Touch Plate

If you look down into the controller enclosure, you can actually see and access the headers for A0-A5 on the Arduino itself. The gShield isn’t connected to/doesn’t use those six pins, so they thoughtfully left a small but usable hole to get to them. :slight_smile:

The easiest place to tie into ground is on the 24V input to the gShield. You can also use the ground from the output side the power supply itself. I imagine the spindle circuit ground is also common to all of that, but I’d stick with the “normal” power supply ground.

I soldered a header pin to a wire which connects to my plate. That just pushes into the header socket. I then have an alligator clip that I connect between the ground of my z-homing switch and the tool.

I’m thinking of building a secondary wasteboard, and attaching a piece of aluminum to act as a manual touchplate. It would be easy enough to connect a watch battery and LED to the aluminum and run a clip to the bit, then just manually home it until the LED comes on. The last few moments of each one would have to be at .001" or so.

If I do something like this, can I adjust the settings in Easel to account for half of the bit’s width? Can you set an equation in the $ settings, or would I have to adjust the settings manually each time to achieve true 0,0,0?

I could not quite see what youwere talking about with regars to the hole and having it line up through the g shield so i soldered a pair of pins into the shield since there are corrosponding pins that plug into the arduino at those locations allowing me to pick up a 5v and gnd connections.

I entered @CharleyThomas’s g code into the macro tab and sent it on its way.

As soon as it hit the zero plate, I got a “java has stopped working message” and it locke things up.
Subsequent attempts even caused me to lose ugs’s connection to the arduino’s com port and I had to reboot to get it back.

I am not sure what i did but SUMTINGWONG!

I think I may go @RobertA_Rieke’s route and use a test light setup…

Anything Robert post, worked for me. I think you insert to A4 which 5th hole. Easy to make mistake because starts from A0. Basically the last hole for probe, and one of ground pin outs from other set.

Nope, it’s A5, the 6th hole:

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I just got my touch plate wired up last night. I used leftovers from the xcarve assembly and a 1/8" piece of aluminum from home depot. It works awesome

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OK, I am totally in the wrong place!

I am using the “5v” and “ground” in the “Power” bank of pins.

Hopefully I did not let the smoke out of anything…

the a5 pin is the probing pin for grbl. youll need to use it to get it to work

Ding flabber I love this forum!

Made the changes tothe pin locations entered the gcode into the macros after figuring it out that it’s Gzero and not G’“O” calculated the thickness of the touchplate and entered thos values and
WHIZ BANG! it works.

Thanks for the guidance everyone and thank you @CharleyThomas for posting the vid with the gcode.


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Just feel the need to bump this old thread – I finally got around to doing this yesterday. Got a 1/8" thick piece of aluminum from Lowe’s for a few bucks, wired it up to the Arduino and connected an alligator clip to ground following the directions above.

This is, without a single doubt, the best bang for the buck upgrade I’ve done to my X-Carve. It’s honestly not even close. This has changed the quality of my carves and has reduced my frustration immensely.

Highly recommend this upgrade to everyone. It’s super easy and makes a huge difference.

Thanks so much, @CharleyThomas for the video and detailed directions. Made the whole process super easy and gave me an excuse to dip my toes into learning a little GCode.


By far this is the very best method for setting your Z zero and is a life saver when doing tool changes between cuts. I have used one since I bought my Shapeoko 2 and it has really allowed me to mill some great work with little effort when a number of end mills is needed for each item. I am glad to see it has been made even easier now in Chilipeppr and that more folks are using it.

This is on my list of upgrades also, I have all the parts just not the time to do it. My question is - what is the best way to zero a V-bit? I would think if you put the point on the corner of your work piece you wouldn’t be able to use a touch plate to zero it out, would this be correct? Just wondering.

Two options that I can see, but I’m new at this.

  1. If your work piece is flat, you could hold the plate flat against it and have it extend over the edge.
  2. You could jog in a little from the corner to zero Z and then jog back out for X and Y.

Method 2 is how it is done.

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I’ve had the touch plate I ordered from Amazon sitting on my desk for weeks and weeks now. I really need to get around to hooking it up!

once you do, you will kick yourself for not doing it far sooner. It really is a game changer if your projects involve using more than one end mill in the project. Really makes getting a true Z Zero far easier.

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Just ordered this one on ebay for $9.53 (free shipping)

Damn…that’s the same one I got but I paid twice as much! SMH

When you do home zero, machine puts X and Y values to memory, if you jog it to work surface anywhere with keyboard or arrow keys, you can do Z zero, then you’re done. You don’t have to take it back. As soon as you send Gcode, it goes to XY zero corner first and return back to work. Very simple. Of course if you don’t move or force it by pushing with hand. Just use jog keys.