New Belt Tensioners on the ShapeOko

When I first assembled my ShapeOko I added eyebolts to the belt clamps to allow me to easily tension the belts.

This caused two issues:

  1. The v-wheels on the X axis carriage ran into the eyebolts, limiting the travel.
  2. The mending brackets started bending.

So I came up with some new belt tensioner brackets.

I bought a length of 1/8″ thick, 1/2″ wide mild steel at the hardware store and got to work.

First I cut it into 6 pieces, each 3-3/8″ long.

Cutting to length.
Cutting to length.

Next I center drilled and drilled a 13/64″ hole, 3/8″ from each end. This size will fit the #10 eyebolt shank and the 5mm bolt.

Drilling.
Drilling.

I marked a bending line 1-1/4″ from one end and 1-3/8″ on the other side from the other end. I have a set of bending jaws for my vice and used those to form the brackets.

Parts and jaws.
Parts and jaws.

 

Pre-bending.
Pre-bending.
Bent.
Bent.

Here are 5 of the brackets. (There are only 5 because I made a prototype before committing to all of them.)

Brackets.
Brackets.

Then I bolted them to the ShapeOko. I also purchased some 5mm x 20mm bolts to replace the 10mm long ones, since I added 1/8″ of material. I tapped the holes in the MakerSlide nice and deep.

X-Axis with new Bracket.
X-Axis with new Bracket.
Y-Axis with new Brackets.
Y-Axis with new Brackets.

This solved the problem of the X axis running into the eyebolt. Now it runs into the smooth pulley on the Y axis. I have purchased the parts to move the belts to the outboard side of the motor plates, but that’s another post.

As a note: If you have not trimmed the belts that came with your kit, the stock belts are long enough for this mod. If you have trimmed them, you will probably need to buy new belting.

Running total costs.

All Shapeoko CNC Mill Posts.

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