Best material for clamps

I finally got around to making a spoil board with t-nuts. Now my next project is to make some simple hold downs

for the people that have made, and probably had many revisions, of hold downs…what material do you recomend using?

Solid wood…if so what type?

I used aluminium and they are very sturdy and robust.

I like using HDPE, w/ nylon bolts and nuts for hardware, at least at the end in contact with the stock.

I use maple or oak hardwood. Cheap, easily machined, plenty strong and won’t harm the cutter at all. I think them a little more grippy than my hdpe ones, too.

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I used poly carbonate because i found it in the trash at work. Most materials will work. Remember that the side to side motion is what is the primary thing to prevent.

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Use anything besides metal and you will be making them again and again… I made this clamp set 2 years ago, and they will be around for my grandkids…


Printed mine in PLA, work very nice, don’t think I’ll need to replace them any time soon.

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My 2 cents… Make your first set out of something cheap like plywood. You will probably get some additional ideas on refining the shape and functionality as you use them. Once you have spent some time with them and figured out what works and what doesn’t for your particular type of work, then maybe make a more permanent set.

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I made mine out of scrap 3/4" plywood. If they get hit by the bit then no real harm done. I made a few extra so I have spares handy.


Thanks for the reply everyone. I think I’ll use all of this but start out with plywood and work up to better materials once I get the design dialed in.

Thanks again everyone.