Problems getting 90 Degree Cuts

I want to cut a perfect 90 degree template for use on other shop machines but the template ends up being less than or greater than 90 depending on which side is measured. It’s out by 1/16" over 12" length.

I double checked that the machine is square from corner to corner but it’s pretty difficult to measure. Far as I can tell I’m within 1/64" from corner to corner.

Any one else had this issue? Any tips on how to get the machine lined up properly?


Dwayne even if the “Y” rails are perfectly parallel that doesn’t mean your “X” rail is square to your “Y” rails. That’s the problem. With the machine off, you need to turn one “Y” axis lead screw to make the “X” rail square to the “Y” rails. This is something that needs top be done upon initial machine setup and then checked periodically as part of your routine maintenance schedule.

I’m just thinking out loud here, and open to being told that I’m wrong. However, I’ve cut 90° corners in designs that are not square to either of the rails. Meaning, I’ve drawn rectangles that have the points pointing north-south, east-west. The corners are still 90°. So, in my limited experience, I don’t see how the rails being off 90° to each other is the issue. That said, maybe it works for me since my rails are exactly 90° to each other. I’ve never measured them.
What am I missing?

If you’re measuring from corner to corner on the Y rails, that should indicate that the two rails are parallel and square but the X rail could be out of square with the Y rails. The attached picture is exaggerated but may show what the issue is.

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Yup, that did it. I was thinking about doing that yesterday but wasn’t sure that was the correct way to adjust it.
Thanks for the help!

Further to this thread…I was wondering how others deal with keeping the x axis square to the y axis. I accidentally ran the machine to its limits and this throws it out of alignment so I had to square it up again.

I’ve heard you can put some sort of limit switches but someone mentioned that they can pickup interference and not function properly and I’m not sure they would actually keep the machine square (maybe they just stop it from running too far and it could still get out of square?). The other option I can think of is adding some hard limits but how could these be setup accurately?

Any advice would be appreciated.


Hi Dwayne
In have the same problem with my machine. I’m in the process of offsetting the right hand Y-axis so that when you move the X-axis all the way forward it will butt up against the front support brackets simultaneously. That allows me a quick and easy method to square the machine before each job is run.
I figure it should be easy. Run the X-axis all the forward until both gantry plates hit the front bracket. Next, remove the particle board screws from one Y-axis rail. It may be helpful to fill the screw holes with tooth picks or wooden matches to prevent the exsisting holes from pulling the screws away from the desired position. Square the X-axis rail with the fixed Y-axis rail. Now put one screw in the front support, the vertical one. Confirm the rail didn’t move while driving the screw home. Correct as required. Run the X-axis back to each Y-axis support and install the vertical screw. Once that is complete and your satisfied the the Y-axis rails are parallel, install the remaining screws.
Now, before each job, it’s simply a matter of running the x-axis all the way forward until both gantry plates contact the front Y-axis supports and you know it’s square.

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