Phil's linear rail Z axis upgrade

Well then I guess it’s time to buy some aluminum and scroll to the top and start reading. Thank’s Phil.

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Starting my upgrade finally, next week. What size bolts ended up going in to the Z-axis?

Ebay does not have the same rail. Only the 5.5 is available.
I am looking at getting one but before I do I need to know if it will work and how much I have to do to modify it. I do not have a drill press and other tools like the rest of you guys.

Yea yea I get it.
Only my x-carve is far from working good.
I had to remove the mod that stiffened and its back to Z errors again. :frowning:
I will be getting the new X rail soon but I may have to put all on hold as I am still looking to get a house with a garage.

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I feel bad asking in this thread, but because you mentioned it, how do I know when to change the brushes? I’ve never done it before, and while it sounds like an easy process, I don’t even know when to do it. Any advice?

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With a harbor freight caliper or good ruler, a center punch, and a counter sink bit along with a hand drill with a good measure of care and patience, you can make the adapter plate to mount your router or spindle with out a drill press. plus these tools are good to have in your box for general use in the future.

The key is careful layout of the holes to be drilled. If you can swing the 60 bucks or so for a HF drill press, it will serve you pretty well for this and for some time after in occasional use. I had one for 15 plus years before I upgraded and gave it to a friend who still uses it.

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Just removed the Z axis stiffening mod. Made the play go away.
Just when I thought all was well my Gshield goes bad. :confused:
I will have to order a new one. I am going to see if they can expedite it. otherwise I am going to hold off on everything till after I get a new place.

All said and done whats the bottom cost (without x lift) in time and $$ for the linear z? And How stiff and accurate vs Original design?

And time total? Approx!

Well My entire machine is as squared as it will get.
Thanks Phil.

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Hey all, I’m expecting the same linear Z in the mail in the next few days. I was planning on mounting it directly as you have @PhilJohnson but neglected to think about organising some spacers. Could you point me in the right direction? Is there any other hardware required I won’t already have?


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Thanks for the reply. My bad, I did read the whole thread before asking. I actually meant the spacers between your stepper motor and the rail where you’ve mounted it directly rather than using belts. Sorry for the confusion.

I know it’s probably up there in this mile long post but I couldn’t find it. So I’ll ask. How much lift do you get with your plates?

Ah the video!! I knew I had read/heard it somewhere. I couldn’t find it. Thanks.

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Perfect. Thanks Phil!

I spent a few hours double checking all my measurements and marks before drilling the x gantry but here it is almost ready to put back on. Need to get a couple new bolts and glue the back part of the dust shoe to the sides.

Thanks for all the initial work Phil made following your pics easy.



Looks good. I just finished mine up this morning.

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I already have your gantry plates installed and tested, I installed them and used them with my other Z-axis.

I am planning on connecting it to a 4" dust collector hose so I’ll keep the offset in mind while I work on it tonight.


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I did have a problem with one of my two units. The set screws on the brass coupler came loose (or it may have been the black stop bearing). Whatever the case, I removed them and applied blue lock tite to both. Might be a good idea if it is still off the machine.


Thanks for the heads up!!