Shop made workbench clamps.

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Forum topic by AJswoodshop posted 11-04-2012 12:30 AM 5100 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1057 posts in 2304 days

11-04-2012 12:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: toggle clamps t-track workbench

I think it would be cool to make homemade workbench clamps. I was thinking about routing out a dado in my workbench so I can screw down a T-track. Then I could slide in a T-bolt, using the drill press I could cut out a hole in the base, the same size hole as my T-bolt, and use a wing nut to lock it down. I think that would work, it the clamp part that I’m having trouble designing. I was thinking just screwing down a toggle clamp to the piece that slides in the T-track, but I think it would be cool to design my own clamp.

Any ideas?

9 replies so far

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2276 days

#1 posted 11-04-2012 01:57 AM

What would you be using this for, to hold pieces to the bench? generally when I hold pieces to a bench, I need to work the entire face (sanding, hand plane work, free hand edge profiling with a router, etc) so a clamp on top would be in the way. Bench dogs or a good vice is my preferred method. have you considered either of those options?


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1057 posts in 2304 days

#2 posted 11-04-2012 02:10 AM

I don’t have a nice spot for a wood vice on my workbench, or bench dogs. I would use these clamps for sanding, routing profiles, and for pocket screw joinery. I don’t like to use a router when the board is clamped down to the bench, because then it doesn’t add enough support when you’re routing off the edge of your workbench, same thing with sanding. Lumberjoe, do you have any ideas for the clamp?

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2899 posts in 2276 days

#3 posted 11-04-2012 02:21 AM

I would consider getting a woodworking vice. It doesn’t require much to mount (unlike a tail vice) and you could make it work on almost anything that passes for a bench. The problem is you will have whatever you use to clamp the board down interfering with the surface you need to work on.

For sanding, I find bench cookies to be all the support I need. I’m not big into pocket screws and the jig I have (the drill master one) is just screwed to a table in my shop. I only use it for face frames, which I also glue so I use parallel clamps to hold them in place when driving the screws.


View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20599 posts in 3133 days

#4 posted 11-04-2012 12:16 PM

AJ, if this is in you workbench top, a T slot will quickly fill up with chips and sawdust and you would be constantly cleaning it out to be able to slide a t bold in there. But if you wanted to go that way what you need would be an aluminum plate that you can screw the toggle clamp into and then have a T shape on the bottom of the aluminum plate that you can slide anywhere in you T channel. I made some for the T channels on my vertical lock miter fixture and they work pretty slick.

What I do when I’m working off the edge is to put the piece across the corner of the workbench and then I can clamp back a bit on two edges and it is very good for routing or sanding off the edge!

The best thing would be a strong wood magnet but it has not been invented yet. !! Tee Hee!!..........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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1057 posts in 2304 days

#5 posted 11-04-2012 01:47 PM

Sounds like some good ideas guys! Yeah, it kinda like my TS slot, you’re always blowing the sawdust out of it! I would like to have a wood vise, my bench grinder is at the end of my workbench, so there would be no room for dog holes. Yeah, I think I will just screw a toggle clamp to the sliding base, that might make it a little more simple to make.

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1782 posts in 2591 days

#6 posted 11-05-2012 01:55 AM

+1 to lumberjoe. I think it is certainly doable to add a basic woodworking vice to any bench. In my old shop I screwed a 2×4 to the front of the cabinet that served as a workbench, then just hung a vice on that. I wasn’t going that over the top with things, but it functioned when i needed it. I also think bench cookies are a great idea for basic sanding and even some light routing. They won’t function in place of bench dogs for hand planing, but if your doing that try making a board with strips on top of it that you can work against (I feel like there is a name for this but its escaping me now).

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2863 days

#7 posted 11-05-2012 03:49 AM

I had a thought with my bench that I’m working on of having a series of larger holes at one end that could have a set of special made clamp heads fit into. Current concept is a square piece of wood that is as long as the bench is wide that has a series of pipes sticking out the bottom that are spaced and sized to fit in the holes. With the board inserted into the holes it would have 5 clamp fixtures running through it that are spaced just less then 6” apart, bench will be 24” wide. For the counter force I planned on just using wider board that was kept in place by some clamps on each end and a bench dog in the middle. This would allow whatever was being clamped to be clamped between the board and the clamp piece on the end. Don’t know exactly how much clamping force that would generate but I’m assuming about the same as a set of heavy duty clamps at about 800-1000ftlbs. Since the plan is a 7ft bench that will allow for a fairly large glue up even though it might lack a little in width. The design came into my head as a way to glue up a king sized headboard and footboard without buying xtra long clamps.
I may want to make the clamp fixtures closer together to allow 2 cutting boards to be glued up at once without using any actual clamps but I need to make the benchtop first.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3011 days

#8 posted 11-06-2012 11:15 PM

Were you thinking of something like this.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2595 days

#9 posted 11-07-2012 01:20 AM

A picture of your workbench might help. I really wouldn’t like a t track in my benchtop.

I worked for years with plywood benchtops. The nice thing about it, when I wanted something to stay put, all it took was a couple of screws. ( I screwed clamps, not the piece)

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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