Shapeoko upgrade (3) – Re-assembly and troubleshooting

Final day of my Shapeoko rebuild.

Once again, I did a lot of small modifications and corrections.

  • First of all, I took out the locked up bearing I noticed the other day, and pried off the shielding. Well I guess pictures say more than words.

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After a thorough cleaning, I had it spinning true again. I realize that it will get dirty again pretty fast without the shields, but I have new ones on the way. And I plan to eventually replace the whole Z-stage at some point anyway.

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  • After putting the Z axis back together, I re-tightened all belts, did some more cable management and replaced a broken molex connector. Also, the machine really is A LOT more rigid. I have to say, I was sceptical at first about how much difference it would make, but boy does it ever!
  • Then the time had come to find the fault in my Z wiring. I had some issues lately and they had been escalating into bad cuts, so I couldn’t procrastinate it any longer. With a multimeter at my disposal and through the process of elemination, I located the bad connector pretty easily. But I may have gotten lucky there tbh. I didn’t even have to open up the connector completely, let alone take out my soldering iron. The problem was right there. It seems the heat of soldering the ground to the connector jacket had caused it to touch one of the wires inside. I could have redone the whole connector, but I was lazy and used a double layer of electrical tape and closed it up again. Problem solved!

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  • The last thing to do was something I actually never did when I first built my Shapeoko, i.e. checking how square and level the machine actually is. Squareness was spot-on right off the bat, and with a precision gauge mounted to my carriage I made it as level as I could.

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Now look at this sexy beast. Tuned and ready for a first test cut. Sadly that will be for another day.

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