Method for holding wood pieces down for cutting shapes

I really enjoy learning,and when I figure something out that may be helpful to others, sharing it with them. I had been holding down my wooden pieces I was cutting shapes out of using clamps that pushed down from the top. I found that they sometimes interfered with the sweepy boot and actually almost ruined it during one project. I tried the circular clamps with handle that are supposed to put pressure from the sides, but it always seemed my threaded holes were off and I had marginal results.

I do a lot of other projects using Kreg screws, and came up with a ‘clamp’ that has been working like a champ when it comes to holding down a piece of wood to cut out a shape! Basically put a Kreg screw hole in the end of a piece of hard maple, then slotted the piece to ride along a bolt installed in one of my threaded holes. Works GREAT! If anyone can use the idea to help themselves out, have at it!


Your method works great as long as the edge does not show. For a plaque or other project where the edges show I like cam clamps. An upcut bit can shift the piece but you have to clamp down hard for the part to come loose. Any downcut bit would not likely come loose. I am not implying that upcut bits would pull your piece up and out of the clamp but these clamps allow you to hold pressure on the clamp as you tighten.

What you have got there is a Carbide3d gator tooth clamp made out of wood. I have the gator tooth clamps, the tiger clamp and the lock stops as well as OOPS clamps. However I use the cam clamps 90% of the time.

I sometimes make custom clamps

As you can see in some of the pictures I use an L bracket to capture smaller objects near the center of the table. I also have fences along the left and bottom sides of the spoilboard.

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I like the circle clamp you have! I’ve used CAM clamps with no real success. That said, I agree, if you need your edges to show, you need a different hold down method. For that, I use a clamp with a kerf cut in the and and a slot to adjust to edge of piece.

Like your use of jigs! SOmetimes it’s just as fun coming up with the jigs as it is to do the projects!

The cam clamps I have work very well. I think the secret is I can use both hands, one holds pressure and my other hand tightens the clamps with a 7/16 quarter inch socket. I have never had a project come loose. I have had tabs fail and the center of the part get loose but that is not the fault of the cam clamp.

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