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Thread: New Top and hold down system for BenchTop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    165

    Default New Top and hold down system for BenchTop

    I just got tired of using screws for hold down method. I am using the MicroJig MatchFit 1.5" dovetail track hardware screw. I have enclosed some pictures to show and tell. The standard table of 24x32 was expanded on all four sides by 3 inches. This seems to work OK. The only thing I would change so far is to let all of the dovetails traverse the entire width and height of the table. I process mainly 20"x 20" and 20"x 30" Baltic birch plywood. It wasn't more than a week passed after startup that I needed a hold down on a smaller board.

    The first picture shows the table base plywood AraucoPly 23/32 S2S from Home Depot. The second picture shows the spoil board with dovetails mounted. The v grove pencil line is the cutting surface dimensions of 24x32. The third picture shows the first panel cutout with the MatchFit hold downs. I have tried 3/4" thick hold downs for 3/4" material and 1/2" hold downs for 1/2" material and both work interchangeably. I try to keep whatever I am cutting on one inch inside the edge to keep from cutting into the hold down. They are sacrificial though until you hit the screw in the green nut. It is outside the normal cutting area on left and bottom sides.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    MikeK
    ShopBot BenchTop with 4G upgrade
    Vacuum Table with Fein Vac
    Aspire 4.5

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I am assuming that spoilboard is MDF, Wondering how the dovetail grooves are holding up? I mean, you get enough clamping force without damaging the MDF.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    165

    Default

    So far so good! Yes it is MDF and I do worry about it. The hold downs have to be angled a little which gives a small gap for the MatchFit to pull up on. I think I am using more hold downs per side than I really need and I can put more dovetails vertically and horizontally so it will probably last longer than with screws before I have to replace spoilboard. Time will tell. I probably won't be able to flatten the spoilboard without destroying the dovetail strength for sure.
    MikeK
    ShopBot BenchTop with 4G upgrade
    Vacuum Table with Fein Vac
    Aspire 4.5

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