HELP! Stripped pulley wheel screw

We have spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get this screw out and nothing is working. I accidentally tightened the screw for the pulley wheel too much with a socket wrench after removing the pulley to do our routine air assist fan cleaning, so not only is it stripped, but it’s also crazy tight, upside down, and in a small space. We’ve removed the crumb tray, dislodged the laser arm from the track, and removed the side cover so we could tilt the laser arm a bit, giving us more room to work with (slightly more than 4").

Here’s what we’ve tried, although this may not even even be a complete list of what we’ve tried:
-superglue in the hole on a hex wrench
-a hex wrench slightly larger
-a screw extractor set
-we used a hack saw to create a slot in the screw head and tried an electric screwdriver and a small hand screwdriver (we got a really good grip on it with the hand screwdriver, but it was too tight for me, my business partner, and my ridiculously strong husband to loosen)

Quite frankly, our small business cannot afford the time or money it would take to ship the whole machine back to Glowforge to repair. We have heard the horrible stories about people doing that.

Please, please, if you have any helpful suggestions, taking into consideration what we have already tried and what I have mentioned about the situation, we’d really appreciate it!

They ship you a replacement, and when it comes, you put your broken one out your front door and schedule a free pickup from FedEx. Couldn’t be easier, and will certainly cost less than buying another laser.


Generally, if threads are stripped the fastener just spins without tightening or coming out. Sounds like its just crazy tight.
Just brainstorming, but in the event you have to destroy that wheel/bearing to get at that shaft and unscrew it with pliers or better, vice grips, I would go ahead and order a replacement from glowforge. Its possible the anchor isn’t cross threaded, and you could just screw the new one in.

The anchor that shaft screws into is not captive, with the wheel unscrewed from it the anchor is free to move and get lost inside the gantry assembly. If it were my machine, and that threaded anchor has been stripped or cross-threaded, I would use a Dremel-type tool to cut an access hole just big enough to get a finger into in the bottom of the gantry there next to the wheel. There is a slot there that would be a good place to start the cut. Then you could replace the anchor after drilling and tapping the matching threads into a small piece of steel that would fit the access hole you cut.
Being out of warranty, that’s what I would opt for as opposed to a replacement for $$. Not an easy fix, but entirely doable. Good Luck!


Oh, I didn’t know they could send a replacement. That makes me feel a lot better. Now I’m wondering how much that option would cost…

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