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Question #: 2346

Question: Is it possible to increase the Z axis on the Blacktoe 2x4? My ideal would be to have 8" of travel.

Current Solution

Increasing the size on your Z-axis is possible by making the over z axis longer (rails, wood structure). Remember the location of your router/spindle and over all integrity of the z-axis structure.
Now another way of getting a longer reach is making a adjustable height table, so that you can raise or lower the material section(2' x 4') to add taller material or get a deeper cut.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • Would it be possible to buy the blackToe, and the 4th Axis, then build your own Tslot table to attach both items to? Would a setup like this be possible?

    Buying both the blackToe and the 4th axis is an available option, but take into account the clearance available on the gantry. The best option for the table will be a adjustable mid-section table. That will be able to lower when the 4th axis is going to be used. Or have a elongated table that has a portion for the basic CNC, then a section for the 4th axis.

    Click the link to respond:
    Would it be possible to buy the blackToe, and the 4th Axis, then build your own Tslot table to attach both items to? Would a setup like this be possible?

  • Is it possible to purchase the wood pieces only for a BlackToe 2.0/2.1? I have all of the hardware from my kit, but the wood pieces were lost in a recent move.

    Yes, we can create an only wood kit for you. Please give us a call on Monday to provide your name so we can look it up in our system to confirm your previous purchase and we will provide a PayPal invoice for the kit, since this is a special case.

    Click the link to respond:
    Is it possible to purchase the wood pieces only for a BlackToe 2.0/2.1? I have all of the hardware from my kit, but the wood pieces were lost in a recent move.

  • What would I need to purchase to increase the Z axis stepper motor up one size from the one that comes with the Blacktoe 4.1 with computer? I can't get Patrick to answer e-mails, so I'll try here.

    Thanks for the question. The blackToe z-axis motor is a NEMA 24 425 oz-in stepping motor and the next step up is a NEMA 34 651 oz-in motor located here: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-nema34-651ozin


    To make it work on the blackToe CNC machine, you would need to fabricate a new mount and the top bearing mount, or request us to fabricate it for you by calling the office.

    Curious, why the need to increase the size? If the motor is having a difficult time, there may be a deeper mechanical issue at play. One issue you may have is that the bearings are needing shim washers to separate the inner and outer races. If the two races are rubbing against the coupling or collar, the bearing may be difficult to turn under the weight of the assembly. If there is too much friction between the anti-backlash nut and the lead screw, you can add some 2-in-1 oil, or other similar lubricant.

    Thank you for using our Customer Service Live. Patrick often answers these questions. We prefer this system over email as these questions will benefit others.

    If you have additional questions or need more explanation relating to this question, please add to this answer.

    User response:
    I have added the shim washer between the bearing and coupling and have always used a light oil on the lead screw. I halved the acceleration on the Z-axis. Then I re-ran a topo that took two hours on the finish pass. No change in my results - the Z-axis slowly dropped until when the program finished and everything went back to the start point, the Z axis was lower by 0.378 inches than when it started at 0.800 above the surface.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Maybe I need more shim washers in the assembly between all the bearing surfaces?

    buildyourcnc response:
    Before you add a larger motor, check these first:

    1. take the motor off by remove only the motor screws and removing the motor as well as the coupling half that is secured to the motor shaft.

    2. Turn the lead screw by hand. This will still be connected to the z-axis assembly by the anti-backlash nut, so you will feel the resistance in the upward motion of the z-axis. Does it feel relatively easy to turn, or very difficult?

    3. If the resistance is relatively normal with respect to gravity and normal friction between the anti-backlash nut and the screw, then you may want to half the velocity as well on the z-axis motor tuning, and even reduce the acceleration a bit more. Doing topographical layouts should not require fast z-axis motor travel. Be careful not to lower the z-axis acceleration if you are using constant velocity as this can make the topo "too smooth" where there may be features such as cliffs present. If you need to lower acceleration drastically, then use exact stop rather than constant velocity.

    Another gotcha that may be causing this phenomenon is motor cable/wire chafing. We had this same issue crop up where two wires were shorting only at a specific position because the wires moved just enough to cause these wires to connect. This was caused by a zip tie. Zip ties have a very sharp edge that can cut the insulation of the wire. A hint of this problem is if this phenomenon is only present after working successfully with the machine for a greater period of time.

    Use response:
    I bought a new lead screw, bearings, antibacklash nut, and shim washers (WHICH NEED TO BE IN YOUR ONLINE CATALOG) and installed them. (Like another commentor on this site, my lead screw wouldn't go through the bearings. Simple solution was to chuck it into my drill press and 400 grit smooth it until a snug fit was had. Lowest RPM.)

    Anyhow, I ran another Topo yesterday and got the same results. The wires are not frayed, the acceleration has been halved, the speed reduced to a crawl. When testing manually, twisting the Z axis up was very hard to do compared to lowering it.

    I have thought about a counterbalance of some type, but that introduces lots of other problems.

    Anything you can thing of will certainly help.

    I can send pictures, etc.

    Thanks!

    Buildyourcnc response
    What router/spindle do you have installed?

    User response:
    The one you sold me - 110 V, 1.5KW water cooled.

    User response:
    This problem of the z axis drift has been evident since I first started using the machine a couple of years ago. Lithophanes, stipples, topographic and other heavy z axis users have been particularly bad. It is to the point that I am turning away opportunities for lack of capability.

    Buildyourcnc response:
    I think all options may be exhausted. We will design a new mount that holds a large motor. Please give us a call so we can arrange to send that out to you.

    We just determined that the existing mount need to be adjusted by about one millimeter for the main mounting hoes for the larger NEMA 34 motor to fit. The overall mount will look the same but the outside hole spacing will be adjusted by a very small amount to match the larger motor mounting holes. This new adjustment will be included with all new machines. We will send you the new mount (consisting of two structural pieces) and the longer screws that will be needed to extend to fit the motor frame thickness.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    They didn't send the longer screws, nor the new required coupling, but I finally got it together and it works just fine. It returns to precise Z zero every time.

    But the motor runs pretty hot because I think it should be run at a higher voltage than the current power supply provides.

    Any new sales of Blacktoe 4.1 should include this modification.

    Cheers.

    Click the link to respond:
    What would I need to purchase to increase the Z axis stepper motor up one size from the one that comes with the Blacktoe 4.1 with computer? I can't get Patrick to answer e-mails, so I'll try here.

  • CNC Wood Lathe project - Would like to have the guts to a 2 axis DIY lathe. Can you let me know of a possible one stop shop solution? Would like it to be at least 40" on the X axis.

    There are many possible options for making a lathe. Typically, a lathe is run by a spindle at the head stock (which you can find here https://buildyourcnc.com/SpindlesAndAccessories.aspx) which will rotate the object rather than a fourth axis, however you will need to create or buy the clamp mechanism of a regular lathe to hold the object in place. You will be able to control the on/off either manually or via software, but the speed (RPM) will have to be controlled manually.
    You can create a more indexed alternative to a lathe by using our rotary axis at the head stock (found here https://buildyourcnc.com/item/axes-4th). either way, the tail stock center can be found here https://buildyourcnc.com/item/axes-4th. This will give you full control of the turning via software.

    You will want to use linear rails and their associated bearing blocks (found here https://buildyourcnc.com/item/mechanical-rails-HIWIN-Linear-20mm and herehttps://buildyourcnc.com/item/mechanical-rails-linear-guide-rails-20mm) to run along the length of the item being turned and you will need linear rails to be run perpendicular (towards and away) to the object being turned that would hold either the blade (for a traditional lathe) or a spindle (for the indexed version containing the rotary axis).

    Where you have linear rail, you will also need lead screw (found here https://buildyourcnc.com/item/mechanical-leadscrews-lead-screw-!5-5-starts-10-tpi) to transmit motion using motors (and drivers) of your choice also with various options (found here https://buildyourcnc.com/category/nema and here https://buildyourcnc.com/category/driver). You will need 2 - Drivers (either 3.0A or 6.0A, the 6.0A driver will be for our larger motors hence you will have more torque available) and 2 - Motor's (either our Nema 24's or Nema 34's, the Nema 24 will work with our 3.0A driver while the Nema 34 will work the 6.0A)
    To control these motors, you will need a parallel breakout board and Mach 3 software to control the two axes (or three with the rotary axis) found here https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay and https://buildyourcnc.com/item/control-SOFTWARE-mach3.

    You will need couplings to couple the lead screws to the motor shafts (found here https://buildyourcnc.com/couplings.aspx). All of the miscellaneous hardware you need can also be found here https://buildyourcnc.com/Hardware.aspx.

    Click the link to respond:
    CNC Wood Lathe project - Would like to have the guts to a 2 axis DIY lathe. Can you let me know of a possible one stop shop solution? Would like it to be at least 40" on the X axis.

  • My X-axis on the Blacktoe cannot run above ~40 ipm. I've checked all connections,tensions, sprocket locks, etc. All is fine. Can the 425 OZ stepping motor be replaced with a bigger motor, or could a second 425 OZ stepper be added to increase torque?

    it is possible to install 2 motors on a single axis but you will require another driver and motor, but wire it directly to the same pins on your breakout board. Also the orientation of your motor since it is opposite side of the original so getting it to move accordingly to the original motor it will need to be orientated correctly. The slight shift could be the cause of the rod not being completely flat where the set screws are suppose to tighten the sprocket to the rod, so sanding it to a flatter surface might fix the shift in directions.
    Currently do not have a kit or schematic available.

    Click the link to respond:
    My X-axis on the Blacktoe cannot run above ~40 ipm. I've checked all connections,tensions, sprocket locks, etc. All is fine. Can the 425 OZ stepping motor be replaced with a bigger motor, or could a second 425 OZ stepper be added to increase torque?

  • Hello, I have a BlackToe 2 x 4 machine. I was wondering if it could be beneficial, or even possible to install two motors on the x-axis (one one each chain drive sprocket). I am noticing a slight shift in the gantry with each reversal of direction. If so, do you have a kit or schematic for this? Thanks

    it is possible to install 2 motors on a single axis but you will require another driver and motor, but wire it directly to the same pins on your breakout board. Also the orientation of your motor since it is opposite side of the original so getting it to move accordingly to the original motor it will need to be orientated correctly. The slight shift could be the cause of the rod not being completely flat where the set screws are suppose to tighten the sprocket to the rod, so sanding it to a flatter surface might fix the shift in directions.
    Currently do not have a kit or schematic available.

    Click the link to respond:
    Hello, I have a BlackToe 2 x 4 machine. I was wondering if it could be beneficial, or even possible to install two motors on the x-axis (one one each chain drive sprocket). I am noticing a slight shift in the gantry with each reversal of direction. If so, do you have a kit or schematic for this? Thanks

  • Would common practice be to have the DRO show positive moment or negative movement when moving the Z axis down?

    Safety should be the first consideration when configuring the Z-axis and how it shows on the DRO (Digital Readout). That is to say, the configuration should make sense to the operator of the machine.

    We zero the tip of the end mill at the surface of the stock we are using. When the z-axis moves into the material (the direction that the z-axis travels when the page down key is pressed) the DRO goes into the negative region.

    Click the link to respond:
    Would common practice be to have the DRO show positive moment or negative movement when moving the Z axis down?

  • I am looking for a controller for a 3 axis dual Y stepper cnc machine. If at all possible I would like a list of the parts that will be needed. I prefer to go with an ethernet setup vs a parallel port.

    All of our controller will allow two steppers on any of the axes. Multiple stepper motors and drivers on a single axis is more a function of the way the stepper motor drives are connected to the output pins of the controller. To connect two stepper drivers to a single axis, you need to connect the output pins (dir and step) to each of the two stepper motor drivers.

    Consider the controller on cost, features and how they are connected to the computer.

    Out lowest cost controllers are:

    Mach3 USB board - Has good features and uses the USB from the computer as the main connection
    https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Parallel Breakout - The computer generates the main signals and this board conditions the signals for the drivers. Although it requires the parallel port from older computer, the board has the most broad compatibility with control software out there including Mach3 and LinuxCNC.
    https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay

    Highest cost but most feature rich:

    Pokey57CNC - works with both Mach3 and Mach4
    https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

    Click the link to respond:
    I am looking for a controller for a 3 axis dual Y stepper cnc machine. If at all possible I would like a list of the parts that will be needed. I prefer to go with an ethernet setup vs a parallel port.

  • Using your USB control board, is it possible to install and use a Z axis touch plate? If yes, what board connections would it be installed to?
  • If I purchase the [blackToe 2x4 v4.1 CNC Machine Kit - USB Electronics - Table Included] all I would need for this CNC to be fully operational is a laptop with mach 3 software and a router. Is this correct?

    if you purchased the USB interface, you will need planet-cnc software rather than Mach3, and you will need a usb cable to connect the usb interface to the computer.

    The blackToe 2x4 CNC Machine Kit with optional table will need wire to connect the electronics. Don't forget to get some end mills to use for cutting the intended material.

    Click the link to respond:
    If I purchase the [blackToe 2x4 v4.1 CNC Machine Kit - USB Electronics - Table Included] all I would need for this CNC to be fully operational is a laptop with mach 3 software and a router. Is this correct?

  • Would it be possible and without excessive effort, to build an automatic conveyor fed cuttoff saw?

    Sure, this is entirely possible with the appropriate motors, mechanics, and safety features, but the machine would not be without quite a bit of design effort. This will, of course, depend on what type of cut off saw desired, design for the feeding mechanism, the jigs and supports necessary for the object being cut, and the size and material of the object being cut. There are way too many variables to specify on this limited questions and answer forum, but with some research, anything is possible.

    Click the link to respond:
    Would it be possible and without excessive effort, to build an automatic conveyor fed cuttoff saw?

  • BlackToe g-code or rather the DXF-file(s), but I can't find that option on the site anymore. Also, is it possible to convert all measurements to mm instead of inches? (Since I live in Sweden). Thank you!

    The files and hardware option for our machines has been removed from the site due to the following reasons:
    Difficulty for the end use of the files and the challenges (and time/money) on our side to assist in using these files.
    The abuse of these files over the internet.
    Ultimately may reduce the sales of machines keeping us in business.
    Sadly, this is what has come out of our company attempting to be open; however, the machines sold on this site is still far lower in price than the competition for the quality that we provide as we have a great desire to engender the cottage industry to fulfill their need for low end manufacturing. My sincere apologies if this causes any inconvenience.

    Additional Information:
    NO, is not possible, I can help with the shipping cost

    Click the link to respond:
    BlackToe g-code or rather the DXF-file(s), but I can't find that option on the site anymore. Also, is it possible to convert all measurements to mm instead of inches? (Since I live in Sweden). Thank you!

  • the top bearing of my spindle is very noisy, is it possible to change it?

    If your spindle's bearings are causing abnormal vibrations, please call us so we can find a solution or provide an exchange.

    Click the link to respond:
    the top bearing of my spindle is very noisy, is it possible to change it?

  • Can I increase the travel speed of my machine with different lead screws?

    Changing your lead screws from a tight to a lose lead will definitely make your machine move faster as long as your stepper motors can handle the new torque that the lead screws will impose.

    Here is an example of a speed change from one lead screw to another:
    - Existing constants in the example: Stepper Motor steps 200, microstepping 1/8 making the total steps 200 * 8 = 1600.
    - Old lead screw: 1/2" allthread = 13 threads per inch (UNC)
    - New Lead Screw: 1/2" 5 starts, 10 TPI = 10 / 5 = 2 turns per inch

    Old lead screw would achieve a steps per inch of:
    1600 / (1 inch / 13 turns) = 20,800 steps per inch (You can also express the calculation as 1600 * 13 = 20,800 steps/inch)

    New lead screw would achieve a steps per inch of:
    1600 / (1 inch / 2 turns) = 3200 steps per inch

    You can see that the new lead screw requires far fewer steps to get to the same length of travel. If you maintained the same velocity for both examples, the new lead screw would travel the same distance 13/2 = 6.5 times faster. So, if your velocity was say 10 ipm, your new velocity would be 65 ipm. That would translate to far fewer burned edges and longer end mill life!

    Just remember, confirm that your motors will be able to handle the new lead screw. You will need to reduce the steps/inch causing the motor torque to increase quite a bit, so you should be fine.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can I increase the travel speed of my machine with different lead screws?

  • Is it possible to order the mechanics, motors and electronics, in other words, order the kit without the wood? Reason being is I have aluminum and steel to make a machine out of.

    We do offer all of the parts; but it is best to purchase them a la carte. You will probably not want the hardware since this would not conform to a design in metal.

    All of the mechanical parts are available here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/CNCMachineMechanicalParts.aspx

    All of the electronics you would need is available here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/electronicscombo.aspx

    All of the laser components are available here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/LaserComponents.aspx

    And the spindles and VFDs are available here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/SpindlesAndAccessories.aspx

    Click the link to respond:
    Is it possible to order the mechanics, motors and electronics, in other words, order the kit without the wood? Reason being is I have aluminum and steel to make a machine out of.

  • Is it possible to order the mechanics, motors and electronics, in other words, order the kit without the wood? Reason being is I have aluminum and steel to make a machine out of.

    If you are wanting to purchase all of the parts for a machine excluding the structural parts, you will need to order the parts a la carte.

    Electronics packages can be found here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/category/elcombo

    Mechanical components can be found here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/CNCMachineMechanicalParts.aspx

    Click the link to respond:
    Is it possible to order the mechanics, motors and electronics, in other words, order the kit without the wood? Reason being is I have aluminum and steel to make a machine out of.

  • I currently own a blacktoe router cnc.Want to convert to spindle.Do I use the same Z axis mount?

    You will not be able to use a router mount for a spindle. You will need to get a spindle mount for your Z axis.

    Click the link to respond:
    I currently own a blacktoe router cnc.Want to convert to spindle.Do I use the same Z axis mount?

  • In the 3 Axis Electronics Combo, what is the AC input of the power supply (110v or 220v??). is it possible to specify a certain voltage when ordering?

    In our 3-Axis electronics kit, the power supply's provided are capable of both 110V-220V. You have the capability to switch between both in case you might decide to run 220v in the near future or will relocate where 110v is being used.

    Additional Information:
    Connect spindle to the board

    Click the link to respond:
    In the 3 Axis Electronics Combo, what is the AC input of the power supply (110v or 220v??). is it possible to specify a certain voltage when ordering?

  • I would like to order a laser cutter from Greece. Is it possible to send the kit?

    You can determine if the country is serviceable by:
    - selecting the items you want to purchase on the website
    - go to the cart (shopping cart top left of any webpage)
    - log in, or register
    - Enter the address and click on calculate shipping.

    The webpage will return the direct rates and whether your area is serviced or not. Feel free to enter any address as long as you are able to receive the package from that address.

    Click the link to respond:
    I would like to order a laser cutter from Greece. Is it possible to send the kit?