Spring cleaning

Welp. Added an aluminum bed to my machine. Spent the last week a couple hours per night threading 324 5mm holes by hand. Ordered new limit switches today because my Z one is a little limp. Have new Gates belts to install next. Hoping to be back at it by next weekend. Special thanks to @JanVanderlinden for help with planning the bed.

Also, once I get running, I plan to mill some guide lines in the bed.


Nice work Dave.


That looks great Dave.
Now once you get it trammed in I’m betting the whole machine will be within ~.005" - .010" and stay that way.
Unless of course you have a crash… Er, so I’ve heard.

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Thanks guys.

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I’d bet that wasn’t cheap.

I got a quote for 4300 bucks to do the entire thing. I almost fell over. I bought the plate online for like 275 plus shipping, and paid a machine shop 350 to do everything but thread all the holes. Not as bad as you might have thought. After all was said and done, using a dial indicator, I have 3 corners dead-nuts at zero. My back right corner is out .05mm. Yup. Not a typo. Insane difference from MDF.

I knew you would like it…

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how thick is the plate?

5/8. I was going to do 3/4 like original MDF was, but cost and weight were a factor. The 5/8 one weighs 92 pounds.

For what its worth, mine is 3/8"

Just replaced my belts. Ready to roll.

Old belts:

New belts:

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i just found the forum part of inventables and this was the first thread i find. i must do this asap. lol

can you tell me where you found the aluminum board from? also how do you plan to protect the aluminum from getting carved into. might be a silly question, but im fairly new and am having this issue with the MDF bed. alot of high and low spots.

I got the plate here:


And I use 1/8" Fibrex between the work piece and the bed. I was using 1/8" pegboard, but found the Fibrex to have a more uniform thickness.

I like your tensioning method. Could you share your source for the miniature scale/load cell?
Were you old belts worn or just loose?

My belts were physically in good shape. To be honest, I’ve checked the tension maybe three times since I got the machine. I assume they were just where they were from age and inattention by me. I made the tension gauge with the following:

Very straightforward if you’re mechanically inclined. No soldering needed.

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Thank you for the reply!! Much appreciated.

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