I know this has probably been discussed a lot, and i just cant seem to find it. Is there any downfall to just removing the leveling feet and sitting directly on the table. My waste board keeps drooping in the center. I’ve seen the mat thing people are using, but whats wrong with just removing the feet?
The downside is that you can’t level it at the machine, you have to level at the surface it’s sitting on (table, cabinet, whatever). That’s kind of obvious, I know, but the follow-on to that is that it makes it harder to precisely square the machine, depending on how you go about squaring the machine.
In my opinion (which is sometimes…crap… ) the best way to square the machine is with a machinists level. Here is how I think it should be done: X rail not level . You can’t do that without being able to level the base.
I’ve changed my mind on how to get the tram on the Z axis right (fore and aft) - it requires shims under the vertical rails with the stock axis setup (use leaves from a feeler gauge)
So, long answer, that’s the only real downside, and depending on how you’re squaring the machine, it’s not a big deal. A full torsion box under the machine is really the best thing to do, and if you go that far, being able to level the torsion box is an easy thing to add when you do it. The rest is normal after that.
Awesome, thanks. I added leveling feet to the table the machine is sitting on, so that’s not an issue. Also, out of the box I was able to get the head in tram within .006" on an 8" circle. I did roll all the bent steel parts of the machine to get them perfectly true before I ever assembled the machine. I had some shipping damage so i felt like i needed to. I plan to move the table its sitting on eventually, I have a 16’x4’ table with a 1" steel top thats in the way right now. Just wanted to make sure there was not anything stupid i was missing.
Here is a suggestion. Replace one of the M5x25 wasteboard screw in the center with a longer one. Then put an extension nut on the bottom with another screw on the opposite end. You’d have usable adjuster.
If you’re concerned with frame flex and sag, removing the leveling feet will remediate a large majority of those characteristics, However as stated by @mikep, your bench/table/torsion-box base becomes additionally critical and you lose the leveling ability the feet provide. These characteristics are logicially more pronounced in the larger machine footprints.
There’s a Shapeoko Users Group initiative for aluminum base plates for the XXL if you’re interested in moving toward a stouter machine platform:
I seen that the other day, and I was planning on making an aluminum base plate. I just haven’t had time. I have a few 4x8x1/2’ sheets and one 5x10x0.75" sheet left over from a previous job.
I removed my U.N.-leveling feet for the same reason and have no regrets. Like Mike said you will likely have to level the surface underneath the machine afterwards, but it will definitely help with the center sag issue. Here’s a forum post with my leveling journey if you have some time to kill reading:
As a side note: A couple nights ago I cleared the bed of my machine for the first time since I initially cleared it back when I made that forum post. I took off 0.010” on my first pass and it cleared all but a maybe 2”x4” spot on my waste board setup(I made pencil marks all over so I could easily see any missed spots). Second pass at 0.010” came out perfectly clean. I’d say it’s pretty flat and stable, definitely better than with the feet. Really happy with the results.
Oh yeah, I surfaced my waste board when i first built the machine, and i honestly made sure all parts were within .020 before assembly. I was over .040" off the other night in the center. I removed the leveling feet, bolted the machine to the table via the leveling feet holes, and it only took .01" to completely resurface. I’m happy