I’ve used Rockler clamps to hold down my CNC router workpieces for quite some time, (see my original setup/howto) but recently discovered that there is a miniature version of these clamps available.
Below are links to what you’ll need for this setup from Amazon – Rockler throws in free shipping on orders over $25 there, possibly on their site as well, not sure. If you want to set up a clamp table as I did, I’d recommend getting some combination of the following:
- Rockler 4 Ft. Universal T-Track ($14.99)
- Mini Deluxe Hold-Down Clamp ($4.99)
- Rockler Deluxe Hold Down Clamp ($10.99)
These were used on a 7×12 Zen Toolworks router, which can also be purchased off of Amazon. My model is a bit older, and doesn’t have the taller “3D” gantry – I’ve written a ton about it and projects done with it in my CNC section.
If money was no object, I suppose the 4 foot track and 4 or each type of clamp would give you the most options, but you can always start out with some combination of the 4 foot track and 2 or more of the clamps. I’m pretty happy with two large and two small, although having 4 small clamps would be pretty nice as well. Plus I missed out on the free shipping, since I didn’t really think I needed 6 of the little clamps!
Having four clamps to hold everything down is a huge improvement over the two that I’d been using before (here’s that setup link again, or this related post about the sacrificial MDF bed I’m using with it). I’ve been working on an exciting project using 1/4 inch plywood, which tends to bend a bit, so this has been really useful. As shown, I’m using cut pieces of polycarbonate as standoffs to keep everything above the bed and (relatively) level.
On a side note, I get a small commission from Amazon if you buy stuff (anything, not just what’s linked) after following one of my links there. Of course I like the small amount of money, but I really try not to recommend anything I don’t use and like. I had been linking to stuff there anyway, so actually getting paid for it is a nice bonus! Also, the prices stay the same if you buy from this site, if you’re worried about that.