Workholding with compacted chips/dust?

I am blown away by a recent revelation over at the Facebook group: people use downcut endmills in wood without dust extraction nor workholding, and let the compact chips/dust hold the workpiece in place??

I saw some videos and do believe it is possible, but this seems incredibly sketchy!

This sounds like madness and an inevitable disaster, but apparently more people than I expected use this method. I am in disbelief. Am I in the minority here?

That’s kooky-talk! I agree it’s a disaster waiting to happen…


It is true that down forces are acting on the work piece but there are side forces at play as well. Maybe it works for them but I would not want to be babysitting a project with no clamps or other workholding. I value all my extremities and eyes too much to try a down cut with no clamping. Maybe tape and super glue but just sitting on the wasteboard, no no no. The same for a bunch of shifting chips and/or dust, no no no not for me.



Sounds like a spectator sport to me, place your bets now…

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