I have been using my Shapeoko on an off over the past few months and the most frustrating thing is clamping. Nothing is more annoying when you have perfectly aligned it and your clamp or screw moves and it all goes off! Best option is a surface that can be clamped to. I have seen other people try solutions like putting in nail nuts to the surface or just buying a pre-made aluminium clamp bed (£££). But I wasn’t to sure about it, especially if as I have found my mill losses grip on the bit and it plunges right down I didn’t want to collide with steel. I found a special router bit that lets you cut undercut grooves into wood so you can put bolt heads into it. Pictured above is it fitted to the Shapeoko and was quite easy to make (lots of dust though!)
This seemed good as all I need is a cheap bit of MDF cut to size and then I can just route a grid of clamp groves. If I accidentally over cut it also doesn’t matter as I can just make up another table when it is trashed. So it is like a waste board clamp table!
My router slipped a little when I was cutting it as the guide is awful, I had to switch to using a bar of wood as a rail. It doesn’t matter though, just looks ugly! Then I just used the supplied waste board as a guide for the bolt holes to bolt it into the frames. Next I will be making some clamps with the Shapeoko!