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Time-lapse video milling PTFE jaws on the Shapeoko

A project log for Stickvise - low profile soldering vise

Stickvise is a low profile vise designed for PCB soldering. This product was born on Hackaday.io.

Alex RichAlex Rich 03/05/2017 at 20:374 Comments

I am using a very inexpensive Shapeoko 3 to produce precision milled PTFE jaws for Stickvise from my basement!

Why don't I have the part molded or machined somewhere else? I project sales of about 200 pairs per year. Molding PTFE is a specialized process because of the very high temperatures, so it would only be warranted at higher volumes or if I could justify a much higher price point. Machining is more typical in this volume range, but outsourcing machining was still too expensive.

To hit the price point I wanted and not commit to large manufacturing runs, I chose to get a machine to make the parts myself. This also meant I could justify having my own CNC at home, which I had wanted for a while.

I'm happy to say the machine is working well and has already paid for itself. Most importantly, I have a new toy that I never would have bought otherwise.

Discussions

zakqwy wrote 01/23/2018 at 16:57 point

I love my PTFE jaws -- picked a set up from Adafruit late last year and they have been absolutely rock-solid. Also swapped the M3 screws out for brass. Now my vise is fancy.

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Alex Rich wrote 01/23/2018 at 17:06 point

Cool, thanks for sharing!  I wondered how the held up over time, PTFE is fairly soft so it will dent even if it doesn't melt.  Brass screws is a cool idea, I like it!

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zakqwy wrote 01/23/2018 at 17:09 point

No issues with denting or wear so far and I'm not particularly careful. Most of the damage on the original jaws came from a soldering iron or a blast from the hot air gun, so PTFE is an ideal upgrade.

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AVR wrote 03/06/2017 at 19:22 point

let me know if you need beta testers for the jaws, my stickvises are all melted lol 

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