Updated 12/1/2017

While the Y-Carriage is still fresh in your mind I will go over the X-Carriage. I will show you how to attach the X-Carriage to the frame using two 16” 8mm shafts.

As stated last month, the inside area of the frame is 16" x 16", while the footprint is 17.5" x 18".  These dimensions were chosen to accommodate 16" long 8mm steel rods and flanged supports for both the X and Y axis.

 

X Carriage Components

The X-Carriage consists of a X-Carriage plate, two 16” 8mm shafts, four 8mm sliding bearing trucks, and four 8mm shaft supports..

The X-Carriage plate is supported by the two shafts and bearing trucks. An 8mm shaft support is used to secure the shafts to the frame sides.

As with the Y-Carriage, I had to find the sweet spot for the distance between the two trucks.  The further apart they are the more rigid your table will be. The down side is that you lose travel.

For this build, the trucks are 3-3/4" from outer edge to outer edge. The shafts are 5.5" apart. This would result in 11-1/4" of X travel.

X-Carriage Components

 

X Carriage Hardware

In addition to the carriage components listed above, the following hardware fasteners were used to secure the X-Carriage plate to the bearing trucks, and the shaft supports to the sides.

  • 16, 4mm x 16mm machine screws
  • 16, #8 washers
  • 16, #8 lock washers
  • 8, #6-32 x 1-1/2 machine screws
  • 8, #6-32 hex nuts
  • 8, 3/16 washers
  • 8, #6 washers
  • 8, #6 lock washer

Please note that I used #8 washers for the 4mm machine screws.  This is only because they are cheaper than their 4mm counterparts.

 

Assembly

The first step is to install the shaft supports as shown in Figure 2. The supports are held in place with two #6-32 x 1-1/2" machine screws. The mounting holes in the front and rear braces are all over sized at .26" in order to give the #6 machine screws some latitude for adjustments.

The screws are secured (Figure 3) with a 3/16” washer, #6 washer, #6 lock washer, and finally a #6-32 hex nut. At this point the nuts should only be finger tight. The shaft supports should look like the ones shown in Figure 4.

 

Next, the shafts are inserted through the left frame side and shaft supports, and two 8mm trucks are added, as shown in Figure 5.

The shafts are pushed through to the opposite side and secured with the set screws on the shaft supports, as shown in Figure 6.

 

The X-Carriage plate should be created from a piece of 3/4" stock. I recommend melamine coated particle board. The plate has four holes for each truck and two holes in the middle to mount the ACME nut. Several additional holes were added for attaching the Z-Carriage later. The truck and ACME nut holes have a 3/8” pocket so that the heads of the hardware wont interfere with the Z-Carriage (Figure 7).

The plate is secured to the four trucks with 16, 4mm x 16mm machine screws. A #8 washer/lock washer combo is also added, as shown in Figure 8.

 

Update 12/1/2017

Trim the X carriage plate then secure it to your 3-3/4" x 8-1/2" stock with blue painters tape.

The thickness of your stock can be 3/4" or 1/2".  For 1/2" I recommend acrylic or Corian, but 1/2" MDF will also work.

I recently upgraded my X carriage from 3/4" particle board to 1/2" Corian and it is a little stiffer and more durable. (see below)

The depth of the pockets should be:

  • 3/8" for 3/4" thick stock
  • 3/16" for 1/2" thick stock

 

Conclusion

Once the carriage plate is secured to the four trucks, move it all the way to the left and tighten the shaft supports on the left side. Next, move the carriage plate to the right and do the same. Once you are happy with the movement of the carriage, tighten all the nuts. 

This completes the KReduCNC X-Carriage assembly. If you are building along with me, your machine should look like the one shown here.

 

Drawing Files

The drawing files for the the X carriage can be found here:

KReduCNC X-Carriage Drawing Files

Please note that these files are subject to change. You will need some sort of CAD software that can import eps or pdf files to use them.  They are raw 2D drawing files without annotations. 

The templates can be purchased here:

KReduCNC Carriage Templates

 

Links

Please note that there are cheaper linear motion components available. These are the ones I used. Almost all shafts and supports will works, but don't cheap out on the bearing trucks, as you get what you pay for. 

 

Upgrade Update 11/17/2017

While the melamine coated particle board does work, it can be a little fragile on the edges where the pockets are made.

Here I made a carriage out of 1/2" thick Corian that I picked up at a thrift store.

It is stiffer and heavyer than the particle board.

It is built exactly like its particle board coutnerpart, but since its only 1/2" thick the pockets for the screws are only deep enough to keep the screw heads recessed.

I used 3/16" deep pockets.