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