Stiffening X-Rail with joiner and Epoxy idea - No drilling

This is my idea for stiffening the X-Axis using a pair of V Rails like the original design but attempting to limit the weight without using a steel bar and no drilling.

What if we expanded on the idea of using the Shapeoko 2 X-axis Makerslide joiner shown here.

Extended it at the top and bottom so it fills the channel.

Then every foot you put in a pair of them about 2-3 inches apart from one another. Put tape across the bottom of the to seal the area creating a channel to hold an epoxy. Then obviously fill the 2-3" channels with epoxy.

Thoughts and Thoughts on the type of epoxy to use?

I ordered the new wide X-Rail but at some point I know I’m going to want to expand beyond 1000mm and the above is my plan B idea for it.

I don’t know how much of a difference the epoxy would make. I understand and like the joining hardware for ensuring alignment, but the stiffness of epoxy is a lot less than aluminum. You may just end up making a mess for no good reason.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and the best idea I can come up with is to run a threaded rod slightly small than the hole in the makerslide all the way down the holes in the middle of the makerslide and tension them as tight as reasonable using nuts on the outside of the Y plates. The joining hardware would work great for alignment though, especially if you had one at the joint.

In this thread I posted some pictures of a mechanical solution that puts no strain to the makerslides but do reinforce stiffness.
x reinforcement

Also weight is not an issue, unless something is terribly wrong with your machine. You could haul 10 of those steel plates around.

I did but at some point I want to go beyond the 1000mm. I have a want or need for a 1100mm at minimum. I’m sure its one of those things where now that when you can cut at 1100mm you find a need to cut 1200mm and so on and so on.

I kind of felt the 3d printed spacers have some flex and an epoxy would solidify the two together more like a wide weld. I know they can glue airplanes so makerslide shouldn’t be an issue although epoxy the whole rail would likely not be cost effective.

Where did you get the right width of aluminum? From what I read the thickness can offset the wheels and cause them to ride up if not exact. Also with the fasteners in the middle how can you tighten them or did you drill holes in the V-rails that gives you access to the heads? That’s got my interest if I can find the right width of aluminum.

I plan on going wider than 1000mm so I worry that weight will be an issue. Lets say I go to 1200mm with a steel bar do you believe that the Nema 23’s that came with the x-carve can handle that and not wear them out? Same with the provided power supply?

Yes. You will not “wear them out.” Well, you will eventually - but you might be dead by then. You will have plenty of real issues to worry about. Weight is not one of them. But, it is really, really important that you do what you intended to do because you will learn along the way. So, go nuts. Plus it is smart to take the advice given on this forum with a grain of salt. There are plenty of crazy ideas on this forum. Why would you trust me? Realistically though - don’t worry about the weight. I was lugging a Hitachi 12M on THIS very machine for a couple of years (WITH the steal plate). It’s a beast. Very quiet though and went down to 7k rpms, plus, it allowed me to use 1/2" collets. The only dicey part was the z-axis - though it too handled the weight well and I am using the same Nema 23’s I bought 7 years ago. So - if it were me, I would do YOUR experiment, then order the new x axis. THEN my first order of business would be to address the z axis. Just my honest opinion - which, of course, you should take with a grain of salt.


There is no right size aluminium, tolerances in extrusion will have an effect on wheels offset. The advantage of having a ShapeOko2 is that it is easy to machine matching spacers, on the X-Carve you need to adjust the washer thickness to mount the wheels on the correct position.

The strip positions the bolts and match the holes in the makerslide for which I also used the strip as a drill jig. This way of mounting prevents the makerslide to be crushed by a long bolt. (see pictures in link above)

A center piece steel or aluminium does not do much in Y direction as it is placed in the center of gravity of the combined beam, it does a lot in vertical direction where a steel bar is 3 times stronger than an aluminum, also a 60mm high strip is 3.3 times stronger than a 40mm high strip. So a steel 60mm strip is 10 times stronger than an 40mm aluminum. (Still not much in horizontal direction though.

The Makerslide wheels are rated at 2.7 kg it seems a lot of people put more load onto it without having problems. I want ot stay on the smaller, rigid, accurate machine side so I have no experience with that.

The motor power is used to move the machine so Newton will tell you how much (accelleration) power goes into movement, the rest of the torque multiplied with revs is the power reserve you have to chew through the material.

As long as you stay within the motor Amp limits and the driver supply limits you will not wear out your steppers.

The cheapest way to reduce Z axis play is to raise your project to the max and keeping the lower Z axis wheels aligned with the lower X axis wheels, you will be surprised by the difference. So on 2.5D cutting I put two additional sheets of MDF on my wasteboard.

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That all makes perfect sense to me thankyou.