Router carriage came off the rails!

I wanted to share a mishap I had on my shapeoko xl this weekend, mainly to point out where I think I made mistakes, to help others avoid this if they are like me and didn’t think of this. I use double stick tape to hold many of my projects, and I got a bit lazy and only put one piece along the length of a 3”x5”x1/2” piece of Baltic birch. I also pushed that piece up against a cleat on the one side, thinking it would help hold the piece a bit. Well, I thought wrong. Half way through the project, the piece cut loose. Next thing I know, all heck is breaking loose. What I think happened is that the piece broke loose, lifted up a little bit with a z axis command so where it was spinning above the cleat, then went back down and hit the cleat all in a blink of an eye. Next thing I know, the router flew off and was bouncing around on the table top while the steppers were pulling it around. It turns out that a couple if the v wheels were broken, allowing the carriage to fall off completely. It ended up damaging a few other things and my dust boot completely disintegrated (I didn’t have it hooked up to dust collection at the time). Luckily I had bought a maintenance kit so I was able to get it back up and running. I just wanted to share as I was surprised at how fast it happened and I had not pictured this as an obvious failure mode.


Well, I guess “like”-ing your post with the little heart icon isn’t quite right, but what I mean is, this is great to hear about first hand–how quickly all hell can break loose. Makes me glad I’ve got my e-stop installed 'cause I’m sure I could never find the mouse, locate the cursor, then move it to the pause button in Carbide Motion and click it fast enough…

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Spooky. Makes me wonder how hard it would be to setup a camera at a fixed angle and write some software that watches out for these extreme, shit hit the fan moments.

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@idank I have a 10 meter LED Android & PC Endoscope that I mounted to my Z-axis. It plugs into my cell phone and leaves me a 30’ “tether” to keep an eye on things. After reading @osu22go’s story, I guess that may be too far to stray if things go FUBAR. It would be wonderful if there was a phone app where I could remotely shut things down if the SHTF.

Sure, get these. Wemo Mini Smart Plug 3-pack, Wi-Fi Enabled, Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Shut off with your phone app OR, if you happen to have an Echo, Echo Dot or Sonos ONE in your shop just yell “Alexa turn IT off”. “IT” being the name you assign to the smart mini plug you have your machine plugged into. OR, you can set up a group so you can plug all into different circuits if you like. :smiley:

Over this past year I’ve connected first my shop vac then my main dust control and now my XL/611 to these little guys. Love the convenience of voice control.

Next addition will probably be RasberryPi camera combo, still researching that though. It should enable me to monitor things from inside the house over WiFi on my iPad, iPhone.


I hate seeing bad things happen, but at the same time I love seeing bad things happen when they work out ok with no injuries or serious damage to equipment. It’s the perfect little reminder of why I sit within arms reach of my kill switch during all runs on my SO3. I had a very well clamped (or so I thought) piece of 3/4" maple break loose last week, but I caught it before it did any damage beyond damaging my chunk of wood. Had I been away from the machine it could have been much worse. Thanks for the reminder!



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