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Rockler ho'-downs.

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Review by LittleBlackDuck posted 01-24-2020 03:25 AM 671 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Rockler ho'-downs. Rockler ho'-downs. Rockler ho'-downs. Click the pictures to enlarge them

Boys and Girls,

The question was voice (in text), so I thought I’d do a review (my opinion) on these Rockler Auto-Lock T-Track Hold Down Clamp (herewith referred to as Rockler clamp).

While I have given them 5 stars, I would probably only rate them as 3 without my modifications.

The gallery pictures show the clamp holding one to three 19mm separate pieces on the same tension setting. In all fairness, the pressure on the 3 pieces is less than that on the one, however, is still sufficient to minimise (if not totally prevent) movement.

The clamp comes with a 5/16” t-bolt

which only fits the Rockler t-tracks without modification.
If you file down the head of the bolt, you will be able to fit them into some Incra tracks,

however, the 5/16” bolt (shaft) itself will not fit into a Kreg t-track, Incra Mitre Guide Flip Fence or some of the other not so obvious brands,

while you’ll notice the ¼” bolts will fit into all tracks.

What I have done is printed off some 3D printed ¼” nut retention wheels and swapped the 5/16” t-bolt for a ¼” t-bolt

or optionally a ¼” bolt with the hex head ground down

For all those whingers out there that are now blaring… not everyone has a 3D printer… here is a wooden one I whipped up in under 5 minutes just as a POC…

Though I did find some bandsaw groves made it simple to really crank it down (unnecessarily),

You only need enough pressure on the wheel to ensure there is no play between the shoulder of the bolt and the top of the t-track… also prevents the clamp sliding down if the t-track is vertical (or slide up if you live in Australia).

This will now fit all my t-tracks,

You can adjust the tension using these small on-board bolts

The less that protrudes, the greater the pressure. You need to lock it in with the nut as it is a loose fit and can twist, thereby unintentionally changing the desired pressured. The secret is to not slam the handle down but push it down with a slowish movement till the protruding bolt engages the mechanism (whatever it’s called) and that then sets the pressure. You can then push the handle all the way down and depending on your setting you will need to apply the required force to “lock” the clamp.

Now in all fairness, these Bessey clamps are made from stainless,

and are more rugged than the aluminium/cast Rockler ones. I haven’t used any scientific means to compare the max pressure of each other than it is obvious by the feel that I can exert a lot more force with the Bessey over the Rockler. However, I would be hesitant in using the Bessye’s full capacity as I reckon I could jeopardise the integrity of the t-track or pull it out of it’s mount. I feel that the Rockler could apply more than enough pressure without fear of t-track failure and any firmer holding requirements, would be compensated by using either my Fe$tool, Irwin or Jack clamps, through the benchtop dog holes,

Another “feature” that assists to the 5 star rating is the ability to expand on the clamps anchorage options. Don’t ask me where I got these… don’t askdon’t… but I picked them up in some local toolshop or as a stocking filler while Internet shopping/surfing… attached using 1/4” hardware,

You could probably fabricate something similar using fender washers and 19mm dowels.
With these gizmos, I can use the clamps in my tablesaw, bandsaw or router table’s mitre slot… why?... cause I can!
Naturally you do need a mitre t-slot.

Another option I have used is to attache these 5/16” (8mm) bolts through a 20mm dowel and with a large fender washer on the underside (you’ll need to play around with bolt lengths to ensure they don’t protrude too much and interfere with the internals of the clamp on it’s wheeled end),

I can mount the clamps through dog holes…

with this type of mounting I have no hesitation in applying maximum force…

For all those with poor eyesight that find reading hard, here is an equally hard to view video that I posted on YouTube… at least you can hear my gruff unrehearsed monolog, especially if you hate reading as much as I do…

PS. Rockler also flog an Auto-Lock T-Track Clamps but rather than waste real estate here, here is a link to the review timbertailor made of them…
The same customisation can be made to those to make them even more versatile.

HINTS. If your benchtop lacks thickness, to adequatly secure the t-tracks, use a piece of timber glued under the “bench/table-top/base”, underneath the track to permit use of longer screws,

You can reverse this process if you want to screw a jig/whatever to a thin base with long screws from underneath rather than the traditional top down,

Traditionally, you could only use 6mm screws, while in this configuration, I used 25mm… yeah… ima hero by 19mm!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD




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LittleBlackDuck

3672 posts in 1457 days



7 comments so far

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teetomterrific

92 posts in 998 days


#1 posted 01-24-2020 11:52 AM

Rockler had these on sale for $22 and I picked up a couple. I’m liking them so far. You have given some excellent ideas on how to expand their usability.

-- Tom, Adams, TN

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CyberDyneSystems

304 posts in 2825 days


#2 posted 02-04-2020 08:37 PM

wow, thank you fr such a thorough set of images! Great review.

-- Without the wood, it's just working

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robscastle

6734 posts in 2841 days


#3 posted 02-06-2020 12:34 AM

My god you have some interesting gear in your workshop, do you have a shaper by any chance Carba tec are flogging some SM2200-P at the moment.

-- Regards Rob

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LittleBlackDuck

3672 posts in 1457 days


#4 posted 02-06-2020 03:20 AM


... a shaper by any chance Carba tec are flogging some SM2200-P at the moment…
- robscastle

Do they work on vino guts... correction work OFF... no extra ON needed!....

Otherwise no, and not even on the shopping list.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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robscastle

6734 posts in 2841 days


#5 posted 02-08-2020 09:46 PM

I was intending to buy one, and I went and checked out the kit with a fist full of dollars I found although I would love it, it didn’t have the 1/4 and 1/2 inch collet capability on the spindle …rats very dissapointed as I was going to flog my smaller one to make way for the bigger new arrival, very I tell you.

I live for the day somebody decides to import Williams and Hussey and or Grizzly /Shopfox products.

Oh well I will have to jut have to keep watching them on you tube.

And No its not my favorite “how to do it Lady” ...sadly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNV15WVQgn0

-- Regards Rob

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LittleBlackDuck

3672 posts in 1457 days


#6 posted 02-08-2020 10:39 PM



.... I live for the day somebody decides to import Williams and Hussey and or Grizzly /Shopfox products…..
- robscastle

You could always move to Yankee-land and learn imperial... I could whip you up a green card... though you might have to change your name to majuvla and get a face lift…

pottzy always said he has a spare bed for you.


..... And No its not my favorite “how to do it Lady” ...sadly....
- robscastle
sadly... VERY sadly!...

Also sadly, I missed your sadly before I started to watch that sad video...

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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robscastle

6734 posts in 2841 days


#7 posted 02-11-2020 08:30 AM

yeah well quiz the cricket on that one.

-- Regards Rob

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