Newbie Here

Hello all. I am new here, but not necessarily to the CNC community.

I preordered and built an X-Carve back in June that I use as my main CNC machine. I was going to but a J Tech Photonics for it so try some laser stuff, but the thought of having to potentially remove the laser to keep all the CNC dust out when not in “laser mode” led me to wanting to build another machine. Was going to buy another XCarve kid w/o spindle since I am familiar with the setup process as well as getting it tuned up and working, but decided to go “cheap” and build something, and this one just looked like too much fun to try.

Except maybe that whole center assembly…that’s the only thing that scares the lights out of me right now.

I just ordered my kit + 3d parts today. I don’t have a 3d printer, but a friend that does, but asking for 130 hours on his machine seemed a little daunting and figured buying the parts from here would save me a ton of time and hassle. I’ll get my parts before my buddy could finish printing them anyway.

I also ordered the 3.8W JTECH laser diode kit today, which will also ship and I should be starting my build process early next week if USPS can get me both boxes.

Look forward to joining the community and the work being done on the laser gcode mods that are going on.

May start a follow up thread…

I know nothing about cutting metal, particularly the threaded rod for Z.

Looking at pictures and things based on default lengths, this thing sticks up HUGE, well above the height of most routers. Since I’m not going to be routing, and I don’t really need anything for super stability while doing a laser diode…how easy it it to drastically shorten the overall height of this monster?

I think I need less than 1" of travel on Z.

Hacksaw is all you need to cut the threaded rod. I would leave yourself at least 4" of z travel. There is no downside. The laser moves slow. A bit different as a 3d printer.

It. Is. HERE.


Pictures and videos when you are done or none of us believe you!

When done, sure.

If I complain about how hard the bearings are to get into a few spots where you must wedge them in, you’ll know I’m telling the truth.

Or trying to get the Z motor mounted with those tiny little M3s down a long dark shaft.

Or trying to wedge nylock nuts into those teeny holes on the corner blocks.

So yeah, you can safely believe me until pictures arrive.

Corner blocks and rollers are done.

Just starting the “middle z” section of the monstrosity that is the center thingamawhatzicallit.

I still don’t have pipe. And the laser mount is down at my buddy’s place 1/2 hour away…and I’m doing this build WHILE working my regular job. :slight_smile:

Which would help more a coffee or a beer?

Beer. More more beer. Though don’t know if doing my regular job drunk would be good.

Or Aleve…needs more Aleve for this build.

You should get them to sponsor it :slight_smile:

Had to pack up a bunch of stuff from weekend Etsy sales, so nothing doing this morning. After lunch, I hope to cut the conduit (got it last night) and start frame assembly later today.

Have to go in-office tomorrow so…big ol’ bummer there.

Hopefully I get it framed up, motors on tonight, and then wiring, movement testing, and laser mounting on Thursday.

I hope to be cutting by the weekend!

Slow progress today.

Too many meetings at work. Too many Etsy orders.

Managed to cut 3 37" pieces of conduit for rails. With a hacksaw. My hands are cramping up from trying to hold it down and cut since I don’t have a real “workshop” and clamps or anything to hold it down other than my free hand.

I don’t know how I’m going to make ~9 more cuts without killing my hands.

Going to try again in half hour to get my short side rails cut.

Slow going for sure.

Did you know that you can use a standard pipe cutter to cut the conduit? It does take many turns but it works and gives a very clean cut.


Well, maybe for 2.0 version. Right now, I have everything but the little legs cut.