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Thread: Hold down techniques and jigs - please share!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Glendale, WI
    Posts
    103

    Default Hold down techniques and jigs - please share!

    Hi everyone,

    It's been a while since I've posted, but fortunately that's because I've been busy in the shop.

    Now that my business is up and running and I have a pretty good sense of what I'm actually making on a day to day basis, I'm looking for ideas and photos on hold down techniques, especially jigs. Please share!

    What I mostly do:
    • through cut hardwood boards and edge-glued panels to make small and large parts ranging from small male inlay pieces to table tops

    • pocketing, edge profiling and decorative work on hardwood boards and panels

    • surface/level live edge slabs


    I almost never cut sheet goods. Most of the stock I use is boards that are 4"-12" wide by 4'-8' long, 24"x48" edge glued panels (occasionally bigger), and slabs of varying sizes.

    The cost and noise of a vacuum system are a deterrent for sure. And would it even work on the smaller, narrower stock I cut anyway?

    I like the versatility of being able to quickly screw down stock and through cut into the spoilboard, especially since I do a lot of through cutting. But I'd also like some sort of clamp or track system or modular jigs that I can attach to the spoilboard at fixed reference points. Or anything else genius that you've come up from!

    Thank you for your advice!
    Brian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Lenox High School, Lenox MA
    Posts
    823

    Default

    There have been many clamping techniques posted on this forum over the years. Try googling for "talkshopbot clamping".

    Phil

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
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    697

    Default

    Hold down techniques are more art than science...
    ShopBot Details:
    PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    iBILD Solutions - Southern NJ
    Posts
    7,940

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by phil_o View Post
    There have been many clamping techniques posted on this forum over the years. Try googling for "talkshopbot clamping".
    Quote Originally Posted by coryatjohn View Post
    Hold down techniques are more art than science...
    X2

    Answering the question, "How am I going to hold this down" - pretty much IS the entire job with CNC. Everything else is easy. It may take you years to come up with 'hold down fluency' to the point where you don't have to think twice about what method to use. You OWE IT to yourself to at least TRY vacuum hold down using your shopvac to start. Then after the ooo's and ahhs, try a small high suction vacuum pump with gasketing for your small/thin parts. You can get these little pumps for less than a few hundred bucks. They aren't loud and can be used for other things like veneering and vacuum bagging. Look on Ebay when you get to that point. Be sure to also do a search (just use Google to search this forum) - and look for Lighthouse vacuum motors. Cheap, useful vacuum motors you can use for hold down.

    FYI - better searching via Google like this: clamping site:www.talkshopbot.com/forum

    -B
    High Definition 3D Laser Scanning Services - Advanced ShopBot CNC Training and Consultation - Vectric Custom Video Training IBILD.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Glendale, WI
    Posts
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    Default

    Thanks Brady, as well as for the search technique. The search feature within the forum is next to useless...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Glendale, WI
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    103

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by coryatjohn View Post
    Hold down techniques are more art than science...
    For sure. But like just about any artist out there, it's natural to be influenced by the work of other artists. So I am looking for influences...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Pro Signs, Coal CIty IL
    Posts
    293

    Default

    I use the down & dirty technique of screwing the material down to the sacrifice board. If I'm doing more than one part or a part that has to be registered I'll screw cleats down to the sacrifice board, squared up from the side rail.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    San Jose del Cabo based since 1997
    Posts
    1,242

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    I use the old school method (KISS) nails, screws, pressure sticks.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Vector Studio 22

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Lenox High School, Lenox MA
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bking1836 View Post
    Thanks Brady, as well as for the search technique. The search feature within the forum is next to useless...
    This is why I suggested Googling for clamping methods. There are many ways to hold a workpiece while routing with a CNC. It can be very helpful to see methods others have come up with. I have T-tracks mounted in my spoilboard and I have made a variety of wooden clamps that connect to the T-tracks with T-bolts. This method is very versatile and handles about 90% of my clamping. I prefer wooden clamps so that I don't ruin a router bit if I miscalculate and hit the clamp.

    Phil

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norman, Ok
    Posts
    3,251

    Default

    I'm one of those fellows who used the GC3 techniques. Gene probably routes more panels in a month than most of us will do in a year. His technique, screw the panel down to the router bed and use tabs to hold the subject in place. I made one of those vacuum hold down years ago. It ended up in the dimpsey dumpster. Vacuum is good for some work but for those of us routing on routing on uneven or rough stock it's a waste of time.

    Four years ago I sold off all my routing equipment to one of my employees and he doesn't use a vacuum. It's one of the most over sold techniques in the trade.

    Good luck on your Shopbot search. Like you say, it's not all that effecient.

    Joe Crumley
    www.normansignco.com

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