Z-depth not as advertised, where is the fix?

I personally just have a single 3/4 inch piece of MDF on my machine for a waste board. I machined holes for M6 threaded inserts that are a 12mm long in the board and screwed them in from the bottom. I then surfaced the top of that waste board flat. I have doing this a few times as it has gotten gouged up and am now getting close to the inserts. I probably have two resurfaces left before I hit them. When it gets to that point I will just make another one. This has left me with quite a bit of useable machining space. If you wanted to go further you could machine holes in the included board, add threaded inserts into that, and then mount on top of it a 1/4 piece of MDF to use as a spoil board. You will need to make sure the holes in that line up with the spoil board’s holes. You might need to use a long reach endmill to get to the bottom of the included board.

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The bit may reach all of the way down, but I found out the hard way that the lower v-wheels may fall off of the guides which leads to all sorts of accuracy issues. They should really increase the cost of the machine and ship with 1 spoil board to make it clearer that is the intended way to operate the machine.

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If you v-wheels are coming off, you have not adjusted them correctly.

Won’t work. There are two limiting factors that prevent this; firstly the X-axis gantry, secondly the bottom of the Z-plus carriage. This does, however, highlight the uselesses of most of the Z-axis movement providd by the Z-plus using the Carbide router. If you have a router that naturally hangs lower you would get more useful Z-axis movement. Unfortunetly, instead of providing a router that is optimized for the now required Z-plus carriage as you would expect given it is named after them, it is mounted in such a way that you can’t utilize the entire Z-travel within a usable work volume. If someone has experiance with other routers please share.

So, has anyone seen a Carbide3D tutorial that actually shows them useing three spoilboards as their rep suggested in this thread? Is there any promotional material that explicitly states this as a requirement for use?

On the forum, we’ve learned to call “their rep” (as you say) Will or at least @WillAdams. Will offered you his best advice, I’m sure. This whole thread isn’t going to help you unless you contact the company support people and work it out there. They’re really the ones that will change things, as they always have.

Please let us all know how it gets resolved.

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No, there isn’t a specific tutorial on this — usually folks have specific requirements and it’s a simple enough task that this hasn’t been necessary. The placement of rapid points and so forth will also vary relative to the machine based on how the homing switches are adjusted, so it’s not really possible to do a file which will work for all machines unless it’s made parametric (which Carbide Create doesn’t really support) or it imposes on customers the requirement that they adjust their homing switch placement to match the file. A further consideration is the available resources in a shop — a customer who has access to a table saw in a detached shop will approach this far differently than a customer in tiny apartment buying pre-cut stock and adjusting it with hand files.

FWIW, I wrote a bit about bootstrapping workholding on a Shapeoko 3 w/ fairly minimal tools at: https://forum.shapeoko.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=6045

No, there is no explicit promotional or specification material which advocates for this.

If you will draw up a file which has your specific rapid position points with their dimensions/placement relative to the baseplate and machine frame and note the thicknesses of stock you wish to use for the base layer and spoilboard, I will work up a file for it.


The new z-axis does have apparent travel issues in design.
When the carbide3d tutorial shows a picture like this,

with a bit clearly reaching to the frame.
But the machine with it’s included parts will not do this.



That is a very nice offer and it is a credit to you and your outfit that you are willing to do that.

The issue isn’t that I can’t take the advice you recommend. The issue is that I shouldn’t have to, its a bit ridiculous on its face, it’s a hidden cost for a new customer to get your machine working, and it does not reflect the advertising have attested to.

The biggest issue for me in the future is that with your system its impossible to recreate or modify the stock spoil board (with the CNC, if I wanted to make holes with a drill press I would have bought a drill press) and any added layers means you can’t slide stock under the Y-axis rails to do section milling on longer signs (this was a criteria for my purchase, as all your material shows this is possible even though now it is not).

Again, your company provided a solution, why are you not providing that to your customers who obviously feel this was inadequately communicated. At least sell it in your store. Anything so that we can get our hands on it.

The photo in question depicts a belt-drive machine, and that tutorial was written prior to the development of the Z-Plus and does not reference the Z-Plus.

Questions regarding product development and so forth would have to be addressed to folks higher up than me, @robgrz, @edwardrford, @Jorge, @Luke

Any reason you can’t just tile in the Y direction?


I think this was covered in the original message.

The contention as I read it is that since the Z-Plus can’t go as low as the belt drive, and can’t go any higher than the belt drive, then the Z-axis travel can no longer be 3" (‘as advertised’) and therefore doesn’t meet the specifications.

Of course a measuring tape could settle this once and for all.

I see, I was chiming in late.

I don’t think I’d want to make the baseboard that way anyway as you’d have to tile along the X, AND you’d have to rotate 180 to do it again. I’d just transfer the holes and drill manually.

I also understand that this is not the main point of the thread…just trying to help out.

If you have a giant shop that’s probably an option. Normal people are going to have the back of the machine and the Y-axis against a wall.

I will note that machine orientation can be something of an issue, and my plan for my next machine is to put it against the middle of a wall, but at right angles to it, so that the side, rather than the back of the machine is against the wall and I’ll be able to add outfeed tables and tile things through.

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I just move things around…anything that’s close to the right height becomes an outfeed table. The cozy coupe works when stacked on the red wagon.


I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old and I actually know what the cozy coupe is! Lol. I never thought of using that for an outfeed, but with the high roofline I could see your reasoning!


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