What are the options you have for securing your workpiece to the drill press table? [Rex Krueger] shows us that there’s plenty, and you ought to know about them. He goes through the disadvantages of the usual C-clamps, and shows options like the regular drill press vice and a heavy-duty version that even provides a workpiece tilting mechanism, and points out small niceties like the V-grooves on the clamps helping work with round stock. For larger pieces, he recommends an underappreciated option — woodworkers’ wooden handscrew clamps, which pair surprisingly well with a drill press. Then, he talks about the hold-down drill press clamps, a favourite of his, especially when it comes to flat sheets of stock like sheet metal or plastic.
As a bonus for those of us dealing with round stock, he shows a V-block he’s made for drilling into its side, and round stock clamp, made by carefully drilling a pair of wooden hand screw clamps, for when you need to drill into a dowel from its top. The ten-minute video is a must watch for anyone not up to speed on their drill press piece fastening knowledge, and helps you improve your drilling game without having skin in it.
Maybe it’s the humidity, maybe it’s the cold weather. Something is making [Laura Kampf]’s nice fabric-backed sandpaper curl up into scrolls the second it comes out of the package. So you can understand why she urgently wanted to make a storage system that would be easy to flip through like a record bin, but also provide enough pressure to keep the papers flat.
Although [Laura] didn’t know what exactly the end result would be, she got started on it anyway — that’s a great way to get more projects off the drawing board and past the finish line. It worked out, because she got a great idea while building the box and using nice cam clamps to hold the finger joints together as the glue dried. Since she already had a bunch of these cam clamps in different lengths lying around, why not use a couple of them for this?
[Laura] has two major classifications of sandpaper — paper-backed and fabric-backed — and built them separate boxen using two clamps for each box. She joined the pins with a DIY handle in order to move the cams in unison, so all she has to do is pull out to flip through the papers, and push the handle back and down to re-pressurize the stack for storage. Be sure to check out the build and demo video after the break.
Sometimes you need a small clamp, and sometimes it’s nice to use tools you’ve made yourself. [Neil] from [Pask Makes] delivers on both counts, with incredibly cute little clamps that he whipped up in his own home shop. You can even make them with hand tools!
The first step is to cut out a section of flat steel bar, and then drill a hole in the middle. The flats that form the key clamping surfaces can then be cut using a hacksaw. From there, it’s a matter of cleaning up the resulting blank with a file to take off sharp edges and neaten up the flats.
Drilling and tapping the main hole through the bottom of the clamp is the next job, and getting the hole straight and true is key to making a good usable clamp. The video shares tips on how to do this with even a simple cordless drill, by using a vice and a wood guide to keep things on track. The swiveling nut is then made out of a piece of round bar, and installed on the end of a bolt to create a nice clamping surface. A cute little brass handle is used to tighten it up.
It’s a useful tool, and the video goes on to show how the clamp can be made more quickly using higher-end facilities. While small clamps can be had cheaply, the video notes that making tools is fun and we think that’s as good a reason as any to make your own.
We love this design’s simplicity, but its mundane appearance is deceptive because a lot is going on here. [Bas van Hassel]’s clamp looks like a bench cookie or maybe a compressed hockey puck, but one pie piece-shaped quadrant extends on dovetails to form a right-angle channel, perfect for holding your ninety-degree joint while your glue dries. Opposing disc edges are flat, so your clamp won’t slip. Divots on the top and bumps on the bottom keep your stacks nice and neat when you put them away. All around, we have no trouble believing this designer has spent a lot of hours in the woodshop.
As long as your wood pieces are the same thickness, it seems like a practical use of printer filament, but if you have different sizes, you can always pull the dovetail out of its groove. Thanks to the scaling feature built into slicing programs, we expect some precision makers to utilize this in projects like dollhouses and model airplanes. If you have a high-resolution printer, you could make some miniature tools to construct a flea circus set. At that point, you may need to make some smaller clamps.
The clamp is similar to one you’d find at any hardware store. Standard PLA or ABS filaments can be used for the main body of the clamp, which has an integrated hinge. However, instead of having a typical metal spring, the element is instead 3D printed. The spring is created out of TPU filament, and printed in place. Different in-fill percentages on the spring component can vary the characteristics of the spring, making for a softer or firmer grip.
Fixturing and work holding can be huge problems for hackers. Let’s face it – that $5, alligator clip-festooned “Helping Hand” is good for only the smallest of workpieces, and the problem only gets worse as the size scales up. One can jury rig fixtures for things like microscopes and lights, but a systematic approach like this 3D-Printed work fixturing Erector Set really appeals to our need for organization.
As [Tinkers Projects] explains it, the genesis of this project came from a need to mount a microscope firmly over a PCB. Rather than build a one-off fixture, the idea of a complete system of clamps and connectors seemed to make more sense. Based on 10-mm aluminum rods and a bewildering number of 3D-printed pieces, the set has just about everything needed to fixture pretty much anything. There’s a vertical element that acts as the central support, connectors for putting another rod perpendicular to that, plus neat attachments like a three-fingered clamp for small cylindrical objects and a couple of blocks that act like a stick-vise for PCBs and similar workpieces. And yes, there’s even a fixture with alligator clips. The whole thing seems very well thought out and has a little mad scientist vibe to it, but while some fixtures look as if they came right from the chemistry lab, we’d be cautious about chemical compatibility and use near heat sources.
[Elliot Williams] did a rundown of what people are using for helping hands a couple of years ago which made us covet articulating dial indicator arms for our bench. Still, [Tinkers Projects]’ approach has a lot of appeal and is probably cheaper and more versatile to boot.
The build starts with a regular F-clamp – a familiar tool to the home woodworker. The clamp is old and worn, making it the perfect candidate for some experimentation. First off, the handle is given a good sanding to avoid the likelihood of painful splinters. Then, the top bar is drilled and tapped, and some threaded rod fitted to act as an axle. A polyurethane wheel from a children’s scooter is then fitted, and held in place with a dome nut.
The final product is a wheel that can be clamped to just about anything, making it easier to move. [create] demonstrates using the wheelclamp to move a long piece of lumber, but we fully expect to see these on the shelf of Home Depot in 12 months for moving furniture around the house. With a few modifications to avoid marring furniture, these clamps could be a removalist’s dream.