Y-Axis Braces and Dust Guards - Now a Project!

I just finished up the projects for the Y-axis braces I cut from 1/8" aluminum and the belt dust guards I cut from ~1/8" mirrored acrylic.

One suggestion I would make is to order enough bolts and washers for the project, I somehow managed to not order enough bolts. That’s why it looks like there’s some holes without bolts. :cry:

Here’s what they look like installed on my machine:


I am gonna fly down there and replace that window at some point.

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My wife keeps threatening to replace it too. I keep telling her that it’s a safety reminder to me, since it happened when I tried a risky cut on the table saw and a small block kicked back.

While that’s what happened, that’s not why I don’t fix it though. The wood around the glass is old needs to be replaced, and my OCD would force me to replace all the frames so they match. Then I’d have to replace the other 3 panes of glass so they match. Then I’d have to paint the garage door. Then I’d have to paint the house, which would require patching stucco. So to make a long story short, I don’t replace the glass because I don’t want to patch stucco and paint the house. :laughing:

EDIT: We also need to replace the windows on the house when we paint, so I’d have to buy and install new windows too. And I’d probably have to replace the framework around them. So there’s 2 more tasks… :smile:


Just put tape on the other 3 panes, then they’ll match. :smiley:


I’ve mentioned doing that to my wife as a joke, and it’s best for my marriage (and my physical safety) if I don’t do it. :stuck_out_tongue:


Thanks for the good chuckle by the way. I can’t over stress the need for a good “OH SHIT” emergency shut down button.


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I figured it may as well match what I say 40% of the time when something goes wrong. I’d probably get in trouble for having the other phrase on it though… :smile:

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I know that one! :grinning:


Hey Robert,
Looks Great! I am going to be building my X Carve soon and plan on implementing this project (both for the braces and dust guard.) I had a question for you…
Would I be able to use the MakerSlide End Plate’s available for sale on Inventables to replace needing to cut the aluminum and just use those as the braces?

Figured they are pre-drilled at exactly the right spots already and can save wear and tear of cutting aluminum (since I never plan on cutting aluminum on my machine in the future.) However, it looks as though the end plates are not as thick as the aluminum you are using. Are there any modifications you think I would have to address on your build to accommodate using the end plates? Or anything else I am not thinking of?

I will be buying the newest X Carve and would ideally like to order everything at once if those would work.
I don’t have a machine yet, so it’s hard for me to know for sure, which is why I wanted your opinion on the matter.

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I don’t see why you couldn’t use the end plates. They would make my OCD senses tingle, but as long as they are about 1/8" thick they should work just fine. If they’re thinner, you could insert washers to try to fill in any gaps on the bolts, probably split evenly between the top and bottom.

I don’t think you need any modifications, just remember to either (a) insert the nuts into the makerslide and lower tubing during assembly or (b) order the post-insert nuts. It’ll save you from either having to disassemble to add them or just drill out a big ugly section to slide nuts in (like I did on the bottom, wouldn’t recommend it).

The dust guards do a great job keeping coolant/oil from splashing off the sides of the table and onto the belts when cutting metal.

I have a homemade dust boot, but I’ll often have a bit of dust and such fly around when my bit is high above the table because of the short bristles. The dust guards help keep the pieces from building up where they could get in the V-wheels or damage the belt by getting pressed in the back by the rollers. Plus, the mirrored acrylic helps reflect light back onto the workpiece.

Thanks for all the info. I decided to go with an 1/8th aluminum angle that will run the entire distance of the y-axis extrusions. I anticipated these working as support as well as a dust guard. I got 2"x 4" angles but I have run in to a problem. I have only built half of the x carve as I am waiting on the rest of it to ship since it was on back order. I have completely put together the gantry, side plates, y rails, etc. but i have not mounted the rails directly to the work area (waste board, etc.) as that has yet to ship. The problem is that when placing the aluminum angle against the y-rails to test fit, the bolts from the smooth idler wheels on the side plates seem to extend past the y extrusions.

I cannot sit the aluminum angle flush against the y extrusions to eventually screw in due to the smooth idler assemblies. Did any of you run in to this? I noticed that lots of people have modded in this way either using aluminum angles, acrylic sheets, mdf, etc. to act as both y axis supports as well as dust guards. I am wondering if the hardware on the newer x-carves is slightly different, or maybe since I don’t have everything bolted in to the waste board assembly that might be throwing things off slightly.

You think simple washers would do the trick? or would an 1/8" aluminum plates that match the with of the rail work better?

If I may ask, does the Mirrored surface provide additional functionality to the acrylic dust guard, or is clear acrylic fine as well?

The mirror was added just to reflect a little more light on the workpiece. It doesn’t reflect enough to make a difference though, so clear acrylic would work just as well.

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Thanks, man. :smiley:

With the amount of dust I keep seeing gathering up on my rails, I am considering this as my next mod.