Replace stock base extrusion

Ive been toying with the idea for a few months now of replacing the standard 20/20 extrusion that makes up the base of my new 1000mm xcarve with 20/40 to really firm everything up. I was just wondering if anyone had done something similar and if it would actually be worth it considering it would be a near full machine tear down. I was planning on doing it in a grid format rather than just one cross piece.

Long term my upgrade path is to get longer y rail plates to increase cut depth and get the z slider by cnc4newbie but was thinking of working from the bottom up.

All input is very much appreciated!


Do a forum search on Sam-Bo. My CNC. I used 20x40 and 40x40 extrusions completely replaced the stock base and extended the machine to 1800 mm in the process. There are many ways to skin this cat and all of them will get you nearly close to the same place. Feel free to ask more questions if you need to. Always happy to assist.

Yes. Then topped it off will @PhilJohnson 's waste board.


Plus wide makerslide for Y with charleys plates


This was exactly my thinking! One question though, how come you have the bed slightly raised off the table top before fixing it down? Was this to help level everything out?

Absolutely incredible work that Michael! Given me new upgrade ideas already!

I know I’m not Angus but it appears he has isolation pads between the gussets and the table top, assumingly to dampen the vibrations from the machine into the torsion top.

Thank you. That’s the beauty of this type of design, ones imagination and the sky is the limit.

The table is rock solid and all I need under it are sawhorses. However I will be building a rolling cabinet base for it in the future. (Sound enclose for shop vac, air compressor, and vacuum system, along with bit, Tool and jig storage.)

The wide makerslide was not available when I built my machine, I would recommend going that route on the x & y axis now as compared to my L shape on the Y. Either setup should be equally as good with this type of lightweight machine, the wide makerslide will just be fewer components and should be cheaper overall as well. I really like the design shared above by David and Curtis. If I was building this machine again today, I would definitely take the route they have shown. The Y riser plates weren’t available then either. I have plans to change the MDF risers out with something similar when I change over to leadscrews. This way I can incorporate the bearings and the stepper motors into the risers. I highly recommend you look into those if you want to raise your Y axis rails. They are reasonably priced and easily accessible if you don’t have your machine running yet.

The Z axis from CNC4NEWBIE is a great upgrade as well. I have now added it to my machine also.

I will be revamping my machine in the near future, just bc I can and enjoy doing so, mainly bc I want to move away from the belt drive and I have 425oz stepper motors to add to the machine.

This just goes to show that there are many ways to get to the finished product.

Good luck and feel free to reach out anytime.

Amazingly, I’m at 1.5 years with my original belts. Will look at the 9mm upgrade for when they break. Not ready to plunk down the cash for the screw drive upgrade at this time but who knows by the time they break? (you watch, they’ll break this week).

Dumpster CNC and McMaster Carr provided the components (at my expense) that I needed for the majority of this upgrade. It isn’t cheap, but it was not awfully expensive either. Its also just components so fab work must also be done, but I enjoy the design and build aspects so it’s not a problem for me.

Always looking for a better mousetrap. Lol.

Are you talking about the 9mm belts or the screw drive?

Yup me too, as long as your table saw is square this was a no brainer. I added a 2x4 that I ripped down and cut a rabbit down one side to clamp it to my table. Works like a champ! What I like the most is that all I have to do to move the XC is Pull

up the clamp on the right side, 4 screws

Screw drive.

In the end I don’t want components that will stretch or break. But that is a personal preference.

Having seen the difference in my CNC4N linear axis Z over the original, I know what you mean. Screw drive would be much preferable. When I finally get there, I’m sure I’ll be slapping myself on the forehead and wonder why I didn’t do it earlier. lol

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I also want to explain why I will be moving away from wood risers.

Wood expands and contracts when humidity levels change by taking on and releasing moisture. Dimensional lumber more so than MDF (as long as the MDF does not actually get wet). Dimensional lumber can also have a tendency to twist and warp for many reasons that I won’t go into here and screws and glue are no guarantee that the wood will stay flat. If you do use dimensional lumber, try to find tight grain, quarter sawn, and no pith, for this is the most stable cut with the least likelihood of changing.

However with this stated Either will work. Just keep in mind that you will need to surface your spoilboard so that it is perpendicular to the cutting edge. If one side swells or contracts more than the other, this could throw off your accuracy slightly and you might have to re-tram the Spindle. Of course this will be miniscal and may not show up in every carve but it “could” happen. And I want the accuracy as close as possible. There are projects that I “strive” for 0.001” Of accuracy. So I want everything as stable as possible and it’s nearly impossible (I did not say impossible) to acquire this accuracy while using wood. I have seen it happen with a 10% swing of humidity in my shop using MDF. It’s not major, but it is there. And yes if these machines are properly built, maintained and calibrated, this type of accuracy can be achieved.


To each their own though. The screws just add to the accuracy, repeatability and reliability of the machine. However they are not 100% necessary

Will definitely be investing in the cnc4newbie z axis as soon as they are back in stock. Being in the UK there doesn’t seem to be anyone making similar stuff such as the longer y end plates and z sliders. I may be wrong!

I currently have aluminium angle fixed to the y rails and to the wasteboard which has firmed them up no end. Makerslide y rails are on the upgrade list, but much further down the list due being pretty happy with how they are holding up.

What is everyones views regarding improved y plates? I really like the TRIQUETRA ones, but again, due to being in the UK im half inclined to design and manufacture my own.

Seem to be spending more time thinking about and planning machine upgrades than actual machine projects haha

Thanks all

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That’s true. But I wasn’t necessarily speaking of expanding to 1800mm when I was making that comment. I guess I should have clarified, thank you for pointing that out Angus.

I am happy that these are available, I do not see anything wrong with this upgrade especially for someone who has not assembled their machine yet. They are also resembly priced, the aluminum stock itself isn’t all that cheap to begin with. If I did not already have my machine assembled or if I had no prior experience milling aluminum or if I just didn’t have the time, then I would highly consider purchasing these so that the machine could just Rock n Roll once they are bolted on.

However with that stated, the tools and stock readily available, and with my newly acquired CADD back ground, I would go ahead and make my own if the time was available. I consider myself a “Maker” and enjoy the challenge and take pride in saying “I made that.”

It really depends on each individuals own situation and experience. If shipping is reasonable, consider purchasing the Triquerta end plates. Just breaking a few endmills while trying to manufacture your own could end up costing you more time and $$$ than these. They are a viable option.

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When I cut mine I don’t think Charlie’s were available , and I wanted the wide makerslide on my y axis. I spent more on bits and material than he charges. If I hade know he was going to or already was doing them and would cut them for the new rails. I would have probably gone that direction.

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