Rail and linear guide maintenance

very disappointed that the X-axis movement was very stiff after only a month of use. I had to completely disassemble the bearings and clean them, then reassemble without losing the tiny ball bearings. Now I have to order this special oil that I did not know about, and seems to be unavailable in Canada, except in 5 gallon pails !!

Dont know what import is to Canada but I got a quart of Mobil Vacta #2 from ebay.

Here in the states they made a big deal about new Mexico, Canada, US trade agreement. Wonder why it costs so much to import from US?

I’m in Canada and as @bruce896 pointed out this stuff is not easy to find. This is what I found on Amazon.ca but this I think is way too much and $120… If any Canadians out there found a better option (ie. a quart as suggested) please let me know.

@Luke Is there an official maintenance guide still in the works or is this it?

One thing I’ve wondered is whether or not those of us who ordered a Shapeoko Pro and got one of the early units, without the updated linear rail machining, will be eligible to receive the new ones. It seems like only a matter of time before binding will occur and a support ticket will have to be filed (potentially resulting in the machine being down).

We’re working on a maintenance guide but it is based off the above content. We’re also trying to bottle Vactra No 2 and release a maintenance kit.

I can understand your frustration - unfortunately any machine that uses ball screws and linear rails needs oil applied. It’s one of the downsides of this type of motion and one of the benefits of V wheels. In the instance of your machine binding please contact support@carbide3d.com.

Typically if a machine was binding it would do so out of the box. It’s more of a calibration issue as opposed to a a fault. If a machine develops a fault you bet we stand by them and will get you up and running again, but if your machine is working there would be no need to replace anything.


pretty frustrating to have zero guidance on how to maintain this expensive precision machine.

in my case the router was binding on the X axis and got stuck … ruining my project because the router bit lost its zero reference and started cutting in the wrong place

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Not aware of the linear rail machining issue. Co?uld you elaborate? How would one know if they have old version?

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You’ll see machined channels that the X linear rails sit into.


Will the maintenance guide also include things like torque measurements for screws on the rails, extrusions, etc… so if I decide to have a regular maintenance schedule (maybe quarterly) I’d use a small torque wrench to make sure everything is tight enough to stay in place but without the fear of stripping any threads. I think that would be a nice addition to a maintenance guide (edit: even the assembly document).

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Aha, are they using proper reference edges for alignment now then?

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Is there any update regarding recommended maintenance for the X/Y carriages of the Shapeoko Pro? I would prefer a prolonged lifespan and these go through far more use and abuse than the Z axis. Looking online most MGN15 Carriages seem to have an oil port, but the ones used on the Shapeoko Pro do not.

Any chance you can share the carriage manufacturer so I can look through their documentation? If not I understand.

A pdf was linked from:

and we’ve had two other discussions which are linked at:


I am sorry if I seem repetitive, but I feel like you are still misinterpreting my question. The discussion you linked regarding lubricating HDZ Z carriage blocks does not apply in the context of the Shapeoko Pro X Y axis. This thread also does not explain anything. Those real Hiwin carriages all have a removable screw for lubrication. The Shapeoko X Y carriages do not.

One cannot lubricate the Shapeoko Pro X/Y carriages. These carriages have the oiling port filled with some sort of silicone, not a removable screw.

So we are limited to adding some oil to the X Y rails on the Shapeoko pro, hoping some oil from the rails getting past the carriage wipers and into the bearings? Really hope it holds up long term against fine particles such as MDF dust.

On the X/Y on the pro there are no oil holes. I investigated my pro unit and discussed with our vendor. The holes might have a small amount of grease in them, but they don’t lead into the ball bearing chambers.

We’re pretty comfortable giving the following advice:

  • Keep them dust free, wipe them down with a clean dry lint free cloth after each use.
  • Never use a water based products on them
  • The rails can be wiped down with a clean rag/cloth with a small amount of Mobil Vactra No 2 oil - be sure to clean off any excess.

Obviously if there are any issues we stand by them and they are covered by our warranty. .


In February I ordered some Mobil Vactra No 2 oil from eBay … now over 2 months later and it still has not shown up!
Pretty sad that Carbide would not include some oil in a “maintenance” kit as part of the original purchase. Also sad that this special oil is virtually impossible to find in Canada … unless I order a huge quantity

I ordered a quart of it from ebay and got it a few days later. Maybe your vendor is the problem or the customs at the Canada border is the problem. Have you contacted ebay to complain or get a status. Not sure I have said this on this post but I have on other posts. What happened to the Canada Mexico and US trade deal. I thought that was supposed to lower the barriers and tariffs and taxes on goods and services going across the border going both ways. Is it covid restrictions or was that big trade agreement only for the big guys and leaves us to flap in the wind?


Should not be that hard, try a different vendor and get a refund! I got mine in 3 days from Amazon.


We’re working on it and are looking to invest in our own bottling plant - because we cannot find a reliable vendor for small containers of the stuff.


So I ended up buying the Mobil Vactra No.2 Way Oil in the 1 Gal. format from Amazon.ca (Canada). Anyone know if there’s a shelf life to this lubricant as shelf life and service life are 2 different things? I’m assuming if I keep it in the original container and properly tighten the cap and maybe agitate it on occasion it shouldn’t get contaminated, accumulate humidity or possibly have it deteriorate over time. I’ve never used this stuff before so just wondering if it’ll be fine if it takes 5 years to empty the container or if I should have some in an oiling can and apply it to everything that makes a squeaking sound… LOL. Ok seriously I’m actually wondering how long can I keep using the stuff once opened before I’d need to consider replacing it with new stock?

Also concerning using the lint free cloth would these wipes be good to wipe clean and apply way oil for routine maintenance or are there better suggestions?