Adding the Dragon Cables
It didn't take much running of the machine with the cables hung from the ceiling by rubber bands to realize that something had to be done. Especially after you broke a rubber band or two. Fortunately that never happened while it was running, but I did go to my shop a couple of times to find the wires laying about on top of the machine.
Cutting the dragon cable parts were pretty simple and Michael explains hot to set up and cut in his book, so I will not bore you with that. I started with the X-Axis dragon cable and put it together. Now these are to be cut from hard board and the stuff I had was slick on one side and rough on the other. I think it is meant to glue down to a work bench or work table top. I had to sand the rough side a bit to get the parts to slide into the cut out slots. I put the cable together and, well...., I think something isn't quite right. If you click on the picture you will see that the dragon cable looks a bit like a rocker bottom. Not exactly what I was expecting, but fixable none the less. I had a couple of options. I could sand the parts or modify the G-Code. Since I only plan on making two of these and one was already cut out, I figured sanding the parts would be simpler. I sanded the edges of the inside link until it would allow the link to lay flat with the outer link. Additionally, I nipped the inside corners of the cross pieces that slid in the slots to allow them to sit fully flush with the outside pieces. Also, I took the time to tap the screw holes to make installing the screws a bit easier.
This next image shows the dragon cables after they have been assembled. Notice they lay nice and flat now! The shorter one in the front is for the X-Axis and the longer one in the back is for the Y-Axis.
The next five images show the X-Axis dragon cable as it is getting installed. I forgot to relieve the holes on my angle bracket to 3/8" before I painted it. I put it in the vice to drill it and the paint didn't hold up well. I should have protected it better. I will have to touch the part up. The raw metal is a bit glaring.
With the X-Axis dragon cable installed next came the Y-Axis. These images show the mounting hardware and the Y-Axis dragon cable installed. One thing that I must point out is that the 3" bolt that attached the chain to the carriage was too long. I think I substituted a 2-1/2" bolt here.
Dragon Cables Installed
Finally both Dragon Cables are installed on the machine and the motor wires are run through them. This is MUCH nicer than the wires hanging from the ceiling. I should have done this sooner. As I use the machine, I see things that I should have done sooner but didn't, or things I have done that I should have done differently. For example, I should have made a side cover for the machine table before running all these cable because now I will need to disconnect them and re-run them after the side panel is made and installed. Another idea I had was to use a rack mount monitor for the machine. This ended up being a bad idea as it really interferes with the operation of the machine. So my solution will be a monitor stand and that will be the next upgrade I post. Also, I will try to post a video of the machine running and the Dragon Cables in motion and add to this page.