Thing-O-Matic: Nut Anchoring

The next time you take your Thing-O-Matic apart, epoxy the damn nuts in place so you’re not going crazy trying to manipulate them.

Inside the ends of the Y axis stage, which makes removing the X axis rod covers trivially easy:

X axis rod cover nuts
X axis rod cover nuts

Inside the front and back body panels, which makes removing the Y axis rod covers trivially easy:

Y axis rod cover nuts
Y axis rod cover nuts

That’s in addition to applying tape inside the panels at all the most-likely-to-be-removed T-nut locations, of course. I’m loathe to epoxy those nuts in place, but I could overcome that reluctance after bringing a few more of the things to heel under the bench…

4 thoughts on “Thing-O-Matic: Nut Anchoring

  1. Your local hardware store should have Loctite or other brands of chemistry to hold nuts to bolts but I’m not sure how they hold them to the wood. It saves you from having to retighten nuts all over until you use a little bit of mechanical force to break its bond. (I prefer clear) nailpolish works for that too. Don’t have my TOM yet so I don’t know which should receive epoxy and nailpolish treatments.
    Thanks for another great tip,
    KE7CDH

    1. I’m a big fan of Loctite, but do not use it on your TOM: it is sudden death to acrylic.

      The problem with threadlocking those nuts in the T-slots is that the wood really doesn’t have much grip on them and can’t apply much torque. Sooner, rather than later, the nut will spin freely in its slot and then you’re stuck: some of the nuts sit in really awkward locations. Hence the epoxy & tape…

  2. This sounds like a very good idea. Is it documented on either the MakerBot or RepRap websites.

    Have you been using this method for a while so that you know it works over several months or years.

    Would this be a good thing to do during initial assembly?

    It would, of course, need to be done after the nut and bolt have been tightened, so that you know that the nut is in the correct position.

    Re KE7CDH: His purpose isn’t to lock the nut to the bolt, but to glue the nut to the (wood) panel so the nut doesn’t need to be held with a wrench when bolting or unbolting. Gluing the nut to the panel makes it part of the panel, so it is as if the panel had a threaded hole. Is this correct, Ed?

    — Don

    1. Is it documented on either the MakerBot or RepRap websites.

      Absolutely beats me; the search functions on both sites leave a lot to be desired. I have no idea where to put it so anybody else could find it, other than right here amid all the other notes.

      Maybe I should sort all this stuff into a general tips-n-tricks guide… one of these days, for sure.

      you know it works over several months or years.

      I’ve blobbed similar nuts to various & sundry doodads over the years and it hasn’t failed me yet.

      Epoxy on wood ought to last basically forever…

      I wouldn’t do it during the first assembly session, simply because you must take the the fool thing apart and adjust everything at least once. After it’s settled down enough that you’re pretty sure the next time you take it apart, you won’t want to fiddle with the nuts, then you blob the epoxy on ’em.

      Maybe you could be a little bit neater than I was, too.

      as if the panel had a threaded hole

      That’s the idea. You could apply Loctite to the bolt and make it real cozy with the nut, but having seen what Loctite does to acrylic makes me leary of getting it anywhere near the innards of a TOM.

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