|Project by HokieKen||posted 11-16-2015 01:01 PM||2111 views||23 times favorited||10 comments|
I have tried a few different types of shopmade hold downs that I’ve seen online over the last year or so that have a profile that allows use without spacers on the backside. One excellent example is this LJ project. I made a few different sizes with geometries along those lines to “test” but I found myself always returning to my machinist’s hold downs. Those hold downs are simple and will work with any size/shape and type of material I throw at them. The only problem is that, being steel, they can mar the surface of the wood unless you pad them with something.
So I thought, why not just make some of these out of wood? So, that’s what I did. I had a piece of scrap 5/4 red oak that looked perfect. So I milled it down to 1” and ripped it to about 1-7/8” wide. My steel hold downs are only about 1” wide but I wanted to increase the width to give a little more contact area on the work piece. Then I crosscut my board into 6 pieces that ended up being about 5” in length and milled the center recess on the bottom and cut a 3/8” slot up the center.
I initially intended to make some stepped blocks to use to shim up the back end of the clamps for different material heights. But, I decided that was too many pieces to keep up with. So, I sank a counterbored tee-nut into the back ends and threaded in a 2” carriage bolt as an adjustable shim. The wing nut on top is just to lock the bolt position so it doesn’t back off from vibration and probably isn’t necessary. The carriage bolt works for material up to 1-1/2” thick. When I have material thicker, I just use steel blocks or scrap material for spacers as shown in the last picture.
Finally, to increase the friction between the clamps and the material, I coated the bottom of the clamp toes with plasti-dip which should also help prevent marring softer woods. I put 2 coats of BLO on the clamps to finish them off.
Thanks for looking and comments and questions are always welcome!
-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!