Quick Tip #7: Work Holding Part 1

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Blog entry by Kent Shepherd posted 09-26-2016 04:04 PM 1092 reads 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Miter Sled Part 7 of Quick Tip series Part 8: Work Holding Part 2 »

Last time I promised a blog on work holding. This subject has almost become an obsession with me the last few years. I got tired of making do with c clamps and other ways to clamp something firmly and safely. I grew up in a shop where safety was not always a big priority and as a result saw numerous accidents over the years. Working in production for years influenced my thinking to do things safely, but yet maintain a certain amount of speed. In the next few blogs I would like to share some of what I do to make my life easier while keeping my fingers I intact. There is a reason at 64 years old, I still have all mine!

This time I would like to show the various ways I use toggle clamps. These are readily available from Woodcraft, Rockler and multiple other sources. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, so you can always find one that suits your needs. The first picture shows a coping sled I built for some glass grills for passage doors. It is the same doors I showed in the last blog. Notice the base on the clamp. These, as well as the handle, came from Rockler. Until I discovered these, I typically screwed the clamps to my jig. That is fine for a permanent jig like this one, but for multifunction jigs you end up with a lot of screw holes.

On this jig I have routed a T-slot which allows the clamp to be positioned anywhere by simply loosening the knobs. Because of the style of toggle, this one was raised with a block to allow for the thickness of the work piece. The grills on the last doors I built had some pieces about 1 1/2” wide and 8” long with a 5/8” wide profile on each side. There was no way I am putting my fingers that close to the shaper cutter. The example is not the actual piece. They were much smaller. Now the task becomes a piece of cake!

The cutter is not for this application. I just needed to get pictures to show the clamps

Next time I will share some of the other ways I use toggles, and how I route the t-track.

Thanks for looking!


6 comments so far

View woodsmithshop's profile


1401 posts in 4181 days

#1 posted 09-26-2016 05:27 PM

I like your idea for holding the clamps. what are the bases called, I could not find them in Rockler.

-- Smitty!!!

View woodsmithshop's profile


1401 posts in 4181 days

#2 posted 09-26-2016 05:28 PM

hey, I found them, “Toggle clamp mounting plate”

-- Smitty!!!

View mikethetermite's profile


601 posts in 3902 days

#3 posted 09-26-2016 05:58 PM

Thanks for sharing, this like all of your posts are very helpful.

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10898 posts in 4688 days

#4 posted 09-26-2016 06:33 PM

COOL jigs…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View tyvekboy's profile


1967 posts in 3649 days

#5 posted 09-26-2016 10:12 PM

Good Tip. Thanks.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View mafe's profile


12352 posts in 3725 days

#6 posted 09-27-2016 04:28 PM

Important learning, thank you.
Clever solutions.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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