Tips for beginners

Just some FYI for beginners like me…

Your z-axis is going to give you trouble. Go ahead and do the quick-and-dirty Z axis mod you will find in community garden right off the bat. This will save you a lot of time.
When you do this mod put half a cigarette butt (or equivalent) into the hole that the spring goes into.
Use Loctite on the set screws on the Z axis shaft adapter.

Makercam sucks. Either get the hobby license for Fusion 360 or use freecad.

Use crossbars on your frame behind your throw away stock. It will bow in and throw off your measurements if you do not.

Put a 2 x 4 or equivalent across the bottom of your frame and you will be able to slide your working stock two feet to the left or to the right allowing you to take advantage of The Sweet Spot while using the entire 4 by 8 sheet.

Do you not try and boot a MacBook Pro with Arduino attached to the USB. It will try and boot from USB and make you think you have broken your computer.

Lars Christensen is your friend.

Home Depot sells something called the Buckethead. It is literally an attachment for any 5 or 15 gallon bucket that turns said bucket into a Shop-Vac. It’s $20

Start off using $16 sheets of particleboard. You are going to screw up a lot and there’s no sense in doing it with quality plywood.



When cutting foam board cut it on top of another thinner foam board. Not on top of wood. If you cut it on top of wood the tip of the router bit will make contact with the surface of the wood and heat up and melt the foam to your router bit making a big old mess.

Gasoline dissolves foam… even after its melted solid to your bit.

If you’re doing anything other than three quarters of an inch plywood you need to recalibrate the height from the working surface to the sprocket on your motor encoder.

Bonus #protip
You can make hollow shapes out of fiberglass (or other composites) by stacking cut out shapes into a plug, then wrapping said plug in fiberglass leaving a small hole somewhere. And then pouring gasoline in the hole to dissolve the foam… boom you now have a fiberglass (or carbon fiber) fuel tank. Or kayak. Or airplane fuselage.

  • you will need a protective layer of something between the fiberglass and the foam or else the epoxy will melt it

This is brilliant. It’s like lost foam casting but the oposite

Many airplane (as in ones that you get inside and “exercise the privileges of your airman certificate”) kits use this technique to make the fuel tank, although our never completed Q2 used fiberglass over foam sheets where the foam had to stay in place since it also was the pilot and passenger seat. QAC advised painting on extra layers of epoxy since it’s a real nuisance if all the gas leaks out at a couple thousand feet