Shapeoko 3 Upgrades – Finishing Up (For Now)

I did a whole bunch of work today, but didn’t take a lot of photos because it wasn’t really work that needs them.

I bolted all the wheels to the plates again and then realized that since I had changed the spacers between the wheels and the plates I was going to have to loosen up all the rails again so I could get the distance between them correct. So I had to completely re-level the machine again.

But before that I had to open up the holes on the end plates a little more since the rails didn’t want to spread quite far enough apart and get level at the same time. So I unbolted the rails, set them aside and drilled out the holes. Then I bolted it all back up again. Fun times.

But, I had a brain storm about leveling the rails! I was having difficulty holding the rails the same height on both sides and tightening the screws with out moving the rails. Then I got smart and grabbed some scraps, t-nuts and bolts and made a pair of small screw jacks to hold the rails up! It worked great!


I got the two front ends the same height and tightened them down, then I did the rears. I re-checked the fronts again and had to adjust them a little bit and then all four corners were within 0.001″ of each other!

I had to grab some chunks of 4×4 to make the jacks high enough to do the X rail, but it worked the same. Of course I didn’t have quite enough adjustment there either so I had to remove the rail and drill out those holes too.


I also noticed that my Z motor plate wasn’t quite flat in both directions and since I had to remove all the parts from it anyway to install the angle braces I supported the edges on some scraps and used my drill press to bend it a bit. It’s flatter now.

After that it was drilling and countersinking the holes in the plate, drilling and tapping the holes in the motor mount and putting it all back together.


I left all the spindle mount bolts loose and then lowered it onto my 1-2-3 blocks to get it as square as possible to the table in both directions. They I tightened it all up.


I put the router in the mount, put my test indicator on the router and checked out alignment.


It’s within 0.005″ of vertical from front to back and is tipped left to right about 0.003″. I might loosen the bolts and put in a shim to try and get it more vertical in the front to back direction but over all I’m pretty happy with it at this point!

After that I cleaned up the mess I had made, screwed the electronics to a piece of plywood, hooked up all the wires and tested it out.


It worked!

The more I look at it, the more I think that three strips of MDF are too much for the risers. I think I’ll re-make them with two. The spindle has to reach way down to get to the table.

For now I’ll probably lower the router in the mount some more and use MDF scraps under the work piece.

After dinner I ran the Diamond-Circle-Square test and the results were pretty darned good. I need to run some calibration cuts to tweak the steps per mm settings, but it’s pretty close now.


The square was supposed to be 3.500″ and it came out 3.508″ on the X axis and 3.511″ on the Y axis.

The Diamond is pretty good and the circle is pretty round.

I ran a pretty aggressive feed and speed – .100″ deep passes and 80 inches per minute feed rate and my 1/4″ router bit was dirty and may be dull. But I’ll take these results!

I took a kind of boring video of the cut.

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