Hey All,

This is my first time posting as I am now a finally a ShopBot owner. I just bought what I think is a PRT(not sure if alpha) 5x12 with a 5hp Colombo and a 15hp FPZ. I'll attach some pics below.

The machine was left sitting in a shop for a while, it's not thrashed, but it does need cleaning up. All the rails are somewhat rusty, the dust-shoe needs replacing, and maybe some v-bearings need to be replaced, and the rack gear definitely needs cleaning, and the pinions definitely need to be replaced.

I've yet to re-assemble the legs back onto the long beams, we had to take it apart to transport.

So.. As I have yet to really put it all back together, I was wondering what you all had to say and recommend in terms of upgrades and accessories that I should look into as I am cleaning this monster up.

I saw some people had a spring-like arc that held the control cables and spindle power up and away from the moving gantry.. do you have a link for how/where to get that?

This is an older machine with an ATX computer case as the control board housing. Do you have recommendations for where to get the cool electronics cabinet with the on/off switch on the face?

I saw somewhere that people were talking about strengthening the gantry as it might sway in the middle, was there a consensus on if it should be taken care of and how?

As for a vacuum, it came with this 15hp FPZ, but it's at the very limit of what my shop can handle (I don't have 3-phase). Do you think something smaller would be sufficient? How many of you rely on the vacuum to hold things down? Is is a matter of holding DOWN and/or preventing lateral movement? I have a home-built machine and I used a lot of fixtures or I'd screw down to my spoil board.

The previous owner had crappy CDX as the base layer under the HDPE layer that he had cut a vacuum pattern into. That seems dumb, what material would you start with under there? My thoughts were baltic birch ply, but maybe there's something better?

I saw in a youtube video a guy had some cool pneumatic pins that would come up out of the table for registration. Does anyone have links or ideas on what those parts are called? I'm fairly resourceful, but sometimes it's easier to get the exact name of what I'm hunting for ;-)

Lastly, but maybe first on my list, where can I get replacement pinion gears? Just call ShopBot, or is Mcmaster-Carr ok?

Well, that's it for now.. I thank you all in advance for any help you can provide. I'm REALLY excited about this machine. I've been wanting one for 10 years now, and while I have already built my own based on the BuildYourCNC guys' videos.... It's nice to finally have something that looks professional.

Thanks again and looking forward to hearing your thoughts!!

~JAMES


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