Rebuilding X Carve CNC (With Parts From Ox Carve) – Structure

00:03 I dismantled the original aluminium profile.  In the previous video I expressed three concerns that I had with the x carve.  These were in relation to it’s overall sturdiness, the original spindle it came with and the software I inevitably began using.  In this video I will address the first of these problems by rebuilding the machines base using thicker aluminium profile, replacing the z axis with a c-beam linear actuator, and finally bolting the extrusions of the x axis together.

00:38 I bought 20×40 aluminium profile, to rebuild the base.  I used a piece of scrap sheet material against a stop block which was clamped to the side of my table saw to line up the cut.  I bought two lengths of 1.5 meter aluminium profile from Ooznest which I cut in half – minus the saw blade.

01:03 I lubricated the blade between cuts with raw beeswax.  The blade is a little blunt which explains why it lifted the material a little previous videos, but seems to cut well enough.

01:11 I made the first cuts into the aluminium profile.  These will make up the cross section going along the Y axis while another two lengths of 1 meter profile will make the top and bottom sections of the X.

01:43 I compared the pieces from either side of the cut, and fortunately the off cut was a fraction of a mm larger.  I replaced those sections back between the stop block, and cut them so all four pieces of along the Y axis were the same length.

01:57 After clearing the table saw, I used the cast iron base to keep the joins flat.  It’s a good idea to lightly sand the burrs off the cut.

03:09 I placed the stop block back on the table saw to cut the original profile for either side of the X axis – Checking the cut with another piece of ply.

04:50 I tapped the ends of the makerslide and reassembled the machine.  I thought I could place the end plates on the base and the just screw in the makerslide but these was a little tight.  It was a lot easier to screw these directly onto the makerslides, and shimmy the tee-nuts into the profile.

05:35 After removing the z axis I replaced it with a c-beam linear actuator, which I assembled off camera.  I chose to mount it with the profile at the back, which didn’t need any further modification.  If I increase the cutting height I’ll swap this around so I can utilise its full movement.  The c-bream is a lot more sturdier than what it replaced, especially along the x axis.  When rewiring this I had extended the wires, and flip the polarity of the motor by swapping the red and white wires.

06:10 replaced the timing belt and tensioned it.  I began wondering about the original shape of the machine.  The square shape of the x carve was a little optimistic, and seemed nostalgic of Polaroid photographs.  Was this CNC machine aimed at the Instagram generation, who have not aspect ratio to call their own?  The square shape didn’t take into account that the x axis would benefit from either being shorter or made from thicker profile.

06:25 The last thing I wanted to address was the flex along the x axis by fixing them together.  This was made from two separate pieces of profile.  I removed the front piece and marked out where I would drill pilot holes.

07:12 I placed machine screws through the profile, and on the other side four washers which equalled 4mm, plus a tee-slot nut.

07:42 I slide this back into place, tightened the machine screw, fixed it back between the end plates and wired the stepper motor back.


Part Dimensions Quantity
Polyurethane Timing Belt T2.5 4 Meters
Aluminium Pulleys T2.5-16T 3
Aluminium Profile 20x40x1500 2
Aluminium Profile 20x40x1000 2
L Bracket Double 8
Tee Slot Nuts M5 32 for L Brackets / 20 For Sub-Board
C Beam Linear Actuator Kit / 1
Router Spindle Mount 71.0mm inner radius 1
90 Degree Corner Brackets Single 4
Allen Machine Screws M5 x 10mm 32 for L Brackets
Low Profile Machine Screws M5 x 20mm 25 of which 4 are cut shorter for mounting spindle & 18 are used for holding wasteboard.
Flanged Machine Screws M5 x 10mm 20 for Sub-Board
Washers M5 32 for L Brackets
Washers M6 x 18mm 20 for Sub-Board
Washers M5 x 15mm 18 for Waste Board


2017/02/06 Update: You will also need to change the steps on your driver firmware. If you do this in Easel, you need to go to the Machine tab, click on Advanced, and Machine Inspector. Type in the console your adjusted steps for your Z axis – in my case I ended up with – $102=50.632

2 thoughts on “Rebuilding X Carve CNC (With Parts From Ox Carve) – Structure

  1. I’m thinking of getting the x carve. I like your up-grades. Did you buy the aluminum rails and track for the sac. waste board??

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