About 10 minutes into my Shapeoko I hit my first snag. One of the steps in assembling the Shapeoko is to tap the maker slide in order to create threads where a screw can be put into. While tapping my first piece of MakerSlide I snapped the tap off inside the MakerSlide with almost nothing sticking out the end. I tried using pliers to get it out but the piece was lodged in there pretty good and I could not remove it. I did some research online and found I was not the first to have this problem. I found several people talking about dissolving the tap while leaving the aluminum intact. Thankfully it worked and I’m back on track. Here is how I did it.
- Aluminum, glass or Pyrex container
- Alum (I used aluminum sulfate from a local pool supply store)
- Wooden or plastic stirrer
- straw or pipet
How It’s Done
- Boil water and put it in your container (enough to cover the tap in the MakerSlide)
- Put your container on the hotplate and turn it on (I used an old coffee maker)
- Add alum to the water and stir in until no more will dissolve
- Put the end of the MakerSlide with the tap into the alum solution
- Use the straw or pipet to drop some alum solution into the top of the hole the tap is in (this helps to dissolve the tap from both ends)
- At this point you should start to see little bubbles coming off of the tap
- It took about 8 hours for the tap to dissolve enough that it practically fell out.
- The end of the MakerSlide that was in the alum solution will be a little discolored. Just wipe it with some WD40 to remove the white residue
How to Prevent This from Happening to You
I made 2 major mistakes: I didn’t use lubrication and I was too aggressive with the tap. Please learn from my mistakes. Many people online recommend cutting oil but once I got a new tap I ended up using WD40 and it worked great. You should also turn the tap slowly. If you feel any resistance back off on the tap a quarter or half turn and try again.