Installing Threaded Inserts on My Shapeoko 2 CNC




About: Maker, adventurer, aerospace enthusiast. Digital fabrication evangelist.

Need to clamp down some material in your CNC mill? This is one of several methods available that I chose to implement. I bought a pack of threaded inserts to sink into the wasteboard of my Shapeoko that will let me bolt down workpieces without damaging the MDF.

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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Can you put the gcode here or send it to me? I just bought a shapeoko 3 and I would like to do that! Thanks!

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    thank you very much! can you tell me why I need to remove G40 from the beginning of the code? I would like to understand better!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Does having the heads of the threaded inserts at the work surface defeat the purpose of the spoil board? Have you considered having the inserts installed on the underside, so you can route in to the spoil board without as much fear of a bit catching an insert? It does look nice, and certainly improves the functionality of the machine. Thanks for posting.

    1 reply

    Yes and no. Technically, I'm no longer using the wasteboard as a wasteboard. I use an extra sheet of plywood beneath my stock material just because I like keeping my CNC as pristine as possible.

    A lot of other people have used tee nuts from below as you described with great success, I just happen to like this aesthetic.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting technique. On my cnc, I just drilled 5mm holes into the spoilboard (3/4" MDF) in a grid, then dismounted it and tapped the mdf for M6 using a tap in a cordless drill. Worked fine and didn't matter if I messed up a gcode and routed a bit deep into the board. The pull-out strength of tapped MDF is surprisingly high. Your method would definately be stronger, though.

    Another great video, just a question, have you tried the inkscape extension "Gcode tools" to generate your Gcode? ive use the laser cutter version and it works well, I found makercam a bit clunky

    1 reply

    I gave it a look but haven't gotten a chance yet. That and HeeksCAM are on my list of things to try, I have a huge backlog of things I want to do but only have time on the weekends to experiment. MakerCAM is a little clunky if you're not importing SVGs, no way to ensure numerically precise placement of objects. I'm hoping the Easel Beta will provide even more functionality.

    Also, laser cutter? Awesome.