Give me some Christmas ideas

I recently received my shapeoko XXL and will be setting it up this weekend. The good majority of my free time for the last 2 months or so since I started looking into making this investment has been spent in these forums doing research and learning. With Christmas quickly approaching I’m wondering what are the tools or accessories that you guys love using with your machine or that you think you could not live without so I can give my amazingly supportive wife some ideas of things that she can get for me to use with my new hobby.

So far the list only includes a dust deputy and a suck-it dust boot

If you don’t have a good set of calipers, they’re always good.

Folks who like to work in a fashion similar to machinists on esp. metalworking projects will find 1-2-3 blocks useful, also a set of parallels.

Extending that, a machinist’s dial indicator.

Tools for breaking down and post-processing stock can be useful, saws for example — I use a Japanese flush cut pull saw on some projects, but inexpensive X-Acto razor saw blades on small tabs.

A centering ruler can be really handy when positioning stock on the table (Incra makes a really nice one), as can a set of feeler gauges.

A good quality small square is helpful for machine setup, larger ones are useful for placing stock squarely.

1 Like

I have a couple of sets of 1.2.3 blocks.

I have never found a use for them? Any ideas what I can do with them?

Not really a tool, but an E-Stop switch is a must. This would work well.


What are you using your machine for? If you don’t have definitive plans, then I suggest asking for a hodgepodge of tools and materials to play with. A variety of wood species, some acrylic, aluminum?, some v-bits, some square and ball-nose end mills of various sizes/flutes, etc.

It is always great to have a variety of scratch pieces to practice on, before attempting a real project, as your optimal settings will change based on your material and mills. If you live in the US, I like to order my end mills from drillman1 on eBay. Decent quality for trying things out.


Here’s a good thread on them:

Ages ago there was an article on making a set out of wood (foregoing the holes) in Fine Woodworking magazine which discussed various usages.

Mostly their utility is an intersection of: working like a machinist, on work which lends itself to their use, on a table which facilitates uses of the threaded holes — I’m sure @RichCournoyer can provide much better examples.

1 Like

I am a BIG fan of 123 block…for my metal AND wood projects. I used them to make my stock for my Quarter Columns…errrr the second time…I didn’t use them for the first set, and because the stock was a little out of square they didn’t pass my QA test.

Why do I use them? Mainly it’s the easiest way to make my parts square (within 0.001"), and to hold my parts (for milling) flat, and square to the table/spindle.

PS I use a $15 set from Amazon. (They are within 0.0002…close enough)

They fit here into my Chippendale legs: PS the photos are of the set I threw away, slightly out of square making the timing of the reeds (flutes) so that they do not line up at the edge of the past.

1 Like

I agree. being able to kill power to both the router and CNC at the same time is a must for the safety of you and the machine. It will likely pay for itself the first time you have to hit it.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.