CNC 3018 Tool Clamp Rehabilitation

The CNC 3018 Z-axis stage has a plastic clamp holding the spindle motor, so I just duplicated the motor diameter in the mounts for my diamond drag bit, cheap pen, and fancy pen holders. For obvious reasons, I tend to err on the small side for anything intended to fit into anything else, which led to each of the holders sporting a small strip of tape to soak up the difference.

While poking around the 3018, I once again noticed the clamp’s crappy fit around the holder:

CNC3018 tool clamp - top
CNC3018 tool clamp – top

The inside should be circular, but it’s definitely not:

CNC3018 tool clamp - top detail
CNC3018 tool clamp – top detail

The end of the 30 mm M3 SHCS bottoms out before the clamp closes, although I’ve managed to crank the screw tight enough to put enough of a dent in there to snug the clamp:

CNC3018 tool clamp - side
CNC3018 tool clamp – side

Some awkward scraping and filing eroded enough of the plastic to let a 25 mm SHCS close the clamp firmly around the holder:

CNC3018 tool clamp - revised
CNC3018 tool clamp – revised

The tool holders now slide in easily with the screw released and fit firmly with the screw tightened a reasonable amount, minus the tape snippets shimming the difference.

If I had the courage of my convictions, I’d take it all apart, bore the clamp out to a circular profile, realign the clamp screw passage to suit, then rebuild all those tool holders for the new diameter; it now works well enough to tamp that project down.

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