Phil Johnson Build

You’ve obviously done your research. Take your time assembling, you’ll thank yourself later. Enjoy

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Based on my recent build I would add to your table:

  • some crimp spade connectors and crimper (I liked someone else’s idea of using connectors instead of bare wire into the terminal blocks.

  • M5 tap, handle, and Tap Magic fluid. I decided to pre-tap the ends of the Makerslide. I even scrounged a scrap block of aluminum to practice tapping threads into while I was waiting for my X-Carve to arrive. Had to order a Walton tap extractor later when I dropped a piece and broke off the tap in the hole.

  • T25 Torx driver

  • multi-colored heat shrink tubing assortment (I color coded the connections into the controller red/green/blue for x/y/z)

  • Ferrule pin connectors - instead of sticking bare wire into the terminal blocks on the controller which gets old real fast.

  • 1/2" braided cable sleeve to neatly bundle the wires from the end of the drag chain to the controller.

  • a bag of spare micro roller switches as replacement limit switches in case you crash into one and break it.

Some of this is OCD on my part, some to make up for the fact I was very nervous about tapping threads, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.


Which Z Axis locknut mod are you referring to?

Thanks for that link.

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I would ditch the eccentric nuts altogether. Go with eccentric spacers and lock nuts with slightly longer bolts. And do this on ALL of your adjustable v-wheels. This can certainly be done later - after it is built. You will find adjusting eccentric spacers 10x easier. Search for eccentric spacers.


I went nuts first since that is what came with the machine - I am ordering the spacers now because with all the locktite in the world they still back off especially with the temp fluctuation we’ve been having here.


I replaced the bolts with slightly longer ones. I threaded the eccentric nuts directly onto the bolt, this essentially reversed the bolt direction. With a lock Nut on the inside of the machine, I have much better control of the eccentric nuts. I thought about the eccentric washer spacers but then I would not be able to use a ball-end hex wrench to adjust the tension of the eccentric washer.

With the bolt directly through the eccentric nut and choked up all of the way to the head, this locks it in place like a Jam Nut set up. Now the eccentric but turns with the bolt. This allows much finer adjustment of the eccentric nuts, in my opinion, using a hex wrench. I prefer the T-handle type. Ball nose are also handy. I found that trying to get a wrench onto the eccentric nuts was just a hassle. And with the addition of a nylon lock nut on the inside of the V-Wheels, my machine has not gone out of adjustment yet.

IMO, Either way will work better than the stock configuration. I just happened to have the longer bolts, lock nuts and eccentric nuts already on hand. I have not had any reason to try the eccentric washers since I made the above modification.


I will have to try that before I click pay :slight_smile: I do like the idea of using the allen to adjust the alignment of the nut. Combined with the z-axis stiffening i did this should be a huge improvement.

Here is the X axis.

I have not performed it on the Y axis yet bc I have to take the entire X gantry off. But here is a photo of them. No real issues here either. But I will be turning the bolts around.

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Yes. The plastic spacer was left over from a flat panel TV install.

The roller on the limit switch is tripped by the black spacer but is able to slide off of it. This keeps the limit switch from being crushed. The black spacer actually bottoms out on the carriage and not the switch. So all major impact points are on the sturdier items. The only limit switch that I have broke is on the Z and it caught my sleeve and ripped the lever off.
Yes the second nut is used as a Jam Nut. Currently The way I use a hex wrench on the Y axis is through a hole drilled in my risers. The hex wrench will slide through the hole and onto the M5 bolt. The down side to using it this way is my hopes have to align with the center of the V-wheels each time for adjustment. Not that big of a deal.

If I place a nut on the inside of the Y, I will have to modify the risers slightly so that the bolt or nut does not rub. With the low profile heads on the current bolts, I don’t have this issue. This is why I have not swapped the bolts and nuts around on the Y. The entire gantry has to come off and the risers have to be modified. Adjustments work just fine through the holes in my set up.

Keep in mind, my set up is custom. On a stock machine without the MDF risers that I used, the bolts will be much easier to switch around. My problem is more of a design issue since I modified my machine.

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FYI - If it can run XP it can run 7 ten times better. It’s probably a $100 upgrade though…

Your amigos can now refer to you as El Rebajador!

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“The Router Man”

(a whimsical, colloquial manipulation of what is printed on your Dewalt box)

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Time to order shirts.

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I’m in. I want a shirt as well!!!


You could probably bore and tap those for larger screws as well.

I bored out several shaft couplers on the drill press. Easy peasy - just clamp it securely and peck on in. Leave it clamped to tap. The only challenging part is cleaning up the inside where the shaft goes with a tiny file or something pokey to get the remains out of there.

Yes, the larger the grub screw, the more torque you can apply to tightening and the less chance of stripping its head or snapping the alley key. Plus more surface area for threads for grip, especially with the use of blue loctite. Also, larger flat contact area for the flattened shaft.

Isn’t bigger always better?


Just FYI, the upgrade from Windows 7 (or 8) to 10 is free if you do it by this July. There is no free upgrade from XP to anything.

What in the world did you model this in? I can’t believe you did the wires!