Threaded inserts

So I’m realizing how much threaded inserts (or any kind of in-built clamp system) would be. I have a lot of 1/4-20 accessories from some woodworking jigs so t-tracks or threaded inserts would be the best options, and I’d prefer not to disassemble the wasteboard from the machine to hand-route the tracks, so I think threaded inserts are how I want to go.

Has anyone used these E-Z Lok inserts?

They’re self-tapping so I don’t need to buy a tap, they’re symmetrical so I think installing them from the top is fine, so I can likely do all the holes with the shapeoko itself, maybe a few by hand to add a row beyond the machine limits. I’ve seen all manner of really nice setups but I just need something basic, I figure I can make a supplementary spoiler board with tracks or whatever down the road and just attach is using these.

A couple of people have as noted on the wiki:

I use threaded inserts that I bought on amazon. I don’t recall the exact brand, but they look like the ones in your link. I have had no issues installing them from the top. I just sink them in so they are down about 1/16 or so under the surface, and then ran the orbital sander over the bed bed to flatten out any material that bulged up. I also have t-slot tracks, but I find I use the inserts the most. Less chance of hitting a bolt and washer than a t-slot clamp.

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Thanks for the link. Dustin good idea I might not have thought to double check the surface after installing them. Went ahead and ordered a set along with the installation tool, will see how it goes this weekend.

Got my threaded inserts installed! Went pretty well, the test one lifted the mdf a little bit so I widened the holes a few thousandths of an inch and the rest were pretty good, except the far row, which I had in a separate task and somehow the default .394 depth got in there so when I went to install the inserts it lifted. I drilled that out by hand and now just need to go over it with a sander on the few highspots.

Next step, clamps.

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