LaserCut Mendel Shays X Carriage

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This is a page to describe modifications I made to the TechZone Laser-Cut Mendel Kit for the X-axis carriage assembly.

The primary modification is in 6 places, I used threaded inserts into the wood so that I could screw machine screws into it. There were two places, one with 4 screws, one with 2 screws, that I felt were going to be problematic to access once the carriage was assembled onto the X-axis rails.

Here is one such location:


These screw heads would be partly or completely inaccessible once the X-carriage is mounted on the rails. So my answer was to use these threaded inserts:


If you're in the US, you can order from a place like McMaster and get metric inserts. I bought mine at a local hardware store (roughly $1 each), but was only able to get SAE inserts, so these are 6-32 thread.

I deliberately made the holes for these inserts a little too small so that they would hold tight. Also, the inserts were slightly longer than the thickness of the wood I was screwing them into. So I screwed them up to the point that the bottom of the screwdriver slot was even with the top of the wood, then used a Dremel tool to cut the inserts off flush with the top surface of the wood. Here's a photo after doing this.


Also, at the two screw locations on the top of the X-carriage where the extruder attaches, I also used these threaded inserts. You can see one of the screws in the photo above that is screwed into one, where the extruder is screwed down to the carriage, but I don't have a photo showing the insert itself.