Newb question about hold downs

(Greg Thomas) #1

Just finished setting up my XXL this morning. Now that I am getting started I am trying to come up with a hold down solution that would work for me. I do a lot of larger woodworking and have a couple Kreg Tables and use Kreg Inline Clamps all the time on them. Since they sit in round holes I assume I could use them on my waste board as well.

Any reason why they would not work for holding material? They claim 250lbs of clamping force.

I look forward to your advice.

(William Adams) #2

The problem with side clamping like that is that if you remove material so that there is an open space near enough to the clamp the material may deform allowing the clamp to give way — there are similar smaller clamps intended for workholding which actually pinch into the material and pull it down which seem better suited.


It also can be useful to use more than one method for some work, such as edge clamps, hold-down bars (conventional milling machine style), bolt through, and adhesive. I have used as many as three at the same time on some work to keep the material in place and down tight.

I will say that, when I can, I much prefer screwing down through the stock the best, but that requires either having a suitable waste area or through holes in the part. Generating tool paths to avoid screws is not much more work than avoiding any fixturing device, so it is not a big deal despite screws generally being in the work zone rather than at the perimeter, but IS absolutely necessary.

(William Adams) #4

I will note that one can use sacrificial nylon or aluminum screws — I did that on my caliper project.

(Greg Thomas) #5

Thanks for the feedback. For my first cut I went with 16 gauge pin nails on an oversized piece of MDF. That seemed to work pretty well. I read on here someone else uses this method because the mill will go right through a pin nail. Personally I would rather not find out.

(mikep) #6

You can also get plastic pin-nails ( but I have had some penetration trouble (and they don’t help at all with things like aluminum!)

(Stephen Gullage) #7

I use almost exclusively the masking tape/CA glue method for holding things down. It works amazingly well. Planning your tape locations is probably the hardest part, you want to hit a section of all your parts. Lay out your material, figure out the best way to put down your strips, mark your table. Remove the material, lay out a few strips of tape (I use 2" wide), put the material back and stick a few pieces of tape on the edge of the top side to show you where your table strips are. Flip over the material, lay out strips using the pieces as guides. A bead of CA glue the length of each piece of tape, flip it over and push and hold. Cheap and easy to do, no worries about hitting clamps. I’m probably going overboard, to be honest, with the amount of CA glue I use, really you only need a few drops, but if I’m cutting a part out I want to make sure there’s CA glue under it in case I cut through the tape.

(Gary) #8

Yes I use pin nails routinely. And yes on two occasions I have hit them trying to minimize my waste. I use a piece of MDF bolted down to my waste board and pin nail into it. On the two occasions I hit the pin nails it sheared them off and didn’t look back. Afterwards i found d no sign of damage to the .250 end mill. And have never had a workpiece come loose.

(John Terry) #9

All I can say is WOW, nice setup. What are the orange globes?

(Gerald Mackelburg) #10

Beware that standard upcut spiral endmills can produce significant amounts of upward forces on workpieces, especially when deep slotting.

(Gary) #11

The orange globes are AFO automatic fire extinguisher balls. These things are known to srmtart fires if your wood comes loose or the spindle goes on independent ops and your not watching it.

I agree an up cut bit on an aggressive cut could pull it up if not careful. I would use more pins or screws or clamps depending on the cut/material.

(Ben Vincent) #12

If you want a laugh check out the videos for that product! The production value is horrendous.

But I might buy one or two, pretty clever!

(Gary) #13

Yeah. I’ve seen a few of them already.

(Greg Thomas) #14

I really like how friendly and helpful everyone is here. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I am sure I will ask more once I start getting to know my machine.

(system) #15

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