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Discussion Starter #1
Kreg recently introduced a base for mounting their Bench Clamps in dog holes on your bench top. The bases are attached with a 1/2" bolt through the top, but the instructions say not to tighten the locking knob so that the base/clamp assembly could swivel. This makes sense except I wasn't too happy with the idea that the bolt was loose, particularly since it appears that there needs to be a fair amount of clearance or the friction against the bottom of the bench top tends to tighten the knob as the assembly swivels. I bought some 3/4" OD x 1/2" ID nylon bushings and fitted them over the bolt and that seems to solve the looseness problem - the holes in my top are 20 mm so there's about 1/32" clearance - but the knob still tends to tighten on the surface when you swivel so you have to reach under and loosen it. The bushings are 3/8" long, and the two are just slightly thinner than the top, I'm going to try adding a thin flat washer (thinking maybe I can punch a couple out of some scrap coil stock) right under the base so that the bushing just sticks out past the surface - hopefully this will let the assembly swivel easily without self-tightening.

So far, I like the bases - nice solid aluminum castings - and they give me a way to hold down to the top using my existing Bench Clamps.
 

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An elastic stop nut ( nut with a nylon insert) instead of their nut wouldn't be as easy to reach under and tighten/loosen, but it would stay in place on the threads preventing it from tightening or loosening when the pad is rotated. You could also modify their nut by drilling and threading a sideways hole in it and then using a nylon ended set screw, tightened enough to interfere with the 1/2" bolt to keep it and their nut from tightening or loosening. Now, why didn't they think of all this.

Charley
 

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Thanks Tom, I haven't seen those hold downs made by Kreg. A question about your table. Did you make it or is store bought? I have been wanting a table with dog holes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@hawkeye10

Don,

It's a Festool MFT that I bought. I toyed with the idea of picking up the Lee Valley Parf Guide set-up and making my own but it really didn't make sense right now, maybe a little further down the road after I've played with it a little and decided how I want to "improve" it. I use it with the Parf Dogs for cutting panels after I rip them to width on my cutting table - the photo shows checking square with the fence located by RipDog Fence Dogs and the track by Parf Dogs (I was cutting multiple pieces and needed the fence so I could use the flip stop). The X & Y holes check dead on at 90° to each other so it's just a matter of dropping the part on the table, butting it up to the stops and lining the track up with the mark. The MFT is good for what it does but, IMO, a little shaky for hard work as a workbench - but then I have my assembly table and just need to drill some dog holes in it. I'll only be using the dog holes for clamping, so laying the holes out with a straightedge and square will be good enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
An elastic stop nut ( nut with a nylon insert) instead of their nut wouldn't be as easy to reach under and tighten/loosen, but it would stay in place on the threads preventing it from tightening or loosening when the pad is rotated. You could also modify their nut by drilling and threading a sideways hole in it and then using a nylon ended set screw, tightened enough to interfere with the 1/2" bolt to keep it and their nut from tightening or loosening. Now, why didn't they think of all this.

Charley
The clamp isn't going to be fixed in the top, and will be removed when I'm cutting something, so needs to be relatively easy to move - crawling under the top to loosen or tighten a setscrew isn't going to do it for me. I think adding a couple of thin aluminum washers under the clamp, before the nylon bushings, seems like the cleanest way to go. If I wind up with 1/64" or so projection of the end of the bushing below the underside of the top, the knob won't tighten on the work top as the clamp spins but the whole assembly won't be sloppy which is what I'm looking for. The ID of the bushings are a friction fit on the body of the bolt so I won't have to worry about them falling off - although I maybe need to drill a 3/4" test hole and check the fit of the OD of the bushings, then decide what size dog holes I wind up putting in the other top.
 

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No Tom, you don't understand. The nylon tipped set screw only needs to be tight enough to keep the Kreg knob from turning on the threads. Just a little added friction so the knob doesn't tighten or loosen on it's own. The Kreg knob could be used exactly as originally intended, but would not tighten or loosen on it's own when the parts above the table were moved. Once the set screw creates enough friction to keep the knob from tightening or loosening, no further adjustment of the set screw should be necessary, but could again be adjusted if the Kreg knob ever begins to slip on it's threads again.It would not need to be adjusted so tight that you couldn't unscrew the Kreg knob, just enough to keep it from turning on it's own.

Charley
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No Tom, you don't understand. The nylon tipped set screw only needs to be tight enough to keep the Kreg knob from turning on the threads. Just a little added friction so the knob doesn't tighten or loosen on it's own. The Kreg knob could be used exactly as originally intended, but would not tighten or loosen on it's own when the parts above the table were moved. Once the set screw creates enough friction to keep the knob from tightening or loosening, no further adjustment of the set screw should be necessary, but could again be adjusted if the Kreg knob ever begins to slip on it's threads again.It would not need to be adjusted so tight that you couldn't unscrew the Kreg knob, just enough to keep it from turning on it's own.

Charley
Gotcha. So maybe a dab of VibraTite on the bolt threads would do the same thing?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, with one thing and another (including a call from my wife who had lost her keys at Walmart - long story), all I got done was working on the Kreg clamps - although my buddy in from NC stopped by to catch up on the news and show me his new Corvette, nice car. I went with the idea of making some aluminum shims to put under the nylon bushings, turned out that 5 of them was enough to give me almost 1/64" stick-out. That solved the problem, the plastic knob spins down on the end of the bushing without clamping on the top and still lets the clamp spin - and no rocking in the hole. I like the set-up, now I have to drill some dog holes in the other top.
 

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Well, with one thing and another (including a call from my wife who had lost her keys at Walmart - long story), all I got done was working on the Kreg clamps - although my buddy in from NC stopped by to catch up on the news and show me his new Corvette, nice car. I went with the idea of making some aluminum shims to put under the nylon bushings, turned out that 5 of them was enough to give me almost 1/64" stick-out. That solved the problem, the plastic knob spins down on the end of the bushing without clamping on the top and still lets the clamp spin - and no rocking in the hole. I like the set-up, now I have to drill some dog holes in the other top.
Tom,

When this post initially came out I liked the idea so well I ordered the clamp for myself. It's still sitting on the workbench waiting to be opened and I have plans to do that tomorrow. I have yet to decide what I'm going to mount it on for my current project but I do think it is going to be very helpful. I can't do any machining so if I have a problem like the one you had I'll have to come up with something. Thanks for the idea.

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
@bryansong

Bryan,

After going through the exercise of ordering the nylon spacers and then punching out the aluminum shims, it occurred to me that there was "A Better Way" - as the little videos by Fine Homebuilding say. Take a section of 3/4" dowel, cut it to the length needed - say top thickness + 1/64" or so - and drill a 1/2" hole down the center. I've got offcuts of 3/4" dowel lying around the shop, would have been much quicker and easier. Oh well, maybe the light bulb will go off before the fact next time.
 

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The good thing about this type of clamp base is your work surface only needs to be something with a 3/4 or 20mm hole in it. That could be that old Workmate sitting in the corner, or a simple piece of plywood on sawhorses, or... let your imagination run wild.
 

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The good thing about this type of clamp base is your work surface only needs to be something with a 3/4 or 20mm hole in it. That could be that old Workmate sitting in the corner, or a simple piece of plywood on sawhorses, or... let your imagination run wild.
The plus for the Kreg clamps is that they're a little more versatile as far as reach and so forth, but this modification to the Quick-Grip (or similar) clamp is cheap and easy to do - just need a sturdy vise and a torch - and they work just as well as the Festool version. https://bethepro.com/forums/topic/alternative-to-festool-mft-clamps/ For the clamps that don't have the removable "fixed" jaw, I found that cutting the jaw off with a multi-tool was the quick way to go. The original post didn't give any process description, I found that it was easier to make the 90° bend on the flat first and then twist to move the second 90° - get the bend nice and hot, clamped in the vise, and then use a 24" crescent wrench snugged down on the long leg to get the twist into the bend. I didn't take any photos when I did the first two - one hand for the torch and the other to make the bend, came up one hand short for the camera. Have another pair to modify so maybe I can get my wife to take a couple of in-process photos for me (or talk her into a movie camera for Christmas >:) )
 

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The good thing about this type of clamp base is your work surface only needs to be something with a 3/4 or 20mm hole in it. That could be that old Workmate sitting in the corner, or a simple piece of plywood on sawhorses, or... let your imagination run wild.
That's the way I going to go Mike. I'm not there yet. I'm still cutting cabinet box pieces.

Bryan
 

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Here is a simple portable bench top work bench. I got the original idea from a guy on another forum, and I'll be danged if I can remember his name. Canadian, I think, and a very skilled guy. Brian something or another was his name.

This Portable work bench can be clamped to your bench or saw horses or whatever is handy. Originally, it had slots cut all around the edge for drill press type clamps that can be clamped in the slot, similar to what Kreg has come up with.

I drilled holes in mine, and later added a small Kreg plate in the middle. I had to reinforce the bottom of it (see pictures). It worked well for me on numerous occasions. I finally parted ways with it because I now have a CNC cut work surface that is in two pieces and makes for a great portable work area.

Take a look at these pics and maybe they will generate some inspiration.
 

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Here is a simple portable bench top work bench. I got the original idea from a guy on another forum, and I'll be danged if I can remember his name. Canadian, I think, and a very skilled guy. Brian something or another was his name.

This Portable work bench can be clamped to your bench or saw horses or whatever is handy. Originally, it had slots cut all around the edge for drill press type clamps that can be clamped in the slot, similar to what Kreg has come up with.

I drilled holes in mine, and later added a small Kreg plate in the middle. I had to reinforce the bottom of it (see pictures). It worked well for me on numerous occasions. I finally parted ways with it because I now have a CNC cut work surface that is in two pieces and makes for a great portable work area.

Take a look at these pics and maybe they will generate some inspiration.


Mike,

That table would work out great for me, can you tell me what size are Dog holes? I don't have a bench like that and it would be nice to get something like that set up.

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Here's the next iteration in Mike's portable work top - the hole pattern allows it to be used with dogs and a track for cutting parts.

 

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Here's the next iteration in Mike's portable work top - the hole pattern allows it to be used with dogs and a track for cutting parts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-SzRbVPob0
Hey Tom,

I did get the Kreg unit that comes with the metal plate and I flush mounted to some plywood. The plywood has a frame built under it and that is clamped to two WorkMates. I just built a tall cabinet using that table but haven't used the Kreg clamp yet but I am about to Saturday when I'll build my face frame.

Back to my temporary table, it's not too fancy but it's been a great work surface. It'll do for now.

Bryan
 

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Thanks for sharing, Tom. That's pretty spanky, right there. I am subscribed to his channel, but haven't seen this video. He has some good ideas.

The only drawback for someone making his table is money. It seems everything is costly. I have some Makita track grip tape similar to what he used...about $17 I think. But, that would make for a really nice work table, and versatile too.

UGH! Those square corners were driving me crazy! I know it is just me, but I always like to round the corners on my projects. I just like the look, and I don't jab a rib when working with the table. :grin:

BTW, the clamp modifications we made to the Harbor Freight clamps are working very well. Much more economical that those Fe$tool brand clamps. :smile:

I could very easily adapt his mods to the portable work tables I already have. HMMM...sounds like a nice winter project! :grin:
 

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