I just got my hands on a new product for review.  It’s the SideStop, a next-generation vise stop (work stop) made by the good folks at ImagineTool:

ImagineTool SideStop Work Stop Vise Stop

The SideStop is a next-generation vise work stop…

The SideStop is one of those “Better  Mousetrap” kinds of products.  Better mouse traps are great–we all love to find an improved version of a tool we’ve used for a long time. After all, we’re sold on the tool already, so an even better version is a guaranteed win. SideStop is that kind of thing–it’s a vise stop that’s been improved in all sorts of ways to make it a better mouse trap.

I had a nice lunch with Brian Richardson, one of ImagineTool’s founders, and got to learn about what Imagine is up to.  Brian does a lot of interesting prototyping work on some fairly exotic applications involving super-high purity filtration systems.  It’s real cutting edge stuff, and it was fascinating to see some of his nano-scale filtration devices.  Along the way to creating these kinds of parts and doing both prototypes and limited production runs for testing, he and his partner have come up with a variety of new ideas for CNC tooling.  The SideStop is just the first such product.

How is it better that whatever work stop you already have?

I’ll let their artwork spell it out:

SideStop advantages

One thing their chart doesn’t mention is there’s even a little hole to store the one size that’s needed allen wrench right on the vise stop so it’s always there for you when you need it.  Nice attention to detail!

The popular buzzword here in Silicon Valley is they have “reimagined” what a vise stop should be and how it should work.  It makes total sense to me, and having played with one for a while now, I am sold.  I’m not sure why the others on the market don’t work the same way, but I’m glad these guys have figured it out.

Installation is Easy

Open the Box…

Bolt it on to the vise’s rear jaw mounting holes…

Rock your work stop.  It’s a bit shiny for my groady old Kurt 6″ vise, LOL!

Why Would You Want A Vise Stop?

Never used a vise stop?  Wondering what they’re good for?

It’s all about making it easy to drop a part repeatedly into your milling vise and just go.  The fixed rear jaw of the vise nails the Y coordinate.  The parallels supporting the workpiece nail the Z repeatability.  And an adjustable vise stop makes it easy to achieve X repeatability.

Now you can set things up for a run of parts, and each time you drop a new blank into the vise jaws you can be sure it is in the same position as the last before you hit the green button and the CNC Machine does the rest.

There’s more to it than that, though.  I never take a part out of my vise unless I’ve set my vise stop to allow me to put that part right back in if I change my mind about something and need to re-machine the part a bit.  This is super helpful when you’re prototyping or debugging a new production process, but it’s a lesson that’s hard-earned.  In fact, I wrote a story about using vise stops this way that’s been very popular among seasoned machinists who frequent CNCCookbook.

Trust me, you need one of these if you don’t already have a vise stop you use daily.  In fact, even if you do, you might find the advantages of SideStop make it worth switching.

Best News: We’re Giving Away SideStops

Check it out: ImagineTool has given us a few SideStops to giveaway to the CNC’ers here.  That’s right, free of charge you may win a SideStop!

Click this button to enter the giveaway, but be sure to read about how it works below too because there’s a special way you can maximize your chances of winning.  Here’s the button to enter:

Let me spell out how that’s going to work:

  1.  Visit the giveaway offer page.
  2.  Give us your name and email.
  3. Click the “Submit” button

Boom!  You’re entered in the giveaway.

But, there’s another very cool little wrinkle–the more friends you tell about SideStop that enter with your special link, the more chances you get to win a free SideStop.  As soon as you click that “Submit” button, you’ll be taken to the landing which looks like this:

Note that you get a confirmation email with an activation link.  That’s how we check that there isn’t a typo in your email.  Click that activation link to finish entering the giveaway.  But also, take note of the URL for your landing page, and especially that link at the bottom, because the link is personalized for you.  Post it to your Facebook, Twitter, or other account.  Anyone that clicks through will get a chance to enter to win a SideStop, but you’ll get extra chances for everyone you convince to enter.  You just click the link to copy it to the clipboard and you’ll get something on the clipboard that looks like this:

https://www.cnccookbook.com/SidestopGiveaway.html?mwr=4080-a4649846  (Hey, don’t click this unless you want me to win, get your own code by entering the giveaway!)

It’ll take whoever clicks it to the offer page, but that special code number is different for every one of you.  That’s how we can tell who to give the extra chances at winning to.

Enough about all that.  Let’s get the word out and get you some chances to win a SideStop.  One more thing–I’m not saying how many SideStops we have to giveaway.  We’ll give away one a week until they’re gone.  The first giveaway will be announced Wednesday, March 15.  When they are gone, they’re gone, so don’t wait, get signed up today and tell all your friends so you have even more chances to win.

Hey, if you don’t want to wait for the giveaway to see if you won a SideStop, I don’t blame you–these gadgets are cool.  You can always buy one directly from ImagineTool for just $98, but go ahead and enter the giveaway too–you probably have multiple vises that need them.


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