Tune your Shapeoko belts like Jaco Pastorius

Or Geddy Lee? Les Claypool? Dave LaRue? John Myung? Whoever your favourite bass player is, anyhow.

If you grab an electric bass machine head/tuner, deepen the slot by about 2mm, and attach it to a bit of wood, then add a pin nut, you can make one if these sorts of things:

Then you can attach it to your Shapeoko without modifying the machine at all:

and tune up those belts… ie: tension them.

This is a rudimentary prototype, but it seems to work so far… I’ll keep checking to see if it keeps in tune as I use the machine :slight_smile:


Haha… doubtful. it was cut out of a scrap of cherry on a bandsaw by eye :slight_smile:

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And then if you go down that route, it is a moral obligation to use the “pluck the string and measure the tone” method for belt tensioning, obviously. With a Guitar tuner for extra points.


A=415 here since it’s from my baroque lute.


Now that is a nice bit of repurposing, a whole century old optimised design and manufacturing we can use to solve our problem here.

I like it.

We could probably do a hole in the steel plate and a front mount bracket too.

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Perhaps we should put stepper motors on the tuner heads so we can actually play the belts with $M commands in GCode? :wink:


Guitar auto-tuners are a thing

It won’t be long before someone says “have a look at this…

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Interesting… Great minds think alike… I have made my own design CoreXY based drawing machine, 2 steppers for A and B (related to X and Y) movement, with one very long belt encompassing both steppers. The challenge of tensioning this came down in the end to using a guitar tensioning/tuner screw with a 20T toothed wheel instead of a winding post for a guitar string. Thread the belt by hand, ‘tune it up’ and the tension is achieved. The machine is 1.2m x 1.2m and hangs on any flat, vertical surface such as a window, and has a servo-actuated pen holder for pen-up and pen-down. Modified GRBL1.1 on an Arduino Uno to repurpose Z commands, silently cope with tool change if present in the .gcode etc.
Nice bit of lock-down fun - and all made on the ShapeOKO 3XL


Just a bad copy.

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Then there’s Wintergarten… Doing the same thing in the real world. Playing 30000 Marbles - Marble Machine X #148 - YouTube


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