In Deep Shapeoko

Yesterday we were left having to decide on what to do about our seriously jacked up MakerSlide pieces. In two of the holes we tapped, the bolt doesn’t grab the threads to stay in place. Not good.

To fix the failed holes, we could:

1. Buy new 500mm MakerSlide pieces.

2. Use thread repair inserts - requires a drill press and ours won’t handle the height needed.

3. Tap the holes to a larger size, M6.


Although buying new pieces is easiest, it costs more time/money and teaches nothing.

Thread inserts would be interesting to try but it requires a drill to clear out the holes. Then you place metal inserts in them for the bolt to grab. We’d want to use a drill press for accuracy but ours is small and won’t fit our piece’s height.

Re-tapping the holes to a larger size seemed like it would work util we looked at the related parts. They are all sized to the M5 bolt’s dimension and would all need re-drilled for M6, after we find an M6 drill bit.


Looking at the problem again, we realized there is another, even easier solution. The current bolts are M5x12mm and the holes are tapped into the ends of the MakerSlide rails. Re-tapping was the answer, just not for width. After a quick trip to Fastenal, we got back with some M5x20mm Button Head Cap Screws, re-tapped the holes deeper, and we were back on track. With a Sharpie we marked the holes using this fix for future reference.

20140904 161020 BE7f iPhone 5

After that, the Y-Axis rails went together quickly!

20140904 164012 BE7f FinePix X100

Next Step

Next we will begin assembling the Work Surface and wiring it up.