TLDR: Partial cut of Meticulous Z-axis, manually aligned/centered/finished, test run scary; bit sniping/biting causing torque flex in router clamps/backing plate leading to very rough cuts. Any ideas to fix?
I anticipated that the standard z-axis kit would have increasingly worse tolerances or fail completely on the Ridgid R22002 simply because it is not designed for continuous use. So I got the parts to build the Meticulous Z-Axis which is much more robust. Thanks to all those involved on this project and for providing it to the community.
I only managed to get through part of the cutting process, when lo and behold, the z-axis failed! The orange button thing got stripped during tool changes as the z-axis bottomed out, due to difficultly in aligning it between tool changes.
I tried to make the best out of what was already cut. This involved many hours spent releasing partial depth cuts with jigsaw, aligning router backing plate to sled frame, aligning router ZX/ZY to backing plate, and centering Ring frame (which is not circular?) to sled base. I used a magnetic digital angle gauge and true square metal block spacer to align router ZX/ZY to sled base. Got perfect on ZY and 0.05 degrees on ZX. Used a router bit with string to draw circles to align the metal Ring.
Once it was all glued up, 24 hour dry time, I performed centering test by dropping Z into stock and manually rotating the sled 45 degrees left and right. This showed good results that deviated less than 1/32" oval in X & Y.
I then ran through the whole Maslow calibration process using measurements I previously made that worked great before. Ran the calibration alignment test which was off by less than .5mm. I then ran test cuts for the pieces that did not complete like the dust chute.
At this point it got down right scary. During the cut the router bit would catch / bite / snipe at certain angles, which caused the lower router clamp to torque flex, which also made the carriage plate flex at the bottom. This resulted in many scary noises, like the whole thing would disintegrate, and very uneven cuts in XY. I was standing a safe distance away, out of XY cutting line (bit breaking), with fire extinguisher on the ready. Yeah, it was that serious. XY cuts were terribly fluctuating nearly 1/8" where as Z axis was perfect.
Has anyone experienced something like this?
Can I recover from this by adjusting something or should I cut all meticulous z-axis parts from scratch?
Thanks for all input!