Thoughts on Stiffening mod

1668T93 Here is the part number for the 1 1/2" T. I had to cut just slightly over a blades width off of each side except the upright. This allowed the V-wheels to freely slide by.

I used black 1/4"-20 furniture bolts and connectors that came from woodcraft but bronze ones from Home Depot or Lowes will work just as well. I ended up using a total of 7 furniture bolts across the 1000mm X axis.

This upgrade made a significant difference in the rigidity of the X axis makerslides. I am very satisfied with the outcome and would do it again.

I did the same as MichaelGrigg. The edge cutting was interesting but worked. I cut the sides and the length with a skill saw and metal bit. I used the left over angle iron (minus some of the side) to help create the Y-axis mod. I did end up buying the inserts and bolts from inventables for the Y-axis mod.

whats everyone using for the y-axis stiffening mod? are brackets available anywhere? i like the picture above of the clear Plexiglas dust shields with integrated brackets, and would like to do something similar.

thanks for the help, my machine should be arriving monday, and am looking forward to getting it up and running

A skil saw??? You are a more daring person than myself. Such a precision type of cut for a skil saw using it to thin the width. Using a table saw made me leary while cutting, even while using feather-boards and push sticks. Personally I would not want to attempt this cut with a skil saw, but that’s just me. If I had to use a skil saw I would probably mount it to the bottom of a piece of MDF and flip the unit upside down and use it like a table saw.

I upgraded my Y axis to measure 1800mm. The mod that I used to stiffen the Y axis can be used on just about any length Y-rail. The down fall is that you will lose an inch or two from the overall width on the X axis.

Here is what I did. On the inside of the maker slide there are two t-slot channels. Along the lower channel, I ran a piece of 20mm X 80mm extrusion parallel to the channel. I then took a piece of 3/4" aluminum angle iron and drilled holes along its length that corresponded with the upper Tslot in the makerslide and the inner Tslot on the aluminum extrusion. Using Tnuts and bolts the angle iron can firmly attach the makerslide and the 20x80 extrusion. This adds a lot of stability to the makerslide.

To accomplish the height that I needed for my Z axis, I did not need the end plates that come with the stock X Carve. Instead I stacked multiple layers of 3/4" MDF to form a riser that the complete Y axis rails can be supported by along the entire length. Currently, I have 4 layers of MDF, so approximately a 3" riser. (I do believe that I can also get away with adding another layer or two to achieve for Zaxis height). The Y rails are attached directly to the top of the stack. I did this by laminating two of the pieces of MDF and drilling holes for the attachment hardware. I used longer bolts and t-nuts to attach the Y-Rail to the top two layers of MDF along the center T-slot track of the bottom of the Y rail. (The Y-rail now has one T-slot in the maker slide and two T-slots on the extrusion for a total of 3 T-slots running parallel on the bottom of the Y-rail setup, so I used the T-slot on the extrusion closest to the makerslide.)

The bottom two layers of the MDF stack were secured to the torsion box table that I constructed. Before attaching them I drilled access holes and pilot holes on all of the pieces. These pilot holes helped keep the stack aligned. The access holes allowed for access to the bolts that attach the Y rail to the MDF risers from underneath the table using a long screwdriver.

For a recap. I started with a torsion box table larger than the size of my Xcarve. I layered 4 strips of MDF on each side to support the Yrails. The Y-makerslide had a piece of 20x80 extrusion attached to the lower inside t-slot using aluminum angle iron as a brace and bolts and Tnuts to bring it all together. The New Y rails are then attached to the top of the MDF risers.

This makes the Y-axis rails rock solid. No twisting and no sagging. And like I said this can work on all lengths of the Yaxis rails.

The stack of MDF that the Yrails attached to is made from two widths of MDF. The top two layers of MDF are narrower than the bottom two. This is due impart to the V-wheels on the makerslide. The MDF has to stop short of the edge of the makerslide. (I aligned mine with the outside edge of the bottom Tslot on the makerslide.) this gives enough clearance so that the wheels do not bind. The bottom two layers of MDF are wider for a larger, more stable footprint.

I also want to add that I had to trim a blades width off of each side of the aluminum angle iron to bring it down flush with the top of the makerslide. This may not be needed but I cleaned up the seam.

If you can’t follow my chicken scratch, just let me know. I will attempt to post a photo.

Just randomly found that too and came here to post about it. Looks like a sweet solution, especially if you used the XC to cut those out of something like aluminum

I used 1/8" aluminum for mine, and just finished and installed them a couple weeks ago. Y Axis Braces and Belt Dust Shield

I had noticed some flex so I decided to try this mod.
3/6" x 1.5" aluminum flat strap and 7 1/4 x20 button head bolts and jam nuts.
This mod took like an hour to do and made a HUGE difference. This is a must do mod.

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Picked up a used benchtop drill just for this mod since I do not trust a hand drill for something like this. Can I buy a piece of aluminum the exact thickness needed at lowes or home depot? I saw comments about having to mill it down and others using steel which I would rather use aluminum to avoid unnecessary weight. I just want a one stop shopping trip and to have all necessary parts for the job. I wanted to take the easy way out with the bolts through the middle going up and down no drilling required but seemed like a cob job more than a solution. Any info or helpful tips would be great as I am not keen on the idea of tearing my machine apart and drilling holes in it :confused:

The bolts between the Makerslides is a cheap, quick and easy solution. Why not try that and see how much things improve?
If there’s still too much flex, then move on to the disassembly and drilling option.
I’m planning to take this approach.

What about a combination of the 2 methods. Using the bar but rather than drill holes in the slide drill holes at the T and cut sections for the bolts to go through bottom and a nut at top. I drew a crude drawing of it but it wont upload for some reason

  I====I====I  thats best can do without my drawing lol
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After doing the 5 bolts in the gap mod, I pressed firmly on the spindle in each direction. The main flexibility remaining was in the belts and the v-wheels, the flex in the modified x-axis maker-slide was minimal in comparison. When stiffening a system, it is important to always focus on the week link in the chain.

I’m interested in how this works out. Let us know if you try it.

My local Lowe’s did not have the correct thickness of aluminum so I decided to go with a steel bar.
I got one that was just a bit narrower than the v-rail and had to pick through the bin to find a nice, straight one. (many were bowed)
Because the bar was narrower than the V-rail I was able to clam both the sides as well as the top and bottom of the whole assembly, keeping sure everything lined up.
Then I used my drill press to drill the holes.
TIP: Use a brand new drill bit and some kind of cutting fluid. I had no problem drilling through the aluminum, but the bar took forever.

I have a an old Shapeoko that I did this the openrail mod. Since Inventables had a Shapeoko 2 upgrade 1/2 off for blackfriday I bought the upgrade to use the new X carriage. Do you know what spacers are required to uses the 40x40 with openrail? I was thinking that I would remove the spacer washer and buy 3mm spacers from McMaster-Carr. From research I found that the proper spacing between the two makerslides is 4.1402mm. So 4.1402mm+2mm=6.1402/2=3.0701mm. Not sure if the missing 0.071mm on each side would make a difference


Thanks for the reply but I think something is wrong with you measurements. See the attached picture you will see the rails when using 40x40 with openrail is the same as two makerslide inverted. Thus this means that you would need a total of 4.1401mm spacing like on the original x-carve.

Based on this post it was measured in the cad drawing that the proper spacing was 0.163"=4.1402mm. I think the reason everyone is using 3/16"=4.7625 is because there is no raw stock with thickness of 4.1402mm. Can anyone confirm the official spacing between the makerslides?

Thanks for measuring. FYI I did some quick CAD measurements and you will see the true spacing should be actually 57.15mm-53.0mm=4.15mm. See image

You are correct. I had to use smaller spacer washers inside the V wheel assemblies after using 3/16" aluminum tee, due to the fact that the center of the V rails was no longer in the center of the V wheels. 0.032" fiber washers worked like a charm.

Those are some gigantic V-Wheels in that drawing.

It is to scale the outer yellow spacer washer(1mmx8mm), blue bearing (5mmx18mm), there is a center washer(1mmx8mm). Also got the cad image from openbuilds part library. The images are not in scale with each other but dimensions listed are correct.