Shapeoko 3 XXL placement on desk?

Hi everyone! I to have joined the Shapeoko 3 XXL club!

Currently in the process of building the Shapeoko and upgrading my worktable. Trying to decide where it would be better to have it. Considering two different locations, anyone have any recommendations? Thanks!

Here are the two spots I am thinking about putting it –

Pro - easy access to it
Con - Losing more than half of the tabletop

(Look at reply for 2nd photo)

You’re going to want it super accessible, at least until you’re comfortable with it in all respects. Otherwise you’ll lend up getting frustrated, and moving it. Moving is 1, a pain (it’s heavy) 2, adds one more unknown when you’re working a problem 3, is super inconvenient.

Get familiar, then move it if you still think it’s a good idea.


Pro - Have the tabletop free, easier to build an enclosure/dust system (I think)
Con - bend down to gain access to it

As an XXL owner, I highly suggest putting it on the top assuming your structure is very sturdy. Moving around your cut material won’t be much fun if you have to bend over each time. Plus, setting up your mounts each time, cleaning up, setting your zero, changing bits… you’d have to do everything while sitting on your knees.

True, the lower option might help speed up enclosure build. However, if you go the dust boot route (I did), then consider where the hose will run and how much vertical space you’ll need above the machine.

@mikep is right, you do not want to move that beast once it’s built. Not without the help of some friends and a 6-pack to say thank you.

I built a separate structure just for my XXL. It’s super sturdy, but I made it to slide around my shop (which I’ve done once) when things needed rearranging. The whole underside is open with one low shelf where I keep my vac for the CNC and wood stock. Added a small tray in the front to hold things. Pretty simple. I know you didn’t ask, but hearing how others set things up was helpful to me when I was getting started. So, the way I use this machine it needs to be up high. Good visibility. Easy access to everything. And no added back pain :slight_smile:

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Someone else on this forum had an enclosure design like that, but I can’t remember if they actually built it. I have to agree with @brian on this, as an XXL owner myself that design makes my knees and back hurt. I can’t imagine crawling inside that to place stock, add clamps, or do any maintenance. Someone else also made something like that, but they put the whole thing on industrial drawer slides. I could see that working assuming the rest of the bench was bolted down or had sufficient weight to keep it from tipping over. The XXL is pretty heavy even without any stock loaded on it. Mine is on a 4’x4’ bench made of 3/4” plywood, 2”x4” framework and 4”x4” legs all on lockable casters so I can pull it out when needed. I don’t have an enclosure though, dust boot collects most chips/dust, and I wear headphones while it’s running. My only regret is that I made my bench a tiny bit TOO high, but I’ll remedy that the next time I have the works apart for maintenance.



Mine is on a benchtop and I wish it was higher. The slight bending gets old. Maybe it’d be nice to lay down and work, though.


Thanks everyone for the replies! I am going to put it on the benchtop for now. I will be using a standing desk height. I have a bunch of steel left over from other projects so it will have 3 sets of 2x2 legs (one on each side and the 3rd will be under the right side of the shapeoko) with a 1x1 frame for the top. I feel like that will be steady and handle the weight.

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