Clamping of Straight Edge - Router Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2008
Country: United States
First Name: Ross
Posts: 14
Default Clamping of Straight Edge

I've been doing some dados and flush cuts with my router for some closet shelving I'm making out of melamine. But I've had a hell of a time (also in the past with plywood) with keeping my straight edge stationary. Right now I'm using a 24" square.

To hold that down, I've tried using the big long Irwin pistol grip bar clamps, and I've tried some smaller ratcheting ones, but neither has been consistent in holding. I've thought about using C-clamps, but feel like those might cause some damage to the wood, and using a space block with that seems like it would be even more prone to slipping.

Just looking for some guidance on how others can consistently get a fixed straight edge.

Thanks in advance!
ross.anderson is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 03:18 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2007
Country: United States
First Name: gary
Posts: 161

Along with the grips, apply some double-stick tape. Carpet tape would be the extreme.

If the length isn't too great, you could also get some of that sanding matting. It is actually carpet padding ---- rubbery with bubbles. Just don't get the thick stuff. With no clamps, it will grip a piece of wood while you work it over with a vibrating sander.
garycurtis is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 03:24 PM
Registered User
Marco's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Country: United States
First Name: Jim
Posts: 1,305

If I understand correctly, you are using a 24" framing square for the edge of your router base to ride against so you can get a straight cut and the framing square is moving after clamping?

There are several ways to get a straight cut and I'm sure others will add...

I would use your 24" square to make sure another piece of wood is straight and clamp that piece of wood to be used for the router to ride against. You can also use factory edges of sheet goods as generaly they are straight just double check it with your square.

Also if you plan on making more dado's a dado jig would save a lot of time and aggravation. Google Dado Jig and several will come up here's one that some like Router Workshop: shelf dado jig

Hope this helps

[B“It’s not a mistake, it’s a design feature”][/B]
Marco is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 08:44 AM
Retired Moderator
Mike's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Country: United States
First Name: Mike
Posts: 11,921
Send a message via Skype™ to Mike

Ross, there are a couple of reasons you are getting the shifting. Consider that Melamine is very slick; using double sided carpet tape is a good solution as mentioned by Gary. Different types of clamps have different clamping pressures. Qucik Grip style clamps work well for glue ups where you want to hold the materials together and not squeeze out your glue. F style clamps develop more clamping pressure and C clamps provide the most. To prevent marring your surface when using these clamps add a wooden spacer; this will prevent crushing and allow greater clamping pressure to hold your work piece securely.

"Living in the D" (this means Detroit!)
"It's fine to disagree with other members as long as you respect their opinions"
Mike is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 07:44 AM
Registered User
argoknot's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Country: United States
First Name: john
Posts: 235

I use a clamp guide. It works for me.

WoodRiver Clamp Guides -

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Live it to it's fullest.

Making sawdust by the sea in Massachusetts
argoknot is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 03:15 PM
Bargains Finder
Join Date: Apr 2009
Country: United States
First Name: Tommy
Posts: 770

I'd recommend you purchase a Pro Grip 24 inch clamp from Peachtree Woodworking. They work perfect as a guide such as you describe and as it just so happens is on sale this weekend for $19.99 + shippin. I happen to have a complete set of these fine well built clamps and highly recommend them to others as they are strong as well as versatile. Heres a link to the sale. They are about 15 rows down on the right hand side, Edirect Special - Peachtree Woodworking Supply, Inc.
Tommyt654 is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 04:17 PM
Honored Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Country: United States
First Name: pat
Posts: 1,053

Clamping down is the same as adding weight. Adding wt. frustrates the slip & slide alright but it is not the way to stop stuff from pivoting!
So what? There are 12 degrees of freedom of a work piece on a flat surface!
In/out, l/r, up/dn and 3 rotational components (cw/ccw) relating to the 3 axes of the work or fence, adds up to 12.
So there is a lot of opportunity for the work to move.
A couple of sticks clamped against the back of your guide would help.
But & notwithstanding, clamp down sticks and routers zipping along them provide a lousy means of steering the cutter from point A to ponit B.
Cleats, clamps, stops, fences, high friction surfaces will add & abet.
But be advised, clamping down, by itself, is a recipe for slip/slide city.
Quillman is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Router Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Porter Cable 55160 Omnijig Review Echonav Tool Reviews 19 06-21-2015 02:59 AM
How to keep a straight edge nice Kelly Rittgers Tools and Woodworking 12 11-07-2010 07:41 PM
How do you make a straight edge tool? sofasurfer Jigs and Fixtures 45 04-30-2010 04:05 PM
Jig for Edge Drawer Pull Inlays Troy_Utah Jigs and Fixtures 9 01-30-2010 07:05 AM
Straight Edge S Bolton General Routing 7 01-06-2008 12:50 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome