Last time I promised a blog on work holding. This subject has almost become an obsession with me the last few years. I got tired of making do with c clamps and other ways to clamp something firmly and safely. I grew up in a shop where safety was not always a big priority and as a result saw numerous accidents over the years. Working in production for years influenced my thinking to do things safely, but yet maintain a certain amount of speed. In the next few blogs I would like to share some of what I do to make my life easier while keeping my fingers I intact. There is a reason at 64 years old, I still have all mine!
This time I would like to show the various ways I use toggle clamps. These are readily available from Woodcraft, Rockler and multiple other sources. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, so you can always find one that suits your needs. The first picture shows a coping sled I built for some glass grills for passage doors. It is the same doors I showed in the last blog. Notice the base on the clamp. These, as well as the handle, came from Rockler. Until I discovered these, I typically screwed the clamps to my jig. That is fine for a permanent jig like this one, but for multifunction jigs you end up with a lot of screw holes.
On this jig I have routed a T-slot which allows the clamp to be positioned anywhere by simply loosening the knobs. Because of the style of toggle, this one was raised with a block to allow for the thickness of the work piece. The grills on the last doors I built had some pieces about 1 1/2” wide and 8” long with a 5/8” wide profile on each side. There was no way I am putting my fingers that close to the shaper cutter. The example is not the actual piece. They were much smaller. Now the task becomes a piece of cake!
The cutter is not for this application. I just needed to get pictures to show the clamps
Next time I will share some of the other ways I use toggles, and how I route the t-track.
Thanks for looking!