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      Well hello all once again, Happy New Year !! I am back for another build..... Yes I am officially admitting, as the build name suggest, I am truly bitten by the CNC bug and this time it is the WorkBee that has got me.

      Firstly I must thank the gang at OpenBuilds for "Pollinating" this build, they very kindly selected me as the winner of the "1,000 Builds Contest" for my "Mogie Mill" build and awarded me $500 credit in the parts store to go towards my next build.

      What was really bizarre was that I had not used my mill for some months and I had just designed some bits and pieces to cut on it that week, I actually received an email whilst I was right in the middle of cutting and using the mill.... It freaked me out a little and I thought I was dreaming, but after contacting Mary she confirmed it was indeed for real.

      So here I am again, I also need to mention that I have not finished my "AcroCadabra" Acro 1010 laser build yet either, it has been some time since I initially started that build, life seems to have gotten in the way. So now I have two builds active and I am determined to get both this one and the Acro build completed. I just need to purchase a Laser head for the Acro and wire it up and it will be running.

      Anyhow after winning the credit in the parts store and the announcement of free worldwide shipping by OB at the end of last year, I wasted no time and decided that I would place an order for the major mechanicals for the WorkBee 1010 Unit.

      For the record and for others here in Australia that are considering purchasing through OpenBuilds, this is now the third or fourth shipment I have received from OB and I always get amazed as to how quick the gear arrives. It came via FedEx, I placed the order on the 31/12/18, the Order actually shipped from the U.S. on the 04/01/19 and I signed for the goods here in Australia on the 09/01/19.
      I think the delay from ordering to shipping was merely due to the fact I had put down a P.O. Box and FedEx cannot ship to P.O. Boxes so they had to contact me to get a street address, so keep that in mind when ordering parts. Not to mention that in between all that was New Year and I would think that the Parts store would have had a holiday/closure in there some where for sure.

      So the shipping actually only took 5 Days, just absolutely fantastic if you ask me. I think this order takes the record for speedy delivery, All my other orders that I have placed have always been pretty fast too, from memory the previous ones were 6 ~ 7 Days shipping, so they have a pretty good track record for getting stuff out and to your door from my point of view.

      Well that is it from me for the moment, now I have the major parts here I now need to do an inventory of all the little bits like screws and washers against the parts list, I have quite a few screws and other hardware left over from previous builds so I will now make up a list of the difference I need and get those bits in to start the build.

      So until then....

      Thankyou once again OpenBuilds, It really is a great place to hang out and learn and I really don't think I would have got into CNC if it was not for your fantastic site and resources here.

      Cheers Glenn.

      Well Can you believe my last update was 8 Months ago, Where has this year gone ??

      Anyhow I have slowly been doing things in the background, Although I am updating this build on the 19/09/19, I will post dates relating to when things were actually carried out in chronological order. So here we Go.....


      Well something that was bothering me was where this machine 1000mm x 1000mm + a bit and my AcroCadabra build that is also 1000mm x 1000mm, are going to actually live. You just need a lot of room for these things.

      So before building this one I really needed to setup a bench that could house both my AcroCadabra Laser unit that is already built but still not operational, see my other builds, and this one. At the time my AcroCadabra Laser was sitting on the mobile work bench in the middle of the workshop which is where I needed to assemble the Workbee, 1000mm deep benches are hard to come by, so you need to do a little planning before building CNC toys that are this big or bigger.

      So I tossed around different solutions for quite a while before I could do any assembly on the Workbee and this has contributed quite a lot to the delay in getting the Workbee up and running, I was not going to order the difference in parts I required until I had solved the bench issue.
      Before you know it winter had arrived and it was too cold to be in the shed.

      My Mogie Mill C-Beam XL is quite happy living on the mobile tool trolley that I set it up on and it fitted very nicely being only 500mm + a bit deep, however I did make a bench top for the trolley but that was nothing compared to the problem I have now. I have the room in the shed, it was just a matter of getting a bench that was greater that 1000mm deep, you also need a bit extra too.I was happy to go with 1200mm deep, this allows you to put things on the bench whilst working around the machine and working on things, you definitely need a little bit of spare bench space as I have found whilst using the C-Beam XL.

      So I settled on some dimensions to house the two units and that was a bench 1200mm deep x 2400mm Wide.... So the search was on, I did not want to actually build a bench, I wanted something that would be easy to tear down in case I ever need to relocate it.

      After quite a bit of research my solution was a product called Rack It 1000KG that is sold by Bunnings Warehouse locally here is Australia. Here is a link to their promotional video. It is not a bad product and is pretty much like a lighter domestic version of pallet racking, but it has some pretty cool options as you will see in the product video, you can add on to the system as it is a storage solution at the end of the day, I have just adapted it to my needs.

      I am sure this system would be available in other parts of the world but probably under a different label or name.

      So I decided to go for a two 600 x 2400 benches one in front of the other giving me an overall bench of 1200 x 2400. This would also mean they would have to be leveled to each other so as I could place an overall sheet of 1200 x 2400 on top of it. So I made the purchase and wacked it all together within probably 30 minutes of getting it in the shed. It goes together so quick and is just as easy to pull apart. It is definitely worth consideration if you are considering a new bench.

      Here is mine assembled, the leveling was where I spent quite a bit of time. I also purchased some adjustable feet from Bunnings Warehouse and fitted them to the vertical frames so the level coulld be adjusted, the Rack It system just has flat legs with holes that can be bolted to the floor.



      These are the adjustable feet that I used on the bench......


      So that solved my bench issue, I will need to purchase some 1200mm x 1200mm x 9mm MDF that will lay on the left and right sides of the bench and then I will lay a 1200mm x 2400mm sheet of something on top of the whole thing, I am thinking melamine so it will be resistive to any oils or spills on top of the bench. Where as MDF with be like a sponge to any fluids.

      That's all I have time for for the moment but I will be updating this build over the next few days as the Mechanical build of the Workbee is now done and I want to write up the log before I forget a few things that I want to mention.

      Cheers Glenn.


      So with the bench all leveled up I was able to relocate my Laser build over onto the bench to make way for the Work Bee.


      I did a full inventory of parts required to get it all ready for assembly and placed an order with a local supplier, I already had all the major components and this was just things like screws, corner brackets, V Wheel kits and spacers. I also ordered some larger Cable Drag Chain and in fact I ordered enough to replace the Drag Chain on my C-Beam XL as the one I currently have fitted is definitely too small and it cannot be opened to add more cables easily or remove anything.

      This is something I am now wiser to from my XL build and probably you just don't know until you have built your first machine that you really need to be able to gain access to the cables easily if you want to take something out, upgrade or add something onto the system or even carry out general maintenance.

      I am planning to possibly replace the Makita Router on the C-Beam XL with a spindle later on.
      I will probably setup this Work Bee with a standard router initially also but I really would like to start looking at a proper spindle configuration this time round and if all goes well the XL will get a spindle installed too.

      I have no complaints about the Makita router at all but talking to a friend of mine who is a machinist and run's HAAS Milling machines, he was indicating that the Makita is a little too fast and it would be better to get a spindle that can run a little slower. However the Makita has done an incredible job to date and I would not hesitate investing in another one tomorrow. There is a local supplier here in Sydney that has a clone Makita unit for under a $100.00 Australian, I might just go with that as a fill in until I get a proper spindle... We will see how the funds are travelling.


      The Supplement of parts that I ordered turned up.
      I carried out a quick check and all items were there.

      Now it was time to get to know the the Bee so I started watching the the build video a few times to get familiar with what I was about to undertake, it all looked very familiar as I had already built the C-Beam XL.
      So there was nothing too shocking and I was ready to go.

      Here is a link to the Work Bee 1010 lead screw build:

      I can't say I will do everything as per the Video though, I am not mounting the motors till the very last step as I feel they are just in the way of some of the screws that you need full access to when mounting the plates. So I will be leaving the motors to be the very last step, plus I don't have my motors yet anyway so that's an even better reason to leave them to last.

      It's quite easy to mount and couple the stepper motors later anyhow, I already know this from my C-Beam XL build.

      Something else I am going to vary in this build is the spoil board mount configuration, I want to try and gain some more Z Axis clearance as I want to add a 4th axis to this machine and I want to go with a 100mm chuck. The plan is to set it up so as the center of the chuck will be sitting at the level of the spoil board, if that makes sense.

      The configuration in the video gives us about a 100mm Z axis travel and that is OK but I was thinking if I drop the 4th Axis mounting base down below the spoil board level and mount it so the chuck center is level or just above the the spoil board then I would be able to machine items greater than 100mm in diameter. Anyhow it is just a thought at the moment and I will trial it and see how it goes, I do not have a 4th Axis yet anyway but I am just doing some pre planning/thinking. I have been looking at 4th Axis kits on the net.

      This is certainly a real positive about the design of this machine, because the C-Beam XL does not seem to really have enough clearance to do a 4th Axis. Whereas with the Work Bee we can play around with the spoil board level a bit.


      OK So i got stuck into the mechanical build this weekend and all went pretty straight forward.
      Here are some pictures of what I achieved, I have commented on putting wheel kits together on previous builds, oh its such a pain and this kit would have to be the worst..... 48 Wheels in total but it has to be done, I did not do them all in one hit this time, I just assembled the wheels for each module as I required them.

      Here is the new Drag Chain, much larger this time, hopefully it will be more than enough to carry all the cabling.


      C-Beam and V-Slot ready for assembly and spanners ready to go


      Here is another small variation I did as I was assembling the X/Y/Z assemblies.
      I decided to put 1mm Precision Shims under all the nuts, especially where the eccentrics were seated because as I was tightening the nuts I noticed sometimes the nut was gouging into the alloy plate and was not sitting flat. I have always been in a habit of putting washers under a nut.

      I am not quite sure why it was not done in the video build but I personally think ALL the nuts should have a washer under them to protect the anodizing on the aluminium plate when tightening up the nuts.
      You can see here where the nut has gouged into the plate, I removed the nut after I noticed it not seated flat onto the plate, my solution was the washer as seen in the foreground and that worked out well.
      So I took all the nuts off and fitted washers under all of them.
      I was lucky enough to have plenty of 1mm precision shims available to do that.


      I also had a small problem whilst assembling the wheel kits where I forgot to insert a 1mm precision shim between the two bearings.... Just not thinking as the time.

      Anyhow if you ever find yourself in that situation and you need to get the bearing back out of the V Wheel simply grab a 60mm M5 screw or longer insert it into the bearing that you want to pull out just enough to be able to put the bolt at angle to grab only that bearing and whilst keeping it at an angle give it a quick tug and she will easily pop out.

      Here is a pic to try and explain the technique.
      Anyhow I got it apart to insert the shim and pressed it back together, it had me for a few minutes as I was not sure how I was going to get the bearing out of the wheel but it was quite easy doing it this way.


      Eventually I got the X/Y/Z assemblies together without too much fuss.


      Here is the final X assembly with the Z assembly mounted to it.
      By the way these photos were taken before I removed all the nuts to fit the washers under them.


      OK so the next bit is to fit the assemblies to the C-Beams and this is tricky actually. I am going to describe my method for attaching the assemblies to the C-Beam.
      My first attempt resulted in not being able to loosen the pre-load, I am not sure why that was the case but the assemblies were just very tight on the beams and it just didn't work so I did the opposite of what was done in the video.

      My suspicion is that there was some slight amount of play in the non eccentric wheels plate holes and once I tightened them up on the plates it was just enough to keep the wheels tight to the rail even when the eccentrics were all the way out.

      So here is how I tackled it.

      I did not tighten the NON eccentric wheels at all and left them just loose but just snug.
      I then mounted the eccentrics and adjusted them all the way in, if this is too tight for you to get the assembly on the rail then maybe adjust them for halfway.

      I then rolled the assemblies onto their rails, this then will push the non eccentric wheel out and the assembly will be either very tight to roll or will not go onto the rail, keep adjusting the eccentrics until you can get the assembly onto the rail and it feels pretty tight.

      Once you have it completely on the rail, tighten the non eccentric nuts and lock those wheels into place. Now you know they are locked into their maximum position and tight. Now you can adjust the eccentrics to their maximum width and the assembly should now be very loose on the rail.
      At this point you can come back later once the end plates are on the C-Beam and adjust the Pre-load to the correct setting.

      Now setting the correct pre-load..... I am going to describe what I think is just the right amount of preload on the wheels, it takes a little bit of time and all I can say is make small adjustments each time and continuously move to each wheel set and make very minute adjustments and check every wheel as you go to be sure they all feel even and are ALL making reasonable contact with the rail.

      Whilst holding the assembly so as not to let it move along the rail try to move each wheel and it should be able to be rotated but with some resistance. Try and make every wheel feel about the same on both the top and bottom of the assembly. Remember very small rotational adjustments to each eccentric as you go, checking the wheels again and again. Take your time and if it seems like you cannot get it just right, loosen ALL the eccentrics all the way out and start the procedure again.

      Now once you feel it all seems pretty even and each wheel is making contact with the rail nicely, move the assembly back and forth to see how it feels making sure there is nil lateral play.
      Now with the end plates attached so the assemblies cannot just roll of the end of the rail hold the assembly in the air and tilt it 45 Degrees to 70 Degrees to the right and 45 degrees to 70 Degrees to the left, the assembly should roll on its own from its own weight BUT it should NOT come smashing down along the rail at a million miles an hour so as to hit your hand at the end of the rail. You should have plenty of time to tilt the rail in the opposite direction to make it go the other way.

      Once it is rolling like this I feel that it has the correct Pre-load for normal operation and you can then tighten up your eccentrics to lock them into place. After locking them down carry out the tilt test again and also do an individual roll check on each and every wheel again with your finger. It takes some time, so do not rush it and I found that after doing the first one you start to get the knack of it on the others.

      Here is my Z Axis mounted and pre-load has been set.


      Here is the X Axis all set to go also.



      So everything else went together pretty well and I assembled the rest of the machine as per the video right up to the spoil board configuration, I looked at it several times and thought to myself.... I am going to change his up to give me more Z clearance for several reasons.

      1) I want to play with a 100mm 4th Axis

      2)I would like to be able to put things in the machine that may be perhaps much thicker and than I can in the C-Beam machine, not necessarily cut all the way into these thicker items but perhaps juist be able to get them in there for engraving or pocketing.

      I may even consider a larger Z travel down the track but to be able to utilize the extra Z clearance but the trade off will be rigidity in the Z Axis at longer travels, it might be something down the track I will experiment a little with.

      So with this light bulb moment I changed up the spoil board config a little.
      In this config I can still fit the L brackets along the beams to mount down the spoil board to.
      If you want to remove any spoil board flexing between the the beams I would suggest mounting some aluminium angle to the bottom of your board with closely spaced screws perpendicular to the rails. In fact you could possibly even remove the middle beam and still maintain very good spoil board rigidity depending on the size if the Angle used and have it running all the way from the left side of the machine to the right side of the machine using the or four pieces of angle along the board from front to back.

      I mounted aluminium angle to the outer edges of my C-Beam XL and it really made a difference in strength and flatness of the board, so keep that in mind.

      See here what I have done with the base beams to get a larger Z Axis clearance, this is mainly working towards being able to house a 4th Axis along the Y Axis plane.


      This actually leaves me with two unused 20 x 40 V-Rails but I am thinking I might mount them across the ends of the vertical base beams with some left over corner brackets to help keep the base in square and giving the vertical mounted V-Rail some bracing at the bottom. I only used L brackets to mount the vertical 20 x 80 V-Rail to the machine, they would be much better with corner brackets but I just did not have enough of the them, it it works out well I will order some more corner brackets and that will strengthen it even better.


      So now time for the Lead Screws.

      It seems as though not all Lead screws are equal, I had some issues in this area, not massive but enough to question the specs on the screws.

      Firstly some history........

      Originally when building my C-Beam XL, I ordered my lead screws from www.makerstore.com.au a local Australian stockist of Open Builds parts, at first I thought they were related to openbuilds but they are not at all linked but stock the same kits and parts. This was very confusing to me at first.

      Anyhow the Lead screws for the C-Beam XL I ordered were too short and did not have the extra 40mm to connect the motors to, So I ended up ordering my C-Beam XL Lead screws again from Openbuilds as I knew they would be the correct length.

      This meant I have had some extra lead screws laying around here since and I ended up cutting one down for use on the WorkBee build here for the Z Axis. For the X and Y Axis I did order from Openbuilds. I do still have some left over Lead screws for the C-Beam XL Mistake.

      Now , I refuse to use the lock collars that Openbuilds and Makerstore stock, They just seem to come loose again too easily. They might work really well on round bar or something similar but I reckon they just don't cut it for use on lead screws.

      So I use these and yes they can be considerably more expensive but let me tell you when you lock them in they ain't letting go and will not move. Also you do not in any way have to damage the lead screw by filing a flat for the grub screw like the other ones. Essentially these are a rod clamp.

      Here are the ones I use from RS-Components, they are the cheapest I have found.

      RS-Components part Number: 691-8045

      Here is a link to the RS Components product page, you can take a look at the full specs :

      046101008 | Huco Collar One Piece Clamp Screw, Bore 8mm, OD 18mm, W 9mm, Steel | RS Components

      Now I did not expect any problems here as I had used these on the openbuilds lead screw before however when it came time to lock in the lead screws these lock collars would not tighten up on the lead screw, the lead screw was just slightly too small. More on these lock collars in a moment.

      Exactly how small ??

      Well I went and checked all my lead screws and I know where each of them all came from, here is what I found.

      The Makerstore Tr8*8-2p (4 starts) Lead Screw measures 8.01mm (2016)
      Openbuilds Tr8*8-2p (4 starts) Lead Screw originally purchased and used on my C-Beam XL measures 8.00mm (2016)
      Openbuilds Tr8*8-2p (4 starts) Lead Screw purchased and used for my WorkBee (This Build) measures 7.80mm (2019)

      Now clearly something has changed with the lead screws specs at openbuilds because I had no problems fitting my C-Beam XL screws to the nut blocks when I build that machine in 2016. However the nut blocks I purchased this time would almost not allow me to thread my old lead screws into them, it was extremely tight, so tight in fact I could not feed by hand. I had to use a cordless drill to get the screw threaded.

      This was only a problem on my Z Axis as I was using some old Lead screw for that Axis only.
      The X and Y Axis screws that came with my parts order including the nuts blocks threaded beautifully into the nut blocks.

      I overcome the problem on the Z axis with some dry lube and brute force using the cordless drill feeding the screw back and forth until it became free enough to feed by hand. It certainly warmed up though as I did this and strips of black plastic were coming out of the block as it opened up the thread in the nut block.

      So this was the first issue with the Openbuilds lead screw being out of spec.

      The next was locking down the lock collars and because they are designed for an 8mm rod and the latest openbuilds screws are only 7.80mm this was an issue. I did not have any lock collar issue with the Z Axis because the lead screw was 8.01mm.

      What I had to do was use a dremel with a metal grinding wheel and open the gap on the lock collar, I also then used a hack saw and cut the slot in the collar a little deeper also just to make it a little easier for the collar to clamp. This then worked fine but did add a bit more build time due to the mucking around.

      Now I am not sure what the tolerance is for the diameter of a lead screw but to be 0.2mm out seems way to much to me, please openbuilds make sure your stock meets correct specifications before reselling and distributing it.

      Here is the Unmodified lock collar


      Here is what I did so as to be able to clamp it down onto the out of spec openbuilds lead screw.


      After this little hurdle I was able to lock down the lead screws make the required adjustments to the anti backlash nut blocks and they feel really nice to drive by hand now, there is no end play in the lead screw at all, just as required.

      Here is an the Z axis with the lock collar in place, this one did not require modification as it was the older lead screw that was in spec.



      I decided to fit the 20 x 40 V Rails to bottom of the 20 x 80's to give it a more lateral bracing, this also gave me a another 20mm Z Clearance but the idea is more for lateral bracing.

      Anyhow I think I should have heaps of clearance now for a 4th axis to be fitted later.
      For the moment I will just fit a standard spoil board whilst testing and calibrating the machine.

      I used my left over corner brackets to fit the 20 x 40 rails.

      20190922_233449.jpg 20190922_233503.jpg

      I have now placed orders for my Stepper Motors, Stepper Drivers and power supply.

      I will cover all the wiring and setup in this build, I think I skipped a lot of it in my C-Beam XL as I was just trying to get my head around it all and just didn't log all my steps.

      This is what I will be setting up.

      Mach3 using a second profile initially as I am already using Mach3 on my C-Beam XL
      The system will be 48V as is my C-Beam XL.
      The Stepper Drivers will be DM542 drivers, I used these on my C-Beam and never had any issues.
      Single 48V 20A Power Supply (1000Watt)
      Z axis will use Nema 23 345 Oz Inch Motor
      X/Y Axis will use Nema 23 425 Oz Inch Motor

      So this is going to be a bit of a beast once it is up and running.

      I will be keeping my wiring standards the same as my C-beam XL so I can interchange motors and cables.

      I placed my orders for the Power supply, Drivers and motors on EBay on the 18/09/19 as the prices were unbeatable and free delivery. So I am taking a bit of a risk here but the saving in freight were too good to pass up.

      Anyhow I am expecting these to turn up around the 25/09/19 and then I can get stuck into the electrical's. In the mean time I have purchased some aluminium 40mm x 25mm angle yesterday to mount the drag cable chain to the machine ready to fit up the wiring.

      This time round I think I will get a larger metal project box to to house all cable connections.
      This time I should be able to use my C-Beam XL to mill all the holes for the connectors on the metal cable distribution box with out doing any filing, Ooh what a dream !!

      More updates later in the week hopefully.


      Well the Stepper motors turnred up today, they look good. They are beefy little motors thats for sure.


      I carried out the "short the winding pairs" test without power and they all test fine... i.e. they are much harder to turn. With both windings shorted I could not turn them at all.

      They were well packed and speedy delivery.
      One problem I need to deal with is that these motors have a 10mm diameter drive shaft, so I will need to drill my flexible couplings out as they are too small to accept the shaft.

      I will order the correct size eventually though, this will be a temporary solution so I can get this beast up and running.

      The motor shafts are also slightly longer so I need about another 6mm or so additional spacing to the mount plate. Thats not a problem as I have additional spacers but unfortunately I am going to have to purchase at least some 65 to 70 mm bolts, the longest I have are only 60mm as per the bill of materials, so I will just grab some cap head bolts from a local fastener store tomorrow on my travels.

      I looked around closely at how I will mount the aluminium angle for the drag cable chain guides. I decided to use some of the single L brackets to mount the angle, I also used some spacers to get the required clearances needed and to allow both ends of the drag cable to perfectly align in the vertical plane.

      I think the pictures will describe it better.
      I also kept the rear 20 x 40 rail slot open to allow for any cable runs required. Again pictures will explain it a little better.

      Here you can see the L brackets mounted ready for the alumnium angle.





      Here is the aluminium angle mounted, I trimmed it to length on the bandsaw, I also filed its edges and rounded the corners as they were pretty sharp.

      Keep that in mind, even the ends of V-slot rails can be pretty sharp, so always give any exposed ends a little file for safety reasons or you will find yourself catching them without thinking one day and you will be bleeding everywhere.




      I also purchased a metal project box as a central cable distribution point that will be mounted onto the machine.


      This way all cabling including motor driver cabling, end stop cabling, lighting or any voltage rails including mains will come back to this box.
      I am going to try and make everything detachable for easy maintenance and parts or cabing repacement. This always makes fault finding easier.

      On my C-Beam machine a lot if it is hardwired on the machine side and I want to improve on it this time. I am still thinking over the detail at this statge but once I am up to the wiring stage which is not too long now I will post all the solutions I come up with.

      Once this machine is up and running I might go back to my C-Beam to improve the wiring on that machine too.


      Both the four stepper drivers and 1000 watt power supply turned up so that was pretty quick.





      I also picked up some 70mm and 80mm cap head M5 bolts from a local supplier to allow for the larger stepper motor spacing.

      These bolts are quite nice and the have a 4mm hex drive in ghe head instead of 3mm so they feel a bit more solid when tightening them up compared to using a 3mm drive, the only thing is they are not low profile but it is not any issue in this case.

      I drilled out my flexible couplings on the 6mm side to 10mm and fitted the new steppers, all went well but I think I will order the correct size down the track.



      As I said early in the build I dont think there is any real reason to install the motors until the end of the mechanical build, they just get in the way, they also make the motion assembies heavier and more difficult to handle.

      Even at this stage I have left off one of the spacers and bolt as it is in the way of the cable chain mounts that I am setting up.

      I have now cut down and prepared some small pieces of aluminium angle that the drag cable will mount to on the motion assemblies.

      Again I filed down all the sharp corners for safety reasons. I will mount these in the next day or so and I should the be ready for the electricals.
      From memory I used trailer cable wire, I will have a dig around but I think I will need to purchase some.

      Here are the angle plates ready to fit.



      Today I fitted up the small angle plates and then fitted the drag cable chain to the upper and lower aluminium angle plates, I also measured out the drag cable chain moving the assemblies to their furthest travel. I had to add a few segments to both the X and the Y chains to get the correct length.

      I have allowed 50mm spacing from the end of the drag cable chain at the bottom mounts for easier cable routing.

      Here is how they came out.



      I also purchased a metal project box which will be used for cable interconnect point.
      I was very lucky as it had flange mounting points that lined up with the V-slot spacing, well very close anyway, I had to elongate the mount holes arount a half a millimetre but nothing to difficult.
      The box was purchased from Altronics in Sydney, I have taken a snap of the size as it is stamped on the inside of the box.


      Here it is mounted to the machine.


      You might notice I also rotated the 20 x 40 V-slot base rails 90 degrees because the box was slightly protruding over the spoil board area which would interfere with jobs that are longer than the machine. This also gives me another 20mm Z clearance so it was a win/win situation.

      This puppy is officially ready for the electrical part of the build now. As mentioned at the start I am going to try and document the electrical side a little better this time round, even for my own benefit as it will also give me reference as to how it is wired up later down the track in years to come.

      Cheers Glenn.


      This time round I have decided to use an in line microphone plug instead of the molex connectors I used on the C-Beam XL. I was browsing around at Altronics here in Australia when I came accross these in line male microphone plugs, I have not seen the male in line connectors before, have only ever seen chassis mount version of these.


      I immediately grabbed a bundle to use as my standard connector at the stepper motor end.
      Seeing as I use them on the chassis this made perfect sense and they are not much more expensive than molex connectors and much better quality.

      If you want to order some you can get them from Altronics Build It Yourself Electronics Centre

      I have just had a look at their online catalog but cannot find them, so they must be a new product, I will dig up the part number and update here once I identify them.

      Here is a pic of my wiring on the in line male connector, this also for my own reference.
      The connector key is in line with the case locking screw seen in the pic.


      Stepper pairs are:


      I am not using shielded cable for the main stepper motor drive cables, here is why.
      It is not a bad thing to use shielded cable in fact if you have it in the right gauge to deliver the current by all means use it. Stepper motors can and will generare RF and possibly induce currents into other nearby cables, so using shieled cable on the motor side is only to inhibit the generation of interference by the motors when they are running.

      I use RF chokes to assist in noise suppression at both ends of the motor cable. i.e. one at the motor and one at the driver. I did this on my C-Beam XL build and have never had an issue.

      It is very important however to use shielded cable for the low votage side of the motor drivers and on limit switches as they are usually only 5V and induced voltages from interference could very easily cause false triggers or make the stepper drivers think they have recieved a step pulse and make the motor move or stop when it shouldn't.

      So I will be using regular trailer wire for the 48V on the stepper motor side, the same wire used to wire the lamps on car trailers, its a nice gauge to carry the required current and reasonably cheap compared to heavy gauge shielded cable, not to mention its much easier to find at any auto accessories shop.

      It also seats nicely into V-Slot extrusion for routing, and by the way when run in the the V-Slot it is semi shielded.

      Here are my motors all terminated with the in line plugs and fitted with snap together RF Chokes, you should be able to find these chokes at any electronics outlet. These ones are from Jaycar Electronics | Components, connectors, switches, power, and more






      I have covered the cables with heatshrink for some added protection. One beautiful thing about heatshrink is whilst its still warm you can sort of form it into shape, on the Z axis (yellow) you can see I made a bit of a curley cord shape to allow for the full travel of the axis making sure it will not get caught in the mechanics.

      I managed to connect up the X axis motor and was able to jog the Axis for the first time using Mach3. I did not play too much, it was really just to verify I had my motor pairs the right way round. I have not got any soft or hard limits set as yet and from my C-Beam XL experience, I did not want to crash the Axis.

      I will test the other two Axis in the next day or so, this was plenty of progress for one day.
      One thing I can at least say is the Bee is "ALIVE".

      Back soon with more progress.

      Cheers Glenn.


      Just a quick report to say I rolled my C-Beam XL setup that is on a mobile tool cabinet over close enough to connect all Axis to my drivers to do a live X/Y/Z motion jogging test and all worked perfectly.

      Everything is running smoothly and the motors were purring. My C-Beam XL has smaller motors on it so the current limit settings on the those drivers are set lower than the required current that the workbee motors are capable of on the X and Y axis. The Z axis on the workbee is the same current rating as my C-Beam XL motors so it was perfectly safe to hook them all up to the drivers without risking burning the motors out.

      So I am now officially moving on to the electrical build at this point. I have been thinking it over and I am going to wire it similar to the way I did the C-Beam XL.

      So this is the plan:

      All limit switches will have connectors at the limit switch end of the cable, fully shielded cable will be used.

      All Motors will have connectors at the motor end of the cable as you can already see. I am using non shielded 5 core trailer cable.

      I will also do the 240V supplying the router the same way with an earthed socket at the router end.
      I plan to switch the power on and off the router on this build via Mach3's spindle control.

      I am hoping to put a proper spindle on this machine eventually but a router will be used initially.
      When i fit a VFD I will also cable it in the same manner.

      Those cables will run back to the cable distribution box I have already mounted onto the machine and will be hard wired to receptical chassis mount connectors so the machine as a whole can be disconnected from all input cabling that will be coming from a large control box that will house all the power supplies, motor drivers, emergency stop etc. it will be essential that box is adequately cooled also.

      The whole machine will be earthed to comply with safety standards. All live wiring will be terminated to female connectors not male so as to any one holding a cable cannot get zapped by putting fingers in connectors with exposed pins, you would be surprised how many people don't think about this. The rule is simple, the live side should always be a female pin connector that will never be able to be touched with your finger.

      I will be using hall effect sensors again as they have proved themselves well on my C-Beam XL.
      I still have not designed a proper housing for them yet because I was to redesign the circuit board to have a green and red leds for GO/NO GO indication.
      These will also show that the machine is powered up.

      Cheers Glenn.


      Have been getting stuck into the electricals over the last few nights, just doing a little bit each evening.

      I have fed all required cabling through the drag chains.... thats quite a tedious job, However the drag chain I am using this time can be opened to allow easier access to the cables after installation, this made it much easier to feed cables through, so I highly recommend using that type of chain.

      Here it is with all the runs in place.


      The first connections to be soldered up were the stepper motor plugs.

      Here is a close up of my wiring for my own refetence. I could not keep the same colour coding as the stepper sockets unfortunately but that doesn't really matter, the important thing is the winding pairs and making sure all connectors from this point are wired pin for pin and I do not make any crossovers.


      Here is what they look like all connected up.
      Pretty neat and look a bit more robust and professional compared to the square plastic molex connectors I used on my C-Beam XL.



      I was going to put connectors on the other end of the motor cables and limit switch cables at the cable distribution box entry but I decided against it because of expense and there will be no real reaon to disconnect these cable at the distribution box anyhow because it really is all part of the machine. I will use connectors from the cable distribution box to the motor drivers that will be housed in the main controller box.

      I am planning to use a 19" rack mount project box for the main controller box. Will have a bit more of think about it once the cable distribution box is completed.

      I have now started mounting cable glands on the distribution box yo allow cable entry from the machine side.


      I purchased a step drill to cut those holes.
      Have never owned one before but found it was well worth the money, the hole are 12mm for the size glands I am using.

      More updates soon.

      Cheers Glenn.

      Attached Files:

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  • Build Details

    Build License:
    • CC - Attribution - CC BY

    Reason for this Build

    I have been wanting a slightly larger table after building the C-Beam XL, I guess the cutting area will never be big enough but this will allow me to make bigger items and I will have the ability to cut items longer than the table area due to its design.

    Inspired by

    The Open Builds team, for their support and recognition to the open source community.
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