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Work Holding 1

    An Adjustable Work Holder

I am often faced with the difficulty of holding small or irregular shaped pieces so that I can route on the flat face as opposed to the edges. Woodrat's small box type jig is limited by the maximum cam lock width, so I made this:-      

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Using this jig I can hold any shape work square or at any angle just by setting and locking the acrylic plates. These plates have numerous 8MM threaded holes to take Trend's standard fixing knobs.

The table top is made of 18mm (3/4") plywood with four 8mm slots which is simply screwed onto plywood cheek pieces  which are held in the cam locks. When set at the required angles, the plates are prevented from moving or lifting by tightening down the fully adjustable locking blocks on the ends.

 

The cheeks have holes in them as shown to make it easy to grip whilst fitting and taking up any "slack" in the carriage.

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border="0" The 8mm slots run from cheek to cheek with a break in the centre to maintain strength and are roughly equally spaced over the board width.
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I made two plates from 8mm thick acrylic which must be about one and a half inches longer than the board is wide. I drilled a number of 6.5mm holes along diagonal lines plus some randomly spaced ones as well. Lubricate an 8mm tap with some wax and thread each of the holes which are then countersunk on both sides. Be a bit judicious in the spacing. i.e try to arrange that every 1/4" that you move the plate away from the woodrat face then a hole will align with a slot. I used acrylic (perspex) because   a/ It was available. b/ it is easy to thread. c/ if I ran into it with the router bit, it would do no harm to the cutter d/ the combined thickness of the ply and plastic plus another piece of plastic acting as a washer just equalled the length of the thread on the fixing bolts. Alloy, Tufnell or phenolic plates would be more professional.

 

Each plate needs a kit of parts as shown here.

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Two 8mm threaded knobs, 8mm thick washer (I used a piece of the 8mm acrylic), a slotted  plywood locking block the same thickness as the table top plus another 8mm slotted piece for the locking block that sits under the table. The pictures explain all. 

 

The parts fit together like this  

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border="0" and it fits on the table like this.  
Here are two under table views showing how the locks prevent the plates from moving. border="0"        border="0"
border="0" This system is very adjustable and here you can see how angled slots have been cut.
This shows how the screws use the maximum amount of thread without protruding through the plates. border="0"
border="0" This a piece of wood with compound angles. I was able to hold this and cut slots and recesses at all sorts of positions with ease. 

I have found these plates to grip well but you could stick some rubber or emery paper on the edges as an improvement. Sharply tapered pieces may possibly need an extra clamp to prevent movement if pulling the router towards you. Notched wedges could also be used between the work and plates.

Because the actual table is so quick and easy to make, it can be treated as sacrificial if you want to route through the work without packing it up off the table.

I have given no measurements as I am sure that you will want to make to your own requirements. If you want the sizes that I used then email me.


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