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There's some good tips in there. If you have dog holes in the bench then you can cover most of those with dogs and the end vise. Mine has dog holes but one problem with having dog holes is that small parts like screws tend to seek them out so that they can fall through into another dimension never to be found again. I often wish I had another solid top bench just for assembly for that reason.
 

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There's some good tips in there. If you have dog holes in the bench then you can cover most of those with dogs and the end vise. Mine has dog holes but one problem with having dog holes is that small parts like screws tend to seek them out so that they can fall through into another dimension never to be found again. I often wish I had another solid top bench just for assembly for that reason.
solid sheet goods cover..
 

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thanks...
great post..
 

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I get those tips regularly and I just watched this video last night. I agree that there are some useful and inexpensive jigs in here. I teach my students to use a bench hook and we build them so they have to take home. I marked this video to make some of these once my router table is finished, almost there, installed drawers yesterday.
 

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There's some good tips in there. If you have dog holes in the bench then you can cover most of those with dogs and the end vise. Mine has dog holes but one problem with having dog holes is that small parts like screws tend to seek them out so that they can fall through into another dimension never to be found again. I often wish I had another solid top bench just for assembly for that reason.
They are partying it up with all the socks that never seem to make it out of the dryer with their mates....
 

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There's some good tips in there. If you have dog holes in the bench then you can cover most of those with dogs and the end vise. Mine has dog holes but one problem with having dog holes is that small parts like screws tend to seek them out so that they can fall through into another dimension never to be found again. I often wish I had another solid top bench just for assembly for that reason.
I'm right there with you, CC - dog holes can be a problem. I have a smaller work surface but it's not big enough for assembly. I'm gonna get a sheet of Luan to put down for that. I also use a paper roll to lay down for finishing. Helps some...my best surface for checking flat and square is still the table saw.
 

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I've made a few of these jigs, but lately I've been using vacuum chucks for most of this kind of work. I use both the Rockler and/or shop made vacuum chucks, depending on the shape of the work piece. An HVAC vacuum pump from Harbor Freight with an air filter in the line to keep saw dust out of the vacuum pump, some 1/4" fittings and 1/4" plastic air line is all that is needed. I just screw the chucks to the work bench and connect the lines between the chucks and vacuum pump, turn on the pump and drop the work piece on the vacuum chucks. They hold the piece very tightly, even more if the area of the vacuum chuck can be made larger. I use closed cell Weather stripping with a peel and stick backing to form the seal on my shop made chucks and it lasts nearly forever.

Charley
 

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I've made a few of these jigs, but lately I've been using vacuum chucks for most of this kind of work. I use both the Rockler and/or shop made vacuum chucks, depending on the shape of the work piece. An HVAC vacuum pump from Harbor Freight with an air filter in the line to keep saw dust out of the vacuum pump, some 1/4" fittings and 1/4" plastic air line is all that is needed. I just screw the chucks to the work bench and connect the lines between the chucks and vacuum pump, turn on the pump and drop the work piece on the vacuum chucks. They hold the piece very tightly, even more if the area of the vacuum chuck can be made larger. I use closed cell Weather stripping with a peel and stick backing to form the seal on my shop made chucks and it lasts nearly forever.

Charley
Hello Charley; do you have any images/photos/videos of this vac table setup you are describing ? Curious also if this is usable for sanding and how you handle the dust collection.

Thx Paul
 

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Hello Charley; do you have any images/photos/videos of this vac table setup you are describing ? Curious also if this is usable for sanding and how you handle the dust collection.

Thx Paul
Here are the Rockler Vacuum pods. https://www.rockler.com/rockler-vacuum-clamp-pod-kit

I just screw them down on my workbench wherever a part of what I'm working on will completely cover the pod or pods. I have 4 of the Rockler pods. Then you just plug the hose between them and connect a vacuum pump with an air filter attached to keep saw dust out of the pump. Turn the pump on and drop your part onto the pods. I had an old refrigeration service vacuum pump that I was using, but recently bought a similar new vacuum pump from Harbor Freight. If you have no leaks, a vacuum under your part will pull it down tight. It will take considerable force to pull it free, or you can just turn off the vacuum pump and wait. Air will leak in and back through the vacuum pump, and the part will be free and easy to lift off.

You can use thick plastic sheet or Baltic Birch to make your own vacuum chucks in any size and shape that you want. Get some closed cell Weather stripping peel and stick foam and lay it out in any shape that you need, the larger the lazy circle, the better for holding force. When there is no air below your work 14.7 psi of atmosphere will be holding your work down. The larger the vacuum area within the foam circle, the tighter the vacuum and the atmospheric pressure will hold the part down.

I made a couple of vacuum chucks from Baltic Birch plywood and cut a groove in them to hold a large "O' ring for the seal. These worked, but were a bit tough to make and get a good seal. The closed cell foam is much easier to use, but the two ends must be joined with no gap. I overlap the ends and then cut through both with a razor blade, then massage the two ends together, removing the excess pieces.

Start with the pods from Rockler, then once you understand how they work, try making some on your own. The vacuum pumps don't do well if there are any leaks, so your pods, piping, and even your work piece needs to fit well so there are no leaks. When you make your own, you will need to drill some blind holes that intersect, for the air passages. This will become more obvious once you see the Rockler pods.

I don't have any photos handy on this computer, but did post a photo of the plywood pod that I made with the "O" ring. It was about 1 1/2 years ago. Here is the link https://www.routerforums.com/tools-woodworking/117865-rockler-vacuum-chuck.html There are a bunch of Youtube videos for vacuum clamping, many for lathe work, but some for clamping to a work bench. SA search for "Vacuum Clamp" on Youtube will bring them up. Remember, the larger the vacuum chuck, the better it will hold because of that 14.7 psi of atmospheric pressure pushing toward the vacuum.

Charley
 
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