Noob remarks about SO3 assembly guide

Hi everybody, I just completed assembling my Shapeoko 3 after having waited 6 weeks for delivery. I went by the book, and there were two points that I think deserve some attention:

At the very beginning, when attaching the base frame to the wasteboard, the guide says to do it loosely (which makes sense). However, the necessary step of tightening down those 12 screws is never mentioned in the rest of the document. Also, I think it would be a useful hint to say that the 6 extra M5x20 BHCS screws are really spares. It sort of makes me nervous if there are unaccounted for leftovers after assembly :slight_smile:

Once the side rails have been inserted, the screws are supposed to be only finger tight at that point. Then we are advised to run the belts and to tighten them. However, when the screws are tightened down later during the squaring process, this will inevitably introduce some slack in the belts. Once the screws were tightened down I redid the belt tensioning, easily gaining 2 or 3 teeth in the process. When I read in the Facebook group how often belt slack gets mentioned as a possible cause of malfunction it gets me to thinking if maybe some people have omitted this crucial step.

I certainly don’t want to come across as a know-it-all nitpicker, so please bear with me. Just sayin’ :wink:


Parallel to my own issues! PLEASE don’t jump the gun at ANY point! Take baby steps, and in moments there are the Pros who will guide you through.

I noticed the same issues (and then some too). My rails are out 1/8" !!! Front Left & Rear Right. How can you flex the rails with the wasteboard screwed tight? I have yet to understand that one. I’ll keep my eyes peeled on this topic for now.

That’s disappointing, my instructions lacked the step of tightening the frame down as well. I bought mine in 2016. Pretty sure they fixed it at the time so, somehow got lost a second time?

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