Chapter 7 - X-Carriage

This chapter probably should have been called X-Carriage and Z-Beam since the two parts are integral.  But I digress.

Gathering the parts required for the X-Carriage

Materials for the KRMx01 X-Carriage and Rails. Hardware for the KRMx01 X-Carriage and Rails. I have gathered together all the stuff I need to build the X-Carriage / Z-Beam and Rails.  If you look at the second image with the hardware you will see that I have washers and nuts all on one bolt.  These have been set aside to use for the bearings.  All these washer measure the same thickness as do the nuts.  This helps assure that the bearings are all the same distance from the angle.

Just like the Y-Carriages, I expect to have to make spacers because of the height difference between the original anti-backlash nut and the new one.  I will tackle that when I get there.

Marking and drilling the carriage top and bottom

KRMx01 X-Carriage top and bottom marked and punched. KRMx01 X-Carriage top and bottom drilled, tapped and slotted. Here I have used my little flat white paint and height gauge trick to mark the X-Carriage top and bottom pieces.  For an old guy with poor eyes, this is a nice contrasting method for me to mark these items.  One thing I have noticed using this method is that if you let the paint dry a long time, the line chips out a bit where if you wait till it is dry enough to handle the lines stay crisp.

Marking and Drilling the Z-Rails

KRMx01 Z-Rails are marked and puched. KRMx01 Z-Rails drilled. Here are the KRMx01 Z-Rails.  When I mark aluminum, I find the best contrasting mark is to use a blue Sharpie or other permanent marker.  The resulting scribe mark is quite easy to see.  The marker can be removed with mineral spirits.  The image on the left shows the opposing pairs marked and punched.  The right shows them drilled.

Painting the X-Carriage top and bottom

KRMx01 X-Carriage top and bottom has been painted. The X-Carriage top and bottom pieces have been painted.  I want to give them a little time to dry.  I am sure that I will need to make spacers for these as well.  I plan on picking up some 1/8" x 2" strap to make these with to ensure that the whole width of the carriage pieces are supported.  I will do some trial assembly to confirm, but I am sure that they will be needed.

Making the spacers

KRMx01 X-Carriage spacer marked and punched. KRMx01 X-Carriage spacers drilled. The spacers for the X-Carriage are a little different than the Y-Carriage.  I wanted to make sure that the carriage top and bottom were fully supported.  These spacers are made from 1/8" x 2" strap.  They are cut 4" inches long and have the same drill pattern as the carriage pieces do.  The holes start at 1/2" from the edge.  I have included a DXF drawing for you if you are doing something similar.

Painting the spacers

KRMx01 X-Carriage spacers painted. Finally the spacers are painted up and ready to go.  As soon as they dry a while so they are not so soft, I will do some trial assembly.  Remember, these spacers will go between the extrusion and the top / bottom carriage pieces.

Download the X-Carriage spacer DXF file. Click the ICON to the left to download the DXF drawing of the X-Carriage spacer.

Assembling the X-Carriage

KRMx01 X-Carriage front view. KRMx01 X-Carriage rear view. Here is the fully assembled X-Carriage component.  The X-Carriage is assembled exactly as in the book with the exception that the spacers are located between the carriage top and/or bottom and the aluminum extrusion.  Looking at the second image, I have drawn some arrow to indicate this.  One other thing I would like to point out is that I started the assembly process by attaching the rails first.  This allowed me to easily get them in position and fastened down without fighting gravity and try to do it while it was on the machine.  I also conditioned the rails after I had the assembly completed.  I just figure it would be easier to do that while it was on the table.

Attaching and adjusting the X-Carriage

Adjusting the height on the right side of the X-Carriage. Adjusting the height on the left side of the X-Carriage. Setting up the X-Carriage takes time and patients.  The first thing I done was set the height of the carriage from the top of the beam.  To do this I clamped the plate that will be used as the router plate to the beam and then my height gauge to the plate to create a constant surface.  Next I adjusted the carriage top until it was the same height on both sides until it was within .001" of each other.

Next I used a square to make sure that both outside edges of the rails were square to the table.  To do this I had to loosen the bolts and nudge the top of mine over about 3/64" to get it square.  Once it was square on both rails on both sides of the table, I re-tightened the bolts and checked frequently during the process.  Finally, I used the square to make sure the face of the rails were square with the table.  Only the rail on the right side needed a little adjustment.  About 1/32".

KRMx01 X-Carriage attached to the X-Beam. KRMx01 X-Carriage attached to the X-Beam. Here are a couple images of the X-Carriage attached and adjusted to the X-Beam.

KRMx01 after installing the X-Carriage and Z-Beam assembly. Lastly, here is a picture of the machine in its current state.  Now that the X-Carriage is done, it is time to start on the Z-Carriage.  But that is the next chapter, so see you there!