Saturday 27 February 2021

X / Z Axis upgrade Parts 1 - 6 - CNCnutz Episode 251 - 256

 Hi Guys,

Its been about 2 years since I did upgraded my Y axis and I've been planning the upgrade of the X / Y axis ever since. I've had a general idea of what the new final build will look like but there were many final points I wasn't sure about. Even as I write this there are still some details I have no idea about like how I will connect the X axis motor drive. 

I've put it off long enough and thinking about it won't help as there are some things I just need to see and work on as I go so I am better off getting on with it instead of thinking about it. 

So Why do I want to update? The original design was a Joes Hybrid 4X4 cut down to 2 & 3 to suit the area I have available in my workshop. It has been a great machine but it is also has developed an issue with the X / Z carriage. It is made from MDF which is an excellent material for making things. I'm just not sure MDF is the best choice for mechanical items like this especially 10 years on and after it has done as much work as it has. I could have just cut a new carriage and probably had it replaced in a day but I want to try something new. 

With all this in mind I am just going to get on with it and start the build, or in this episode the tear down. I have given myself 2 weeks to get it back up and running so lets see how I do.


Part 1




Part 3


Part 4

 Part 5


  Part 6

Components used in the build

Note: These links are not affiliated links. They are simply where I purchased my components from. I am not experienced with linear bearings nor do I know know the quality of the various components.


Z axis

 The machining of the aluminum parts look to be good. The quality of the linear rails and ball screw is unknown as they are generic Chinese components. That said they are the same parts I would have bought if I was building one from scratch.
The Z axis travel is 250mm


X axis Rail

The extrusion is called 80160 and is a very solid extrusion.
There is also a 60120 version of the extrusion is a smaller one is required.

The Linear rails are 20mm linear bearings.


X Axis Rack and pinion drive

 This is an updated version of my X axis drive as I bought mine about 10 years ago.
There are also Pro drive versions available which have better tolerances and uses bearings.


Drag Chain

This chain forms the major cable runs on my machine. It cannot be opened so that may be something you would like to consider when selecting a chain type.


The spindle is 2.2kw or 3hp. It has ceramic bearings and I replaced my previous spindle because the bearings are making a rumbling noise.

Tee Nuts 40 series 5 & 6mm

Tee Nuts 30 series 5mm

Cap Screws

Inductive sensors

Cheers Peter