Cam clamp for a tablesaw jig

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Blog entry by cfrance posted 02-01-2016 05:43 PM 1160 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Not owning a jointer, either electric or a handplane, has left me using my tablesaw with a sled to straighten the edge of a board. While it is somewhat slow to tighten down on the nut(a t-nut in a small piece of plywood) and grab a piece of scrap close to the width of the piece I am cutting, I have always had great results with the method. Then it occured to me why not use a cam clamp instead of a t-nut. I wasn’t able to find any pictures of anyone doing this so I thought I would blog about it to share my process, results and feedback.

I started with some oak boards from a pallet.

Squared them up and cut them in strips and rough final length

Cut the middle notch out where the cam will go.

Glued the body together

Shape the cam piece

And finish with the cuts and drilling on the body piece.

And here it is all finished

It was slipping a little so I added a bit of sandpaper with double stick tape and it seems to be working just fine. I had a bit of trouble with the carriage bolts leaning so I added a fender washer and nut.

While I don’t think this cam offers as much clamping force as a nut, it seems be strong enough to hold a board with out any problems.

The oversized handles get in the way of the bolt but there seems to be enough room for the cam to work correctly. If I make more I will most likely make a change in the cam handle.

All said and done I think this will significantly cut down on time spent with this jig. I had a lot of fun with this small project and would love to hear any suggestions for improvements to this.


Materials used: 2 pieces of pallet wood and some glue
Time spent: about 3 hours

-- Life is 20% of what you make it and 80% of how you take it.

1 comment so far

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#1 posted 02-02-2016 06:28 PM

Your bolt is the fulcrum of the lever holding the board.
Either lengthen the back side of the clamp or turn it around so that the toggle handle is away from the board you’re clamping and the clamp force will go up appreciably.
Machinists use similar champs when doing setups for machining metal and have step-blocks to put behind the clamp to keep the bar of the clamp level. You might find such items useful.
Having made a similar sled myself a while back without the cam clamp I like your idea and will imitate it.
Thanks for the idea

-- Mike in SoCal, now East Texas

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