The ability of the Shapeoko 3 to extend the cutter beyond the front plate of the machine opens up some interesting possibilities. I built this small vice to hold boards vertically, so the machine can reach over the front plate to cut a joint in the end of the board. This vice is made out of some maple that I had sitting around, and will accept a board up to about 7 1/4" wide. It was inspired by those traditional wood clamps. It easily bolts onto the front of the machine, using the threaded inserts in my wasteboard. This page has all the details in case you feel like building one yourself. If you have ideas for improving the design, please share them!
- 2 nice long 1/4-20 carriage bolts
- 1/4-20 barrel nuts
- 3D printed handles
- Chunk of nice thick maple
- 2 black screw handles to bolt the vice in place
The bottom of the vice has a small groove which fits around the front plate. It can be pressed against the front plate when bolting it down in order to ensure that it's properly aligned with the machine. The vice is driven by the 1/4-20 bolts that I glued into the blue 3D printed handles with epoxy. The black handles match the threaded inserts in my wasteboard, so you may want a different arrangement for that. I like these ones, though, and I use them for all the workholding on my wasteboard. They come with a bit of a tall collar, but I was able to cut it down without trouble.
If you want to use these printed handles, here's the model in OpenSCAD format: File:JointViceHandle.scad.