And He's Buying a Railway to Heaven: A Linear Guide Rail Story

Having troubles picturing what you mean, but I’m sure there are design optimizations/simplifications that I missed or didn’t think of at the time.


As @DanStory said, 5083 is the same thing.

You can buy it (“AlMg4,5Mn”) from these guys. I asked them and they said the tolerance for their milled plates is 0.15mm/m (0.006") for thicknesses >15mm and 0.35mm/m (0.014") for 8mm.

If you’re buying a plate shorter than 1m (e.g. 30cm), I think you can divide that number by a corresponding amount, since the spec is for deviation over a meter.

EDIT: Damn, I just realized they don’t deliver to the UK for some reason.

If you can’t find it in the UK I can buy some and mail it to you from Switzerland.



Swiss quality tooling plate…

There’s a couple of suppliers in the UK retailing the 5083 type tooling plate which I think I’ll grab a sample of and try machining it, see what it’s like first. From some more reading the cast and heat treated 5000 series may be better for machinability than the rolled stuff.


Oh no, it’s German, they just deliver to Switzerland and not to the UK for some reason :slight_smile:

Hey @RoughDraft40, I’m glad my post helped you out with this. It looks awesome and keeps tempting me. The biggest hurdle for me stepping out and doing this is making sure the rails are parallel with one another and parallel with the rail too. Plus, shimming any sides necessary to make sure their aligned.

1 Like

I had doubts in my mind too. Asking myself questions over and over again:

What kind of accuracy do I even get now?
What kind of projects am I using my SO3 XL for and how will they be affected positively or negatively if I succeed or fail?
How have others mounted their rails, am I able to replicate their installation processes, or what would I want to/have to do differently?
Does it make sense to invest in other tools to help me perform the installation?
What could go wrong during the installation?

I think registering off the flat side of the extrusion with 1-2-3 blocks then using gage blocks to space the first rail from the 1-2-3 blocks, and after you have the first rail installed, spacing the second rail with 1-2-3 blocks registering off of your first rail - this is pretty easy and effective. Clamping is a little awkward though, and marking is probably where you might find the most potential for operator error. Using a drill press with a fence was invaluable to me. When I put rails on the Y-extrusions, I will probably make a guide for the transfer punch. There’s some room for adjustment when mounting the rails so although you have more adjustment room the more precise you are with your mounting holes, you don’t have to be perfect.

Let me know if you have any other burning questions. I am more than happy to share my opinion of my install experience.

1 Like