Black Diamond gantry upgrade

Questions/answers/discussion about initial setup of your CNC Shark

Moderators: al wolford, sbk

kenypete
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:22 pm

Black Diamond gantry upgrade

Post by kenypete »

I have been struggling with inconsistent carving depth along the X axis since day one with my Black Diamond. Then I came across some informative posts and was able to determine that my gantry sagged when the router was at the midpoint of the X axis travel. When I placed a straight edge across the bottom aft edge of the gantry there was a gap that went away when I clamped the straight edge tight to the gantry and X axis cuts were then a consistent depth.
image.jpg
After a few phone calls and E-mails to NWA I was able to purchase the aluminum gantry plate that is now standard on the newest shark HD models. The new plate is 3/8" thick. I was able to reuse all the same bolts, the four mount bolts were about 1/8" too long so instead of cutting them off I put washers under the heads. When removing the old plastic back I laid a bar clamp across the top of the two gantry ends in case they tried to separate without the back attached. Took about a half hour to install and has made the router noticeably more rigid.
image.jpg
The plate cost $99.00 plus shipping and arrived in 3 days.

Thanks to 4DThinker and EdThorne for the encouraging words and advise. And for all who have posted on this subject.

Ken

4DThinker
Posts: 951
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:00 am

Re: Black Diamond gantry upgrade

Post by 4DThinker »

That is a pretty site. Let us know to what degree it solves the problems you were having. I might get one for the HD2.0 we have at work.

EdThorne
Posts: 345
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:26 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Black Diamond gantry upgrade

Post by EdThorne »

Great improvement and well worth the price. :)

4DThinker
Posts: 951
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:00 am

Re: Black Diamond gantry upgrade

Post by 4DThinker »

Any update on whether this reduced your Z cut variances Kenypete?

I emailed them to find out if that plate would work on the HD 2.0 models and their answer was "Yes.". No order link I could find though.

4D

kenypete
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:22 pm

Re: Black Diamond gantry upgrade

Post by kenypete »

I am very pleased with the results.

Before the upgrade an end mill cut across the front edge of my sacrificial top yielded a cut that was .017 inch high in the middle such that a straight edge would rock from end to end when laid on the fresh cut. If held down tight on one end the opposite end had a gap of approx. .030 inch.

After installing the new plate the same cut produced a flat surface the entire length of the 24 inch X axis travel.

I have been using my shark almost every day since and have not seen any variations in the depth of cut across the X axis.

I worked with Sara in customer service. She was polite and professional. She can be reached at (419) 491-4520.

Ken

drueth
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:09 am

Re: Black Diamond gantry upgrade

Post by drueth »

Kenypete, Next Wave Automation

I am having a VERY hard time understanding way it has taken NWA so long to address this issue. To me this is a twenty dollar fix on a four thousand dollar tool and it makes a big difference on how it will cut. It has been know since the original HD came out in 2011. With that said I still love my little shark and it can do some real nice work. At the present I have been cutting veneer with my shark and that requires the Z must not vary more than about .005 across the length of the X travel. Yes it can but not right out of the box. And not with out being set up properly. Here is a link I did with the help of another member that is no longer active on this site addressing this issue in 2013. If you do a search you will find other links with how they fixed there shark.

http://www.cncsharktalk.com/viewtopic.p ... 570#p12570


Good luck with your shark Kenypete
drueth
Shark Pro Plus HD
new to CNC 12/2012

kenypete
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:22 pm

Re: Black Diamond gantry upgrade

Post by kenypete »

Drueth

That link is a very comprehensive process that I had been following to level my table when I saw your comment about adding support to the gantry. I then found where others mentioned success with gantry upgrades and as the saying goes: the rest is history.

The experience and knowledge you and others share have made this forum my " go to" source for Help and is one of the bright spots in my CNC learning journey. Without this help I suspect I would still be scratching my head.

My thanks to all.

Ken

4DThinker
Posts: 951
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:00 am

Re: Black Diamond gantry upgrade

Post by 4DThinker »

I went ahead and ordered the aluminum back plate and finished installing it this morning. VERY significant stiffness improvement even though we had previously bolted a 2"x2" steel angle iron strip across the back of the top to keep the plastic gantry flat. This is on an HD 2.0 used in a college furniture design shop.

I'll highly recommend this ($117 with shipping) upgrade to anyone with a Shark that has the guide rails screwed to the plastic gantry back plate. That should include HD 2.0, Makos, and Black Diamond Sharks.

For the bolts that bolt the plate to the uprights, I simply used a 1/4" drill bit and drilled the hole about 1/8" deeper in the plastic uprights to account for the thinner back plate and the original bolts. Make sure the nuts aren't in the plastic holes when you do this.

4D

Jim N
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:45 pm

Re: Black Diamond gantry upgrade

Post by Jim N »

I just ordered my aluminum plate. I guess this replaces the HDPE original but:
thoughts on using both for extra beef??
Jim

EdThorne
Posts: 345
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:26 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Black Diamond gantry upgrade

Post by EdThorne »

IMO, there is no reason for both. The aluminum will work great.

Post Reply