What is the PROPER instrument for squaring & plumbing all of the railing on a CNC machine?

Tram should come in the mail today. THANK YOU @WorkinWoods!

My next question is what “Proper” instrument I should use to square a foundation and railing system from the base up to the top, end to end (aside from tramming of course).

Note: I am not looking to rig a solution, or use “half-measures”. I want to find out the actual tool names (regardless of price or anyone’s opinions of my intended approach), so that I may learn to do things as is “Instrument standard”.

After I tram and cut some MDF Test Plates, I am considering the best options I can to make a light, square, solid build, and then I’ll try to figure out cutting plates from aluminum.

I’d also like to point out that i’d like to later expand my Y-Axis to 1800mm (concern for solid squaring & plumbing), and then one more special project “add-on” by the end of the year.

Get yourself a good 123 block.

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A tape measure is all I’ve ever used to get things square. Make sure that the table/surface that your mounting the X-Carve too is as flat as you can make it,
I use a machinist/engineers square and a dial gauge to make sure that the spindle is square. I have a Pro Tram but it doesn’t fit on the X-Carve, not enough Z-axis clearance.

I just measuring after cutting something. This will tell if the X and Y are squared up and accurate.
If the router is a little crooked you will see lines when you cut a pocket.
The best way to get accurate flat cuts is to mill down the waist board.

Mr. Massey, please be patient with me, as I am at a loss. LOL

I ended up spending a couple of hours looking around online to find out what a 123 Block is intended to do. But, all I could generally find was people covering how to make them, and how people seem to use them for more applications than legos.

Would you be so kind as to share with me how you would use them to square and plumb your machine rail foundation?

It was not that long ago that I was learning what all this stuff was.

A 123 block is just a steel block that is 1 inch x 2 inches by 3 inches in dimension. What makes them useful is the super high amount of precision they represent. With a quality block you know that the one inch side is exactly one inch and that opposite sides are perfectly parallel and that adjacent sides form a perfect 90 degree angle.

This will allow you to set the block flat on your wasteboard and push it up against the side rail. You will then quickly see if the side rails is perpendicular with respect to the wasteboard.

You can also insert a long bit into your spindle and check to see if it is perpendicular to the wasteboard.

The other thing a pair of the blocks is super useful for is to be sure that your x-axis is perpendicular to the Y axis. I would do this by sliding the X-axis all the way to the front of the machine then move it back enough that a 123 block would fit between the side bracket and the front bracket. Then if all was square the second 123 block would exactly fit the same on the other side. With the X-Carve is not uncommon for the two sides to get slightly (one or two belt teeths worth) out of alignment. This can be caused by one of the motors missing a step, and will be more likely if you do not have the voltage set correctly.

So, get a pair of 123 blocks, they are very inexpensive for the amount of usefulness and precision they offer. Plus there is a certain amount of satisfaction is having something that is so perfectly milled.

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THANK YOU so VERY much!!! :smiley:

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Sorry, one more quick question. What are the holes for?

In theory you can bolt them to your table for alignment guides, some people will mount them in the t-tracks of their table saws. Some of the holes are threaded and some are not. I have never used any of the holes myself.

You can get them without holes if you want. I figured the mounting holes may come in useful someday.


You can also spend a lot more and get blocks with holes and the mounting screws

Or you can spend a little more and get a nice case with the blocks

Handy utility holes… fair enough.

Thank you again. :smiley: