How do you get to this allen screw?

I am about to grind an allen wrench down to about 1/3 of its short length in order to be able to get to this screw. The only alternative I can see is disassembling the carriage. Is there an easier way that I’m missing?

I took a allen key heated it up and bent it to fit my needs

Take it all the way down and off the MakerSlide at the bottom?

Thanks, Justin. I had considered that, but rejected it. It’s doable, although it involves removing the router; but taking it off the guides and getting the tension on the makerslide properly adjusted with an allen wrench and a box-end wrench while it hangs freely seems pretty much impossible.

I’ve got my my allen wrench ground down to fit now.

Yes that does prove difficult. I wasn’t thinking it was for tightening the tension.

But don’t you just turn the nut without holding the screw otherwise it’d actually loosen, right?

I cut down an allen key, until it fit. Works great.

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Do yourself a favor and replace the allen heads with a hex head bolts. Do the same for at least the 4 rollers on the bottom that engage the X axis Makerslide. You’ll have to adjust the rollers periodically and using a hex wrench is MUCH easier than trying to line up and insert an allen wrench.

My problem was that the whole Z carriage had gotten loose, to the point that I could hold it and wobble it back and forth and the bit would move enough to play havoc with the accuracy of the cuts; about 3/32". What I needed to do was tighten the bolt while holding the nut in the proper position.

It’s one of the eccentric nuts. Its position determines the tightness of the wheel’s grip. I doubt that it would work if I put it on the other side.

Yes, and this is so freaking obvious that from the day(s) I assembled the thing I’ve had some choice unprintable words for the [choice unprintable words] designer who decided allen screws was the way to go. Do you happen to remember the metrics of the hex head bolt you used? I’m sure the allen screw description is written somewhere in the online instructions, but I envision a long and frustrating search trying to find it.

They’re M5’s. I got them at Lowes and “sawed” them off to a usable length which would depend upon what you’re mounting to. The picture shows that I’m using an aluminum mounting plate to hold my Makita router. Your “length” may be different. Since then, I’ve ordered an assortment of “M” hardware from eBay.

Whatever you do, DON"T use locktight to secure. I use the “M5 locknut” shown. For one reason or another, you’ll have to readjust in the future. Generally, I have not had to do this that much and, even if a roller seems “too loose”, the machine seems to work okay.

Thanks, Gary. I remember M5 from the installation, now that you remind me. That bolt I can’t reach is using the “eccentric nuts” with offset holes which tighten the wheel’s grip on the track based on their position. I’m assuming I’ll have to use them rather than a lock nut at least for the two bolts on the right side of the carriage. That’s why it’s so necessary for me to get to the head of the bolt: once I get the nut in the proper position, it has to stay there. You have to tighten the bolt into the nut while holding the nut stationary. I’m off to Ace Hardware.

Fred. I think you STILL want to use the locknut. The procedure for all eccentric rollers is:

  1. Holding the hex nut head with a wrench, back off the lock nut with another hex wrench.
  2. Keeping the wrench on the hex head, move the locknut wrench to the eccentric and adjust roller tightness.
  3. Finally, retighten the locknut, still holding the hex head with a wrench.

The parts should be pretty close to each other during final tightening or the eccentric could turn. I’ve actually used 3 wrenches, two to hold the hex head and eccentric while I final tighten the locknut with a third wrench. Sounds hard, but it’s really not.

Try without the locknut and see if things hold well for you.

Thanks. I was thinking in terms of the bolt in my picture above, which has hardly any threads sticking out past the eccentric nut. There’s no room for a lock nut to get a grip. But it just came home to me that I won’t be using that bolt. I’m replacing it and can get a longer one. D’oh!