Shapeoko 3 Z-plus grinding

Shapeoko 3 XXL. Z-plus.

Ive been hearing a slight noise in the Z plus carriage for a bit, nothing crazy.

Today upon finishing a job, z began retracting, about halfway up started slipping amd grindimg like crazy. After grinding a second it stopped near the top. Not sure if it made it.

Immediately powered down the machine and began visually looking for broken. Found nothing. Tried spinning the shaft by hamd but really would not turn much.

Removed the router and bracket to look closer. Felt the shaft, feels like normal. Nothing broken, etc. Checked wiring, all looked ok.

Decided to power on and see what would happen. Immediately begims retracting all the way up and wouldnt stop. Like the proximity switch was dead.

Powered down again, and tried spinning the shaft by hand to get it low enough to access the sensor. Got it down, maybe 3/4". Continued looking and checking around, all looks normal.

Powered on again, just to see, immediately begins going up and everything works as expected, just with a really nasty grinding noise. Video below.!AvnJhyfvmUg4gUE5eOUF1C-cGZ1c

I will open a support ticket as well. Tightish deadline on a project right now and trying to minimize downtime.

I think the machine heard me talking about getting an upgrade last night.

When was the last time you lubricated the linear bearings/rails of your z-axis carriage?

You may find these links helpful: CNC Machine Maintenance and possibly HDZ bearing blocks - #9 by LiamN

Also, I’d check your proximity sensors to make sure that the LED on their sides light up when touched by a collet wrench and that the appropriate LED on the controller board also lights up. (See the setup instructions and video for more info.)

Best of luck!

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Obviously too long! Found it, removed the chunks built up behind the plate. Lubricated. All well again!


Even with dust collection, worse without it, dust and chips collect. You need to clean the machine about once a month and do the lubrication at least annually. You can just wipe the rails with the Vactra #2 oil every once in a while. If you do the full maintenance the oil will tend to drip down the rails and fall on your project. So after doing the maintenance put a paper towel under the rails when parking to keep the excess oil from dripping down and getting on your spoilboard. Also wipe the very bottom before doing your first couple of projects after oiling the Z-Plus.

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For sure. For me, I guess I did not even realize that these days I am running my machine daily. Used to be once a week or so. It is a good problem! A lot more miles on the thing of late.

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