Clamp material choice

I am going to be cutting some clamps for my machine and was thinking about using UHMW sheets for them. Is that a good choice for clamps or is it too slippery? Is there a better choice of plastic? My wasteboard is the Myers style with the holes and T-nuts. I’ve used cam clamps and for the most part they work well, but I have had them loosen up and ruin a piece so I want something a little more secure.


Back when I was using clamps I did a set of HDPE clamps, worked out OK but they tend to bend under pressure, it was more than enough for securing wood stock but I would not use them for metal.

And then I discovered tape & glue and all my clamps have been collecting dust ever since.


I use .5" HDPE plastic. Has a nice amount of flex and does what I need, never had one loosen up on me. Not a big deal if I am careless and put them in the path of the cutter.

I did cut the original set in the “cam clamp” style but in the end never really used that feature, preferred to have the clamp on top of the work piece to stop vertical and horizontal movement. Cut a lip on the nose of the clamp to aid this.

In my work flow I don’t often use the tape and glue method as I batch my work pieces based on the cutter if I am making multiples of the same end design.


I use a step block and clamp set from harbor freight. I don’t use the bolts or T-nuts that come with them because I have 1/4-20 inserts in my wasteboard. The slots are too big for 1/4-20 or 6mm bolts, so you have to use washers. But they are decent enough metal to hold about anything. And relatively cheap.

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I use 13mm Baltic Birch Plywood for my clamps. I also 1/4-20 Nylon Screws to hold the clamps in place.

If I screw up, the clamp and/or screw will not damage my bit.


i printed a set in PLA, add some heat set inserts and they work OK and allow for plenty of Oops.
they do deflect under load, but have held well thus far.

I used some bamboo scrap and those wide headed furniture assembly screws. Holds everything very well.

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I cut clamps from a piece of .5" red oak from the orange box store, just make sure to cut along the grain not across and they’ll be plenty solid.


I use about 6 different sizes bench vise to hold Aluminum.

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I use the Meyers fence and clamps in conjunction with the Suckit clamps. I place two Suckit clamps spaced out along the left side of my work piece against the left fence and two along the bottom fence in the same manner. Then I use shims that I made and a cam clamp along the top and right edges of the work piece. I’ve never had one loosen up on me.

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