Shapeoko Pro stock thickness limited by default router mount height

I’d like to do some carving on thick stock (up to 4"). My Shapeoko Pro’s standard Z carriage appears to have up to 4.25" of travel available, but the user manual clearly instructed installing the trim router all the way down in the clamp. This leaves room for only about 3" of stock thickness (and then must use a short bit). Are there any concerns with raising the router in the clamp an inch, or inch and a half, in order to regain the lost available travel? It seems like raising it also might reduce the occasional chatter I’ve seen when pushing the bit harder (the clamp would be nearer the bit height).

Note that the Shapeoko Pro product page advertises 4" of cutting depth 'Cutting Area: 33"(X) x 33"(Y) x 4"(Z)


Agreed, Jamie. The issue is that with the router installed as instructed, it appears that only about 3" is available. (Unless the hybrid table is removed, which I’d really rather not do. Or use a bit about zero inches long, but then what would be the point . . . .)

I am not disagreeing. Here’s a photo representing the problem.

This is the Carbide3D .25 square cutter #201 and it is inserted as far up as possible, which is a bad idea.

No, there is no fundamental concern, actually as you mention sometimes it can even help, because that will reduce the lever effect and therefore the amount of deflection of the router around the X axis.
The only catch is that depending on how high you raise it, and the length of the tool you are using, it is possible or even likely that you will then not be able to have enough Z travel to reach the BitSetter, if you have one. If you don’t have one you’re all set, if you do have one you will likely need to temporarily disable it to run that job on thick stock.


Another option to preserve the BitSetter functionality (under these circumstances) might be to affix an extension to the BitSetter button so the endmill can reach it. A short metal rod affixed with double-sided tape or similar would suffice.


Here is my solution per @Gerry comments - stack of cheap magnets from Amazon

SMARTAKE 100 Pcs Refrigerator Magnets, Small Round Fridge Magnets, Multi-Use Premium Neodymium Magnets for Fridge, Whiteboard, Billboard, Billboard in Home, Kitchen, Office and School (Silver)


If someone was to do this would they want to affix the extension prior to initialization so that it is the same throughout the process of tool changes?

Jamie, thanks for the link to Guy’s discussion about collets, very informative!

Yes indeed. The BitSetter’s vertical position is not important. It’s only important that it doesn’t change while the machine is powered on.

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