Questions on assembly and immediate upgrades

I have just ordered my 1000mm X-carve and am now ready to start gathering the things I will need for assembly and immediate upgrades. I decided to go about this a little bit differently than most. I have ordered the 1000mm Rail Kit, ACME Lead Screw Kit, NEMA 23 Stepper Motor Kit, 1000mm Drag Chain Kit, and Limit Switch Kit. I will have limited time to work on this in the next few months and am willing to wait for the new X-controller and will continue to research spindles during this time. With that in mind I am hoping to get some answers to the following questions.

  • What type of wire do I need to buy? Would 18/4 shielded and 18/2 shielded be all I need?
  • What sizes techflex will I want to use/need?
  • What size and style taps and screws do I need if I intend to tap the rails and use machine screws instead of the thread cutting screws provided?

Is there anything else I should be looking at doing during this initial assembly phase?

Thanks, Craig

For tapping the Makerslide, i used a 5mm tap. The holes in the MS are 4.2mm which is OK for this size tap. A bit of tapping fluid or even WD40 will help. I used 16mm BHCS as it’s what I had on hand, I wouldn’t go less than 12mm.
For the steppers, I didn’t use shielded cable as the stepper wires were 4 metres long so I just twisted them together. For another CNC router I built, I used a 4 core microphone cable, (26/0.10x4 core + Braided Shield: 128/0.10 tinned copper). If I have any noise issues on the X-Carve then I’ll replace the stepper cables with this stuff. Similar spec cable for the limit/home switches but just a dual core cable.
For a braided sleeve, I used a 10mm diameter and heat shrink to hold the ends of it in place - used the stuff that contains host glue if you can get it.
I plan to do the x-axis stiffening mod at some point but doing it during initial assembly does make sense.

I used security cable — 18/4 shielded for the stepper motors, 18/2 shielded for the spindle, and 22/2 shielded for the homing switches. If I needed a small piece of wire for something, I just pulled one or more conductors out of the shielded wire.

@GeoffSteer & @AngusMcleod Thanks for the information on the tap size and the link.
@GeoffSteer @LarryM & @AngusMcleod Thanks for the wire information.

I just re-read your post and caught this brilliant idea. Mic cable is shielded very well, super flexible, and can take a bunch of abuse. I am looking at this and this to use on my X-carve. From your experience would these look to be a good choice? Also how much of each do you need for a typical installation?

Thanks again, Craig

The wires you are looking at would be ok for the homing switches, but not for the stepper motors.

Typically microphone cables and connectors are for very low level signals. Not recommended for power distribution.

You could use something like this for your stepper motors.