Found a set screw while milling

Okay weird one today, first time I’ve used my shapeoko in awhile, during milling I heard a little noise and saw something black in the sawdust, thought it was a piece of a knot or something (was working with pine), glad I looked instead of sucking it up, it was a set screw.

The weird thing is all the set screws are in place for the x/y1/y2/z axes. And it was literally in the channel the machine was cutting so Z/X are really the only likely options. It’s right right size but I wonder if maybe it came out of the router, that or a set screw I’m not aware of? the 4 steppers each have two holes and all 8 holes have a set screw (of course one on each is engaged on the flat).

I’m looking around for a dewalt 611 parts breakdown next I guess. Weird.

I have had the same thing happen. It fell out right from where the collet goes. I dont see any spot for it to be installed however. Weird…

Comforting and disturbing, I’ve now checked the shapeoko stepper pulleys at least a dozen times, they’re all there, nothing I can see in the router, I can’t imagine it came from above the fan but the fan doesn’t seem loose on the shaft best I can tell. I’m hesitant to run it again without identifying the source but I think I’m just at a loss. Fan is still my best guess but shrug

Also, I still hate that I can’t get the router out now without completely taking off the z axis limit switch plate.

Here as well. Wonder if when they are put together, one gets accidentally dropped they stay in the machine. Would be easy to drop one.

The Pulleys have 2 set screws each.

One of them has to be on the flat of the stepper shaft for best performance.

The second set screw may not be installed as tightly in assembly ,and is vibrating loose.

Thanks for noting this, we will address it.

ApolloCrowe except they’re all there!

Alright I just went to check for the like 10th time and finally was smart enough to try the screw, it’s the right diameter and the allen wrench fits perfectly but it doesn’t quite thread right, it has to be from the dewalt router.

Mine fit the pullers on the CNC. All were there, so not sure where mine came from. Nice to have a spare.

I take it back, the threads were damaged, definitely fits. Shrug maybe there were 2 in a hole.

Me also. Screw appeared on workpiece today while running a job. It fell outside my Suckit. Can’t be from a Dewalt because I have a Makita. Are these grub screws only used on the stepper pulleys - anyone know? If the excess screws are somehow left in the machine it would be interesting to know where they are hiding. Mine survived not a lot of work but also a trip to Australia!

There are two in the Z-axis. Not sure if that helps.

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Tried to break down the parts detail as much as was reasonable on the B.O.M., and it only lists 2 per pulley:

I never did figure out where it came from. Dewalt’s customer service helpfully pointed me to the set screw in their diagram that I explicitly told them it wasn’t. I still have 2 set screws on the Z and X axis, very strange. Machine runs fine and I’m trying to just keep it out of mind.

So I too found not just one set screw, but TWO today while milling. Much like ItsDan, I can’t figure out where they came from. I double-checked all 8 set screws across the four steppers (even made sure they were tight while I was at it), and I can’t figure out where they came from. Is there any chance that two set crews could have been installed in one hole on the pulley? Either by design or accident?

If you could tell us the size, we might be able to tell you where they came from.

Thanks Rich!

They’re both 4mm long, just shy of 3mm in diameter.


Umm, that is not a good discription of a screw that a discription of a wee bit of poo. Screws will have a Major Diameter, a Thread Pitch, and a Length = 4mm, or was it SAE 0.160"

My apologies for describing a “wee bit of poo.” I’m not a machinist by trade, and I’m VERY new to this. That being said, after doing a little research based on your response, I was able to determine that it is an M3 set screw (It fits into the set screw holes for the stepper pulley, which according to the Shapeoko 3 BOM is threaded for M3) and it is 4mm long.

I have no idea on thread pitch, but I’m assuming someone knows the thread pitch of M3 set screws that come with the pulleys.

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M3 x 0.5 (pitch) x 4mm long

Let’s please try to remember that this ought to be a family-friendly forum, w/ high standards — as I told my children, “No bathroom talk at the dining table.”

Discussed this w/ the machine’s designer and his thought was:

These set screws are more than likely from the fixed pulled on the back side of the z-axis plate. We will begin either removing these prior to assembly, or more than likely red loctiting them in place also. Either way, this shouldn’t happen going forward.

So please check that assembly.