Bellow I explain some areas of the build covered in the video in further detail, as well as a few other processes which were omitted.
To cut the chamfer on the supports, which will hold the aluminium angle, I used a bearing guided chamfer bit at the router table.
A tablesaw would likely have been easier, but at the time my tablesaw was not very good and the results would have been poor.
By making both supports on a single length of stock, the two can be cut away at the tablesaw, making it easier and a little safer to cut the chamfers.
The aluminium angle is attached to the pine support with short screw (~15mm). The heads of the screws are countersunk bellow the surface of the aluminium angle.
I found when I built this part that the bearings on the carriage experienced a little “bump” on each screw head, I was able to take care of this by countersinking them a little further. However, in the plans, I simply marked the screw positions higher (off-centre) to avoid the path of the bearings.
The rails are attached to the base with screws, I also used dowels to help with alignment. If you are using MDF, pocket hole screws may provide a better “hold” than screwing up into the MDF like I had to.
To cut out the rail “spacers” I used a bandsaw, the two larger simply act as “end caps” to stop the router rolling off the ends but the shorter spacers not only add strength to the rails but allow a certain degree of adjustment of how tight the fit is between the rails and the carriage.
I started out making the spacers out of MDF but found it split too badly when I screwed into the ends, instead I used Pine, if pilot holes are drilled it works just fine.
Note, if the spacers are cut slightly shorter it pulls the rails inwards, making the fit of the carriage tighter. If they are left a little longer (a few strips of blue tape can work if necessary) the rails are pushed slightly apart, making the fit looser.
For ease of writing, I have quoted the axis of motion parallel to the bed of the lathe as the X-axis. This is the direction of motion which will run along the rails just built.
To make up the thickness of MDF I needed for the carriage I glued together two sheets of 18mm (3/4″) MDF.
To cut matching chamfers on the MDF this time (now I have a better saw) I used the tablesaw, with the blade set to 45°.
To attach the bearings which will run against the aluminium angle rails (just built) I used the same aluminium angle which provides a much stronger mounting material than the MDF would alone.
I drilled an under-size hole at the drill press in the aluminium and then using either an M6 or M8, depending on the bore size of the bearings used, tap I threaded the holes. I found the process much quicker with the tap use carefully in a cordless drill!
To allow room for the protruding bolts I drilled clearance holes into the MDF.
I then screwed the aluminium angle to the carriage and finally screwed each on bearing, the tapped holes.
Again, for ease of writing, I have quoted the axis of motion perpendicular to the bed of the lathe as the Y-axis.
To provide the “Y-axis” of motion I used under counter (the type used for keyboard draws) draw slides.
To remove the factory attached brackets I drilled through all of the welds, then gently using a chisel, the bracket can be pried off and the draw runners cut to length with a hacksaw.
Finally to attach the draw runners reasonably accurately to the carriage a jig is ideal. The jig above has two slots, which slip over the draw slides and a fence which references against the side of the carriage. A jig like this helps to align the slides whilst screwing them in place. (Screw heads should be fully countersunk to avoid interference with the draw slides)
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