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Work Holding 4

Jim Matti has sent in his version of a work holding table with some photos. Jim can be contacted by email here.

So in his own words:

"This is version #3 of my work holding table for flat work.  

The first version was a simple particle board table with vertical braces that clamped in the regular WR clamps.  It had a stop on the left end and used clamps to hold a board that kept the work against the stop (E-W) and another clamp and board to hold the work against the main channel of the rat (N-S).  Vertical holding was and is also on this version from the base plate.  Biggest problems were having the right thickness and size holding boards, the room to use clamps and worst of all sliding rail slop (N-S).

The second version attached to my mortise rail, and employed t-track rather than clamps.  It was an attempted modification on ALF’s table.  Using the mortise rail eliminated the sliding rail slop but the whole thing was way too heavy and there was still the problem of the clamps getting in the way.

This version (3.0) is working well and has solved the weight and clamping problems.  It is basically another version of ALF’s table.  The key elements are the use of the mortise rail to assure stability N-S and the use of t-bolts and slots to allow the holding system to pass under the main base plate. 

First, here is the mortise rail, which is fastened to the sliding rail using the tapped hole for the fences and an additional set I tapped into the right end of the rail.



Next the table is attached to the mortise rail using the t- track.  This allows adjustment for the thickness of the work.



The table is made from ˝” MDO and I removed as much material as possible to keep it light.  The cut-outs are also useful for access when tightening the work holding pieces.  There is a pair of bolts at the top also that can’t be seen.  Basically the holes seen on the outer face are the same on the other side, so the table can be mounted either side to the mortise rail.  On this side the top has an overhang the depth of the mortise rail so that narrow work can be held, however, the overhang makes it very difficult to mount on the mortise rail.

The table is similar to ALF’s but rather than using fixed t-nuts I cut a pattern of 3” slots both N-S and E-W.



The work is held at either end (E-W) by a piece of the MDO that is adjustable from 3/8” to about 1.5” and of course is sacrificial.  Then it is held against that stop and the main extrusion by the “clamp boards”.  The clamp boards (I made various sizes with 1 slot, 2 slots, 3 slot, etc.) are made from 3/8 birch ply with slots to match the slots in the table with a recess to hold a t-bolt beneath the top surface.  The way it is laid out, between the 2 set of slots, it will hold any sized work in a flat position for ‘Ratting on the face of the work, as long as it is 3/8” or thicker.

BTW, I cut all of the slots using table version #1, so some of them are less than perfect.  I also made a duplicate table top so I can use it as a sacrificial top when I need to cut through the work.


I can provide a .dwg (Autocad) file and/or more pictures if anyone is interested."

And here are those drawings: 


Thanks Jim,

Fixing it to the carriage and not via the camlocks certainly makes for a more positive mount. T-track is difficult to source in the UK at the right price and I am not aware of MDO stockist either but I guess good quality plywood would be OK.


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