Clamping workpieces, t track, bench dog or something else?

We did have a small vacuum table discussion in this thread:

Complete with a small adapter for an air compressor to pull a vacuum (that I still have on my amazon wishlist)

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Brass hardware for hold-down is an option that shouldn’t damage steel or carbide bits.

I use my pin nailer all the time if i know i making aggressive cuts. I’ve cut through more than a couple. The metal is pretty danged soft and didn’t damage the tools in any way i could tell. That’s carbide and HSS, i don’t even sweat it anymore.

Mostly i hold things with a diy ttrack. Strips of wood spaced apart, wider on top of and centered on the lower strips to make the tees, and 3d printed blocks to turn 1/4" bolts into tnuts that fit into the groove.

Works great, except where i got sloppy on my spacing.


I’m going to try this. I have a couple projects that are 1/4 ply and have cut outs i would like to avoid holding tabs on this one so the brads sound like a good idea.
I use blue tape on the spoilboard and on the edge of the piece then hot glue and then set zero. It works very well on projects that are not cut out.


I will try and post pics in a day or so. tied up on a project right now. Will try and post my FreeCad files I use.

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I’m on the screw train. On large pieces I put one screw in the corner then I run the first part of my code which drills little holes where my layout is. I do this with a bit called (screw layout) in estlcam. In reality I just use a 1/8 bit but in estl I have the diameter set to the screw head diameter so I can check clearances. When posting the gcode I simply remove the tool change code after the holes are drilled and leave a pause to give me time to put screws inplace before running the rest.

I tried Brad nails but had issues with them breaking when I tried to remove them leaving little stubs in my spoil board.


I got a square aluminum tube and milled out a slot to turn it into a T-slot, and I 3D printed some T-slot nut holders:

Costed me 8 euro and some time.