I noticed while browsing the forums that a few people have broken the locking tab on their Ridgid router z-axis adjustment. Mostly because of overdriving the z-axis into the top or bottom. And this little part is plastic.
Figured while I waited for my maslow to arrive I would copy it in Fusion and be able to print some spares, as this is something I can see myself doing…
So if Anyone else needs a replacement and has access to a 3d printer, here is my copy:-
Or I could print these and send if you don’t have access. Am in canada though, so cheapest shipping outside canada is like 7 bucks untracked. Hope this helps someone, was a bugger to copy, brand new to Fusion 360 and even 3d modelling.
I’m in the US and could print one and ship as well. I don’t have that router, but I do have a 3d printer, and my stuff usually fits where it’s supposed to.
If you’re impatient like me, you could try ‘cleaning up’ the ridge that follows in the screw thread to seat more deeply between the threads. I went at my damaged one with a Dremel tool and made it good enough to use while I waited for the replacement(s)
I am currently trying to design a way around the little spring that is weaker than a clothespin spring that holds the part that contains this button. I am imagining something that will: 1. not allow any pivot that the spring is made to allow, 2. be easily disabled (within reason) like the spring allows us to simply remove spindle for bit changes, & 3. This part must allow the entire thing to travel up and down smoothly as the spring did. My daughter, wisely suggested I ask someone on here to 3-D print something like this.
I have a couple of ideas that may work but I estimate the space being somewhere around 3/16 of an inch being all we have to work with. also my depth lock mechanism (which is what I’ve heard this part called) bottoms out when I am just through the material so no room below & not much above. I picture a couple of plastic cylinders (for rigidity and slipperiness) tapped. One that goes inside the crevice (about where the spring resides). This one is tapped with threads as a nut. the other one remains outside and is drilled slightly large to allow a skinny bolt to tighten the two cylinders together, wedging, thus not allowing pivot. If there is a slight recess the width of the depth lock tip, it will remain with the part as it travels up and down without falling out. These are known to give way too easily as the tight clamp that is usually applied is preventative of freedom to travel.
I have the z axis locking tab replacement printed and I’d like to replace mine, how do I get it on? Do I need to remove the z-axis’ screw? If yes how do I do that? Sorry for asking so many questions, I’m just trying to not break things further.
No problem, the only bad question is the one not asked!
The Z axis screw must be removed completely, there is a small C-clip on the very bottom of the screw underneath the bottom metal part, be careful removing this though, you don’t want to bend it, but it is pretty strong. i find using a flat screwdriver works best. then the entire screw will slide out the top, releasing the bit with the locking tab.
once that metal bit is off and loose, also be careful not to lose the silly metal V shaped spring, then the original orange tab will just slide out. it has a spring on the part that protrudes opposite the button, take this off and put on the printed part before putting that back in the z axis metal part that engages with the router body. Then just thread the screw back through the top hole in the router mount, then that part and then the bottom hole. Then put the C-clip back on the very bottom in the grove and your done.
As i stated though, the printed part is VERY tight, deliberately. if you don’t sand or trim it, it should fit and not move at all even without the spring. a little sanding and it will function exactly like the original.
I did have the same idea as TheMerryYeoman above, and plan do to a part much bigger with extra threads to stabilize the z axis much better, but have no got around to it yet. And probably won’t for a while.
I have not yet had this part break, but I imagine it might at some point. If it does, I may look to Shapeways to print it in steel (for $18) if that’s ok with you @Brendon
No need to ask, I did it and released on the open commons license, least I think I did, so everyone is free to use it however they like and modify it etc… So go ahead I would be cautious though, as I think they way the CNC works, this part is meant to fail first. if it’s made too strong, it could cause something else a lot more expensive to fail, probably the Z axis motor or gears, maybe even the Z axis screw. Although if shapeways does metal 3d printing the way I think they do, it is technically metal but no real strength to it.
[Edit] Also i haven’t broken one yet, but I have driven the Z axis past the limits a couple times, incredibly easy to do, and having the plastic part ‘pop’ out saved me a few times. In fact it was this along with others having the same issue that made me replicate it to 3d print more to save trying to source replacements or waiting for shipping.
Good point on the intended point of failure. The Shapeways metal printing I’ve had done in the past has turned out a strong product. I believe they use SLS on the metal powders.
I have actually decided to go with a c-channel z-axis and am moving the old Rigid base to a router table. I am planning to motorize it for adjusting the height of the bit using a switch and an arduino compatible Trinket board. Ideally I want to implement limit switches to prevent going too far, but until I get around to that I’ll just have to be careful.
Thanks for making your design freely available!
Also available from Shapeways in plastic for $5-$9 (depending on surface finish)