Alternatives to carbide 3d vice and flip jig

Just wondering if anyone has any alternatives to the vice and flip jig from carbide 3d. I know the flip jig is a very specific use tool but the vice seems more useful. Is it worth the price. ANy help would be appreciated. I just trying to plan what I’ll need for my new Nomad 3.

The alternatives aren’t set up so as to directly connect to the Nomad table.

They also tend to be taller:

I think that the Nomad accessories are a good value, but obviously biased.

There’s a whole wide world of tools available for work holding.

Personally, I bought the Carbide 3D vise and it’s been the thing attached to my machine ~90% of the time but some other options are:

  • The ever-popular tape and superglue: cheap, low-profile, gives you full access to the work piece
  • Side clamps: Can be expensive, also low-profile, very strong grip, full access to the top of the work piece
  • Top clamps: Tend to be cheapish, very strong grip, partial access to the work piece
  • Vacuum table: just putting it out there because why not, strong grip given a flat piece, expensive, full access to the piece, very easy setup

But again, I’m mostly happy with the vise. My main criticism is that the screw thread for the moving jaw seems to be Aluminium and feels a bit soft. I don’t have a whole lot of hope for its longevity. When the time comes, I’ll probably try to mill a bigger hole in and put a steel insert in there.


Don’t have this personally but it did catch my eye previously:

I have the Nomad vise and the flip jig. The vise is (to my mind) is fit for purpose and does a good job when things are required to be held and is fast to get on/off the Nomad. If you want a vise that works reasonably on the Nomad and don’t want to mess around with engineering a hold down scheme for a 3rd party vise that still gives alot of Z axis clearance the Nomad vise is the way to go.

My only complaints per se are:

(1) The movable jaw has a bit more tilt (forget the precise technical term - squirm?) when it is holding something than I would like.
(2) It has limitations with regards to how much pressure can be applied before the fixed jaws start to slip. This apparently can be fixed by swapping out the HDPE feet under the fixed jaws to aluminum but given I have yet to do it I guess that means its only a slight annoyance.

With respect to the flip jig I would save my money to be honest. It may have applications where it is useful (eg where you are running the same job again and again) but after a few good tries it has been gathering dust ever since. Easier to do two sided machining by flipping and locating the part in the vise than using the jig in my experience.

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I think the flip jig is fine at what it does, which I mainly perceive as ease of use. If you’re new to machining and workholding and zeroing, it can be quite intimidating at first. Trying to locate the part accurately in the vise so that two halves precisely meet can be super difficult for a newcomer. I know I had a lot of trouble doing that with the vise myself.

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I found the flip jig to be too small to use for almost anything except maybe making chess pieces, or matchbox size cars. If that’s what you’re making, I’d get it: it is robust and easy to use.

That said, flipping is super easy on the nomad, I would always just use it to cut two registration holes, for which I kept a handful of 5 mm shelf pins, and then model those into the stock in my design. Shoulder bolts are also nice for this.

A threaded table is pretty useful, I enjoyed having it on the nomad. It was fun to use all the neat little cams and doodads.

But if I’m honest I have to admit I don’t have the patience for beautiful work holding setups, and since I mostly cut wood and plastic, I mostly just used double-sided tape, and kept a bottle of goo-gone to remove sticky stuff from my bits.


I’d go for the SMW Modular Vise. If you combined it with an aluminium tooling plate I think it would be hard to find anything better! I know @Vince.Fab has used them quite a bit, not sure if it was on the nomad or not

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I really like the look of the Modvise but with a jaw size of ~2.5"x6", I’m not sure it’s a good fit for the Nomad. That’s 5" of travel in one direction gone, roughly 2/3rds of the Nomad’s bed.

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There is a smaller 1/4" version available.

The width isn’t much smaller, so the problem is the same.

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