Ordered my X-Carve today! Any upgrades I should immediately consider?

I ordered my 1000x1000mm X-Carve today with the 110v DeWalt spindle. I know in the former versions, the spindle was the weak point, but I believe that to be fixed with the DeWalt spindle. As I sit here practicing my CAD skillz waiting for it to arrive, I’m wondering if there are any common ‘upgrades’ I should immediately be considering before I put it together? I plan to add a dust collection system, but the optional one from Inventables was an additional 200 freaking bucks for basically a hose!

You might consider some stiffeners along the Y axes!

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Must Have #1: Dust collection system. The Inventables system is way more than just a hose. While some may not care, I viewed dust collection as a priority when I bought mine.
Must Have #2: Lots of bits: Upcut, downcut, V-bit, straight, ball end, tapered ball end
Must Have #3: Patience. A lot of patience. When things go wrong (not if, when), be patient and work through it.
Must Have #4: Good search skills. Use the search button on this forum. It’s useful.
Must Have #5: Time. Carving takes time. Putting it together takes time. Tweaking it takes time. If you don’t have the time, it’ll frustrate you. I myself run low on time more times than not and it has hindered my Xcarve from its full potential. This isn’t a single pass production machine. This is a hobby machine.


I was generally under the impression that issue was also resolved with more recent improvements. Not so much?

What issue? more than one was addressed.
never mind I see that you were addressing MacCohen statement on the Y axis. The X axis was addressed in the update with a one piece rail but the Y axis is still the same, strong enough but you can stiffen it with some brackets

Agree, but if he wants to make any upgrades that would be a good one.
simple to do and for the 1000x1000 machine it will help with the long span.

Sorry all. I was thinking it my reply would show up underneath Marc’s regarding stiffening the Y axis. Still getting used to this forum’s formatting. :slight_smile:

I had worked in a machine shop for a couple years in highschool/college dealing with normally +/-.005" down to +/- 0.0005" tolerances, so I think it would drive me nuts not to have a stiff Y axis. I can do some searching on that, but if someone has a link handy to drop so I can study up, that would be awesome as well.

WOOOO!!! Things have shipped!!! :smiley:

*UPS aircraft mechanics (from what I’ve read)

I have not had an issue with the y axis. Take you time putting it together. The instructions are good. Follow them and your machine should have minimum problems. It took me about two and a half days to put it together. Read and reread the instructions. Study the forum. It will lessen the learning curve. Good luck and welcome

As a new owner of the X carve 1000mm x 1000mm. I have a couple of thoughts that may help. Don’t worry about modification’s for the first week or so just get it up and running. Get it tuned in. Learn the machine. learn your work flow with the machine. I bought a suck it boot it was delivered before the X Carve but I didn’t use it for the first week. I wanted to learn machine first and its movements.

Once I knew I had the XC running good and everything was square and tight I added the dust boot and it works great. I’m now adding dust protection on the y rails to keep dust off the belts and at the same time i’m going to stiffen up the Y rails. I have also added a bump stop and programed G28 witch has really helped.

I have done lite machining back in the day. My grandfather and uncle where machinist and taught me to learn the machine your working on and learn your work flow with the machine. Hope this helps.

So far, I have some ideas to:

  • Stiffen Y
  • dust collection (of course)
  • dust protection on the rails

Anything else I might consider? Also, what sort of accuracy can I expect from this machine provided I’ve got it set up properly? I presume a machine tolerance of +/-.001" would be too much to expect, but could I expect maybe +/-.005 or +/-.010"?

Thanks Robert! I didn’t see that bit when ordering.

Lol. They have tolerances for their tolerances!

Using the big end, it looks like +/-.005". Not bad for the price. Probably pretty darn good actually if I can keep my blasted hands off of my calipers and just make the project. :slight_smile:

T-slot nuts to put in your Y axis rails during assembly for later upgrades.

Credit to Phil for making that suggestion. I read it after my assembly.

This will save you from a little dis-assembly when you decide to put sides on the Y axis rails for strength or simple to reduce the chips that land on the rail. I think it cost $3 dollars for 10 T-slot nuts.

Congrats on the purchase.

Not really an upgrade but just some advice read the assembly instructions like 30 times b4 you get the machine I also recommend having a second person help it makes it go a little faster but also nice to have a second opinion when assembly because some instructions are vague

Y axis stiffening has been a much discussed subject here in the forum, with many different answers. Use the search function. While there have been significant upgrades to the X Axis, Y and Z axes still require a modification or two.