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I made a quick prototype of the z-axis to see how the linear rail works. I am having a problem with the bearing on the u-bolt twisting slightly because the bolt is so much smaller than the bearing bore, causing the carriage to bind. When it stays straight, it slides very smoothly. I noticed in your pictures that the bearing bore is larger than your u-bolts too so I was wondering if you had this problem and if you have any suggestions on preventing it.
I may have to try this, though I will probably have to adapt your design for imperial (non-metric) hardware since it can be tough to find metric hardware in local hardware stores in the US. Thanks for sharing. Questions: I see that you have milled some grooves for the aluminum angle to sit in but there does not appear to be any screws or bolts holding it down. Is the aluminum angle simply held in place by the pressure from the bearing on the u-bolt? Also, what is the wall thickness of the steel pipe or tubing? Any thoughts on the minimum thickness needed if I decide to use tubing instead of plumbing pipe?
For the situation where the blade will not retract below of the insert before cutting, sumply use a smaller blades make the initial cut, like a 7-1/2" circular saw blade or one of your dado set blades for example. Then replace the blade you plan to use and finish raising the blade. If the circular saw blade is too narrow, you may need to mount 2 of them to make the initial cut. You just have the initial cut to be high enough so you can safely mount the full sized blade.
It always amazes me when someone tries to make someone else look like a fool only to prove themselves are an a$$. It only takes a 3 second search on the internet to find out that you do quench copper in water to anneal it.
Not sure that I buy that John Collins invented this. I learned to make these somewhere around 1968 so they have been around for a long time.