Installation Of The Sliding Rail Micro-Adjust Kit For Older Models Of The Robland X31

[This information is not affiliated with Robland or Laguna Tools.  The information presented here is in no way guaranteed to be accurate or current.  Feel free to call Laguna Technical Support for another opinion.  The following procedure worked for me.]

The included instructions for the above kit are not entirely helpful, hopefully this file will help you through the installation. Please refer to the following photo:

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Parts and Design

The micro-adjust kit sold for the X31 consists of a pair of black brackets and "floating" blocks.  The brackets are attached to the X31 side panels and the blocks adjust the sliding rail system in all directions.

Your first challenge will be to simply visualize the concept of how this system was intended to work.  It is not a common U.S. design, but I have seen it on a few other European machines (my Italian bandsaw for instance).  The system relies on a set screw and two nuts, with one nut on either side of a bracket.

Use of Robland X-31 Micro Adjusters

Installation of the micro adjusters (i.e., what goes where) is pretty straightforward but how to use them is not. In light of the paucity of the included directions, this file describes one opinion on how to set up and use the adjustment features. Before continuing, the reader will get much more out of this document if you have the micro-adjust kit in front of you or study the above photo. Reading this document without that benefit is confusing at best.

Laguna Recommendation

Before beginning, I do not know if Laguna Tools Tech Support would recommend my method when asked how to use the adjustment feature. It should be noted that in at least one conversation, Laguna Tools personnel said the proper use was to Loctite the four allen bolts into the solid block and then use the nuts to adjust the block up or down. I do not subscribe to this theory, it does not make sense (to me) that this method was the true design intent. My opinion on the design is listed below. I cannot comment on the validity or soundness of one method over the other, as I've only done what is described below and it worked for me. You obviously are responsible to pick whatever method makes sense to you.

My Recommendation

In my opinion and in my use, the way the adjustment feature works is that the four allen bolts that have the nuts on either side of the bracket are supposed to pull the solid block one way or another when turned - they are not supposed to move (substantially) themselves in relation to the bracket housing. This is achieved by the proper nut not allowing the allen bolt to move "through" the bracket housing - the nut will however allow the allen bolt to turn, thus screwing into or out of the solid block, meaning the solid block will move since the allen bolt is more or less "stationary".

Think of it this way - once a nut is tightened against the bracket housing, the nut and the allen bolt become an "assembly", in that the nut is a "stopper" that turns with the allen bolt and won't allow the allen bolt to move through the bracket - but the whole "assembly" turns and thus makes the solid block move. Or, an analogy - think of tightening a bolt on the top side of some stationary bracket that has something beneath it. The bolt head sits on the bracket (via gravity) and rotates, and whatever is below it moves "up" to meet the bracket. The same principle applies with the micro-adjust kit.

Start by screwing all eight allen bolts into the solid block a decent amount, maybe 1/3" or so. You only need to set up the assembly (meaning with all eight allen bolts in 1/3" and making original, gross adjustments via the rail holding brackets and their two bolts) within about 1/4" to 1/3" or so of the "final" destination - the allen bolts can adjust it the rest of the way. To move the solid block up, make sure the top nut is tight against the bracket housing, the bottom nut is "loose", and screw the allen bolt "out". This will cause the allen bolt and top nut to turn together - not moving the allen bolt through the bracket housing, but causing the block to move up as the allen bolt "screws out of" the solid block. The reverse, using the bottom nut, will cause the block to move down. Remember, when you're "using" the top nut, make sure the bottom nut is loose, and vice versa. With the two allen bolts on each side of the solid block, you can adjust the angle as well as the up and down.

Once you have it all adjusted, snug the two nuts down on each allen bolt to prevent further movement. The large bolt that goes through the holes you drill in the sheet metal, along with the chamfer-headed screws that go into the housing and sit flush against the bracket face would appear to "lock" the solid block in place once you've made the adjustments with the allen bolts.

Things to Look For

  • Keep an eye on how much you have to move allen bolts that are next to each other - if you have to move one a lot and the other a little, they get out of parallel and both will "lock" - you won't be able to adjust them any further due to binding. This means your initial setup is off by too much. Start over by making the allen bolts as equal as possible, then make an adjustment to the rail assembly holder bolts to get the whole setup closer to the final destination, then re-adjust the allen bolts.
  • The chamfer headed bolts are much longer than they need to be - so much so that a standard socket won't reach the nut when you go to tighten them down. If you have deep-hole sockets, great, otherwise I hope your "feel" is good, because you won't be able to see what you're doing on the left hand side assembly.
  • It's difficult to reach through the opening in the sheet metal and get to the interior nuts on the left side - you'll need a few ratchet extensions hooked together so that the ratchet wrench sticks out the opening. I found socking everything down moved everything by .001" or so, so you may need to compensate accordingly if you care about this.

Have patience, email me or call Laguna if you get stuck.




© 2003 by Ellis Walentine by special arrangement with Wayne Miller of Badger Pond. All rights reserved.
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