Question about Shapeoko 3 Z height and Sweepy Dust Boot

Been working on refurbishing the old Stepoko Shapeoko 3 I picked up a bit ago, and it’s definitely a fun project so far. A bit more involved than I expected, but that’s okay. I need to post an update - re-terminated the connections for all the stepper motors, added some limit-switches, and fashioned a z-probe out of some scrap I had lying around - fun stuff.

Anyway, on to my question. I have a 0.5" MDF baseboard that the machine frame is bolted to, as is stock (I believe). I then countersunk some holes for nylon bolts to attach a 0.75" spoil board to the base board. The Sweepy worked fantastically when milling t-slots into this spoil board, I was very impressed!

My problem is, now once I put my actual stock on top of said spoil board, I have no room to use the dust boot. I’ll attach some pictures. I searched a bit and saw some suggestions of mounting the base board to the underside of the frame, which I am strongly considering, but that still only gives me an extra 0.5" (plus the thickness of the frame supports, I suppose, but that’s not much) which still doesn’t give me enough room to lower the router in the clamp to use the Sweepy for much depth at all.

I’ve seen people mount their routers as far down as they can go in the router clamp, and I have no idea how they make that work even without an additonal spoil board - seems like that would eat up a lot of z-height. But that is the ideal scenario to use the Sweepy, since you have so much of the router to adjust the dust boot clamp and magnetic fixture up and down.

I just ran a cut in some 0.75" plywood (worked great, first real cut on the rebuilt machine!) with just the upper half of the Sweepy attached, and that sucked up a little bit of the dust, but still made a huge mess, as expected.

Just wondering if I’m missing something totally obvious and if anyone has some suggestions to give me some more wiggle room. I’d love a Z-plus or HDZ, which looks like it would totally fix my issue, but that’s just out of the budget at the moment.

Thanks in advance!

Oh, also, unrelated - is there some third party addon/mod I can do to this Dewalt router so I can use two wrenches to tighten the bit in the collet? This locking button thing is getting tiresome :sweat_smile:

Our recommendation is that the router be secured low enough in the mount to allow the Sweepy to fit but that’s not really possible with the old flat plate on a EDIT: Belt-drive Z-axis (not Z-Plus as was written).

Perhaps you could get a new Z-axis assembly from someone who has upgraded a newer machine to a Z-Plus or HDZ?

Or would upgrading to a Z-Plus or HDZ be an option? It’s a bit challenging on a Stepoko — you’ll need a “NO PEM PROX KIT” for the new proximity switch kit.

Alternately, get a 69mm–65mm adapter ring/bushing and switch to a Carbide Compact Router? That would get you the pair of wrenches.

Thanks for the quick response! (Do you ever not work?)

but that’s not really possible with the old flat plate on a Z-Plus.

was that a typo, or would upgrading to a Z-Plus not help me, either?

Upgrading is an option, but it would be a ways down the road, so I’d definitely like to figure out something in the meantime. I’ll definitely be on the look out for a used Z-axis upgrade, that’s a good call.

Duly noted about the Carbide Router. I’m keeping my eye on it - this router was attached to this thing in a community makerspace, so god knows how many hours it has on it. When it bites the dust, I’ll snag one of those.

I have some aftermarket limit switches in use presently - what about the HDZ needs them to be different other than positioning? Not sure if I could get the new ones to work with the Stepoko board.

Thanks again.

Yes, there have been a number of tickets/posts I’ve slept through, and I do do various other things.

Typo. Naturally, I meant “belt-drive Z-axis”, as noted further down, upgrading to a Z-Plus would be one way to address this.

The HDZ would require some sort of mount for the Z-axis switch — there are a couple of holes on it for them, and it’s easy to make such (I did one for the old push-button ones back in the day).

Hah, fair enough.

Got it, just double checking.

And that doesn’t sound too bad.

I’ll cross my fingers for a good price on an HDZ, then, and try to figure out something in the mean time. Much appreciated.

I have been using my DeWalt with a single wrench for 5 years with no problem. However I bought a shorter wrench so I don’t over tighten the collet nut.

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Oh, that’s smart. I saw someone online cut a large knob with several doors spokes out of oak, I might try that to see how that works out.

The one wrench doesn’t give me any problems, really, I guess I just prefer the spindles that use two wrenches because that’s what I’m more accustomed to. It feels more ergonomic to me.

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