Another new guy

Hi ya folks. Yep another new guy. I recently received my SO 3 XL, and been playing around with it. Ran the hello world, and of course the regular new guy things. lol. Assembly wasnt to bad, though there were a couple of times it seemed the instructions were skipping something, though pleny of videos on youtube. My plan is to use this for shapeing and cuting knife handles / scales, presentation boxes for knives, and what ever else I can come up with. My wife is also coming up with ideas for me to make as well. I think the honey do list just got more complicated. Before I try anything to major I am trying to take my time and learn more about the software, and basic running of this thing. Still learning the nomenclature as well. Took me two trys but I believe I have the machine as in square as I can. Gantry meets end plates evenly front and rear, and the machine is level. I have also been playing around with accuracy and have discovered I have so much more to learn. I set up a very basic circle, diamond, square in Carbide create, but keep getting some really odd numbers when I measure the results. For example, I set up the square for 3.5 inch, diamond for 3.0 inch, circle for 2.0 inch. I set up Carbide Creat to use the #101. Ball cutter, cutting outside the line, (outside right) I’m only cutting this at 0.062 inch in MDF. After homing, setting zero, I let it run. I get roughly a 4 inch square, 3.5 inch diamond, and 2.5 inch circle. Measureing the square at top, middle, and bottom I get 4.0360, 4.0125, and 4.0300. I think tomorrow I will looking at my Z plate and ensureing that I have not over tightened the wheels, as well as trying to chase down any lose screws, besides the ones in my head, while I look for where I messed up here. So far, this is my progress as the new guy. lol. As someone who has exactly zero experience with CNC, machining, or setting up something like this, I have to admit that so far it has not be all that daunting, and yeah I’m enjoying it.
Please forgive my poor grammer and spelling as I have been awake for way too long. lol. Night folks.


Sounds as if you’re off to an excellent start!

Puzzling out the specifics of movement, accuracy and precision can be maddening, but ultimately rewarding.

Big thing to start with is to get belt stretch sorted out — also cut a slot to measure / determine endmill diameter / spindle runout. Once you have those two things dialed in, the balance will sort itself out.

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Yes, my first thought is to keep the Y belts fairly close to equal tension.

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Thanks for advice! I went out this evening and played around a little with the machine. I made sure I tighted the belts on both Y axis. It seems in my effort not to break anything out of the box I may not have tighted them enough. I also tighted the belt on my X axis which had some slack in it. I’m pretty sure there are better and more accurate way to do this, but for me I get pratice in both carbide create, as well as carbide motion. I set up my job in carbide create for square (3.5 inch), diamond (3.0 inch), and circle (2.5 inch). This time around it seems the belt tension was a player as I no longer got a extra half inch added to everything. I ran this little test and measured, then noticed I have around a small gap between the gantrey and lower Y rail mounts to frameing plate ( faceing the machine frame plate closest to me). Which means I also need to take a look at the back right side as well. I turned off the machine and pulled the gantry foward untill both ends of the gantry touched the plate and turned on the machine, ran the homeing cycle, then using the same X,Y, and Z zeros for the last test ran it again. The measurement at the top of the square for the first test at cutting 3.5" measured out at 3.5250. The secound test came in at 3.5240. So it looks like I need to work out a few kinks on squaring up the machine. lol. I also find that the top, middle, and bottom of the square came in with three different measurements both before and after. For the second test Top = 3.5240, Middle = 3.5145, and bottom = 3.5105. I saw the same with the diamond and the circle as well, though the diamond went from (measureing from the top corner to corner) 3.0240" to 2.9945. I hope to have some time to play with this some more over over this weekend.
WillAdams; I have to do some homework on the measureing diameter and runout. To be honest I think I have an idea of what to look for with this, but need to do alittle more homework. I will try to fix this using the Googlefu. I have been using the ball end cutter #101 from the Carbide store for these tests. Oh, and I think I fryed my last two brain cells trying to play with Fusion 360 today. It is not like the old Adobe CS2 Illustrator I am out of pratice with. lmao.

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I’d like to think that everything which one would need to know to square up a machine is either at, or linked to from:


Naturally, if you find anything not listed there, please let us know!

Of course, if one has any questions or concerns or difficulties doing assembly, please feel free to write in to