Tips on squaring your machine once assembled

I had a friend over last night and we managed to get the machine pretty square, so I thought I’d share some of the techniques we used last night.

Here’s the machine, with A-B being at the front, C-D at the back, and your Y rails running from A-C and B-D

|    |
|    |

First, make sure that the A-B distance is the same as the C-D distance. Be as accurate as you can, it will pay off later. Once you have them the same distance apart, make note of the measurement.

Now measure your diagonals. Most likely, they’re not going to match up. Let’s focus on the shorter of the two measurements.

If A-D is shorter, you need to move A away from D, so what you need to do is move A and B to the left. And if B-C is shorter, you need to move A and B to the right.

Now that you know the direction you need to move, start by moving A in that direction. Then, using the A-B/C-D measurement you took note of earlier, adjust B accordingly.

Once you have A-B = C-D and A-D = B-C, you’re square!


And to add to this:

Once your machine is squared up, I’d recommend getting some scrap and doing a shallow cut of a 3" or 4" square, and a circle as well. Use your calipers and measure the cut in both the X and Y directions. I found that my X was dead on, but there must be some slipping in my Y, as both cuts were under what I expected.

I’m still dialing mine in, but if you find one (or both) of your cuts aren’t up to spec, take some time to go over your belt tension and eccentric nut position. Also remember that your belts will likely stretch out after the first couple of uses, so keep an eye on those for a little while.

Good luck!


That’s the way to do it. We do the same when building a house,deck addition,barn all the same. If the diagonals are the same it’s square.

Whether one is building a jewelry box or a house, it’s the same technique. The real test for me was squaring the gantry to the long rails; sounds like it should be automatic, but it isn’t. A bolt or two can be off just a tad.

Rather than a square, cut a 3" x 4" rectangle. The diagonals should be 5". Easy to measure. If anything is off then you have more work to do.


1 Like

Do you get someone to hold the other end?

I do this with picture frames. works well. but the metal end plates are rounded.

I should try a bigger tape measure, but first try seemed problematic to get accurate reading.


I believe I lined up the 1" mark on my tape measure with the edge of the plate, and either used some painter’s tape or a clamp to secure it, then just repeated it for the other side, making sure I lined it up with the same point before sticking it in place.

cool. sounds good. I have some double sided tape, that should work on the outside corner, maybe a small strip on the top edge too.

I drew a big rectangle with my X Carve, and my A-D is 4mm longer. Is there any way to determine how far to the right I need to move A and B?

Also, what adjustment do I have to make to move them? Loosen the plates connecting the Y rails to the frame under the waste board at A and B, slide them over, then re-tighten the hex bolts?

Thread bump in case anyone can answer my question above…

Thanks Phil, but that one seems to be for when your machine is not yet assembled. Mine has been assembled for a while and got knocked somehow during a move. Thank you though.