cockpit panels and other similar things. I’ve been reading and learning so much from everyone and have even made a purchase from the X-carve community! This is my first experience with CNC and i’m still pretty new using CAD (Self taught on Draftsight Pro) so i’m sure i’ll be asking MANY more questions that are pretty obvious to everyone else. As you can see, I went ahead and ordered the 1800 rails right off the bat and will be doing all the stiffening mods to make sure all my cuts are spot on. You’ll also notice the 3 Axis Auto zero from community member Charley who was willing to go above and beyond to help me out!

Just started to get the belts on and added some heat shrink to keep everything locked down tight. It’s still loose on the other side so there’s no tension right now.


Nice ! I love large CNCs You will have to support X axis right away I bet you can bend it with your hand like a bow.
Also man I could very much use hangar for all my work you sure will not trip over things like I constantly do !

I think you mean the Y, but yes, I plan to stiffen them both up. I need to be sure i’ve taken out as much error as possible with the larger size. Aircraft owners can be extremely picky on fit and finish (Understandably).

build some bracket to support the Y rails.


Welcome to the community, fellow central Texan! I live up in Leander.

There are a couple of us in central Texas as well - out of Temple.

That’s awesome! I may have to come pick your brains and check out your machines in action! I live in Cedar Park but i’m building the X in Taylor where the shop is.

Right on, that’s right down the road from me! I have the 500x version and have been running it for about a year now, albeit when time allows me. If you need any help give me a shout. I can help with cad work as well.

Yes, totally mean Y.

Hey @AustinTX, I used to live in Cedar Park also. Closer to the lake where I taught sailing and managed a fleet of boats. I love Austin and really miss it. Unfortunately it’s too far away from big water. Love the big machine. I can’t wait to have a shop!

Looks like your well on your way. By all means stiffen the X carriage. This IMHO is the most important modification you can do. In it’s original assembly it allows far too much twisting. It doesn’t bow much like the Y axis but it will twist way too much if you have any significant load on it. After adding a piece of 1/8 inch steel plate between the maker slides that make up the gantry I removed a significant amount of twisting. There a couple of different ways to do it. Just search the forum for X axis stiffening.

For the Y axis, I simply cut a length of 3/4 MDF that was as tall as I could make it and still not interfere with the Gantry moving forward and backward then attached them to the inside of the Y axis rails. This helped remove most all of the bowing of the Y axis rails and also serves as a dust shield for your Y axis wheels and belts. Adding support brackets will go even further to stiffen the heck out of them. Just be sure that you don’t introduce any bowing in them when you add brackets.

If you’re like me, a kid in a candy store, I know you are just about to wet yourself to get carving. Resist the temptation to skip steps. Get it right the first time and you will be better off for it. Patience is a virtue Soon you’ll go from Noobie to Veteran!!

Any plans on dust collection? I made a thein separator from two 5 gallon buckets and a shop vac. Works amazingly well. Search YouTube for directions. You can even make it on the X-Carve!!

Made some good progress today. Wasn’t sure how I was going to get the whole thing bolted down in a manner that would work using the parts I had available but I think I managed pretty well.

As you can see, I separated the top and bottom extrusions to keep proper distance at both ends of the 1800. Then I made some custom brackets that make use of the Tslot nuts that wouldn’t be needed at the top/bottom of the board in this configuration.

Next I made some 4" tall brackets that make use of the side extrusion as well as the top two slots in the rail above. Perfect width to fit inside the gap and then I screwed them down like the front and the back.

Finally I did the quickie X axis bolt/washer mod to sturdy it up. I’m still planning to do the full bar through the middle, but I was running out of time and from the reviews and videos I saw it seemed legit for what I need this machine to do for me.

So everything is screwed down and firmed up as far as I plan to for the time being and believe me, there is zero flex in the Y (Up/down/sideways) and next to nothing on the X. I do have some eccentric spacers on the way as well as some 1500mm extrusions (3 of them) to run down the middle like I have going on right now.

So all in all, i’m actually pretty pleased with how this turned out given that I had two 1800 rails and parts for a 1000 machine. Because the board is screwed down at the Y rails, it might as well be sitting in cement. SOLID! So if I go 1500, that’ll give me more than enough working room and could slide more board on if need be. If I loosen up the four screws holding down the mdf (I think thats what the board is called right?), it slides right out no problem so placing new or longer ones in will be a piece of cake.

Other than maybe run some guards along the Y to keep stuff from going in the rails, I think i’ll probably leave it like this. Its sturdy in every direction and seems like a good design. I may do the dust boot, but I don’t know… I’m not going to be running wood through this thing so. I guess I’ll see how it goes like this for now. Looking for power on tomorrow!! Pumped!

Thanks everyone


Hey Nic.

Gareth here in Georgetown. I am a happy shaoeoko 2 owner for over 2 years now. Mainly routing wood and basic PCB’s

I have really enjoyed using SketchUp to do my mor complex drawings for milling, and Easel for the more simple ones.

Any way small world, I fly the Alouette sometimes out of Taylor.


Hey that’s awesome! I work at ACS at the airport there. Do you know John and Mike? They’ve both been there forever and seem to know everyone who flys in the area. Next time you’re around, stop in and check things out. Maybe give me some pointers on my machine :grinning:

Hey I’m a fellow noobie myself and helicopter mechanic. So far I’ve only had time to play with my xcarve a little but I do plan doing some panels as well. I work for a helicopter charter company out here in California. A few weeks ago I engraved a cover for the collective on our Bell 47 soloy out of .060 aluminum. It worked for us. Look forward to seeing your projects.


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build you own B737NG fly Simulator.

That’s awesome! Ive worked for both Virgin Galactic (Richard Branson’s Spaceship Company) out of Mojave and M7 (Military helicopter upgrades) out of San Diego. Love me some California!

Need some help finishing my first project, but going to ask for help in a separate thread.

I sure will pop in and say hi. I know Glen, Brandon Shawn and so on.

Hi Austin,
Nice setup!
I recently bought the xcarve 1000x1000 ans im looking to do the same upgrade as you. Can i ask you some tips and tricks along the way ?
How is your setup proving itself nowadays ? Is it still that sturdy after al this time?

Kind regards, John