Width of gap X axis makerslides

Here is a shot of my x axis. You can kind of see the plate between the slides and then the furniture bolts. At my true value, they happened to have the 3/16" plate x 1.5" so I only had to trim up the end.

I have some 3/16" plate laying around from a previous project that never went anywhere. when I tried to place it between the two pieces of makerslide, it seems too thick for the gap. Did you have any issues with it fitting? Did it create any issues lining up with the v-wheels because it was too far apart?

Mine slipped right in snugly. Try loosening one rail, fitting a piece in, snugging it up and see how far off your v-wheel is, if at all. My wheels seem perfectly seated (as perfect as those wheels and rail get anyway). Keep in mind, you can add a washer to one set of wheels or grind down a larger spacer.

Good luck.

I’m happy to see that folks are able to do this mod to there machines and that the mod is making a difference.

I am just days away from having the engines installed in the W T Preston so Mike and I can do testing on the temp pond I set up in my driveway.


Yeah, I figured I could grind down the larger ones if need be. Hopefully it won’t be necessary. For now I’m just finishing up the build as per the instructions with what’s in the kit, but a bigger router is on my radar. Thanks for the input.

X Carve Rigid Mod.pdf (132.1 KB)

Here is a detailed description of how I installed the steel spline. I will repost with photo’s of the final result later today. I believe it was DavidSohlstrom that posted the size for the spline.

Hope this helps anyone who is apprehensive about making this worthy upgrade. It really does have a significant impact on the machine… in a very positive way that is.



Very good write up on how you applied the mod to your machine. This will help those thinking about doing the mod. Looking forward to seeing the pics of your mods.


As promised, here is a pictorial. Unfortunately, I did not take these while I was making the modifications but hopefully with the write up and the pictures together it will help others. At the end of the document are some other things I incorporated such as a cabinet with a air filter and blowers for the electronics and a touch plate for Zeroing the Z axis.X Carve Rigid Mod With Pictures.pdf (841.3 KB)


Excelent write up CharleyThomas. Definitely something I will be doing soon.

@CharleyThomas Thanks for putting that together! Looking at the pictures, does the plate extend about an inch below the normal rails? If so, Is there a reason it extends that far past and not just the width of the rails?

By going just as wide as possible you increase the truss depth. This in turn means the gantry will carry more weight without sagging.

My plan is to use a full 3.5 wide piece of 3/16 steel and do what it takes to fit it above and below the MS rails. I will have to adjust the length of bolts for the smooth guide rollers and the V wheels on the stepper side.


I’ve been cutting with the heavy hitachi on there now for about a week using only steel the width of the slides and it would take several times that weight for that gantry to sag at this point. So, if it is easier for you to slip some pre-cut stock in there as a test, I highly recommend it.

I wouldn’t park my car on it… but, at this point, I’m pretty sure the shear strength of the self-tappers would be the weakest point in that system.

Great job @CharleyThomas

Thanks for sharing your process.

I wanted the steel to be as tall as possible to gain as much strength as possible. I wasn’t trying to increase the strength of the rails vertically to carry more weight, but horizontally instead. A thinner piece that would be the same size as the original rails would go a long way to decrease the horizontal flexing that is the real issue but I figured that there is no reason not to let it hang below the rails to gain as much strength as possible. As long as it doesn’t extend below the spindle mount the it won’t reduce the thickness of material you can cut. I could have gone above the rails, or even split the difference but I thought it looked better cosmetically extending below the rails.


If you loosen the screws holding the maker slide rails it will fit. Admittedly, it is not an absolute perfect fit however it is so close to perfect that I see no reason to be concerned. You will also need to loosen and readjust your eccentric nuts on you spindle carriage. Loosening all the parts will let the steel slide in to a near perfect fit. Then just tighten everything back up once you have it bolted together.

Nice mod. I’ll probably be doing exactly what you did to the T. I don’t have the 1000mm machine but hey, for aluminum we need all the rigidity we can get, haha.

We keep talking about aluminum being the reason to stiffen things up but adding this modification to stiffen the gantry will only help with all other materials as well. I have noticed a big improvement in all my carvings. I haven’t used the 500mm version of the x-carve but I’ll bet it works very well.

Alright boys, I’ve been busy. I ended up buying a 3/16 x 2 x 19in plate of steel (500mm version) and did the mod. I followed Charlie’s instructions almost exactly, I didn’t have a drill press so I clamped the whole ensemble in the vice and drilled it out that way. Because I opted for a 2" wide plate the eccentric nuts weren’t obstructed at all and were easily adjusted. I haven’t done a test cut yet, maybe tonight or tomorrow, but just trying to flex it manually I’ve noticed a huge improvement. Here are some pics.

@EricDobroveanu, good job on the upgrade. Let us know how the cuts go.

On a side note, have you got any info on your vacuum table? Did you make it yourself? I’d love to know more about your setup if you have some time to share.

Ive done a few cuts in aluminum. It seems like there is a lot less vibration throughout the machine. Id say it has had an impact on the chatter, not a huge one. I knew this mod had a diminishing effect on the 500mm version of the machine. I feel more confident cutting aluminum now, that’s for sure.

I did make the vacuum table. I made an alignment error when cutting the top, that’s why it looks a little screwed up. Ive hardly gotten to use it since I’m waiting for the silicon gasket from mcmaster. Heres a video I put together of the first test (caution loud).