Great writeup and gave me some ideas.
Here is another alternative. See what you guys think.
I took the Bench Dog Cookies T-track Connectors and added it to my Kreg Jig.
I am trying to think of better way to connect it but it still works great. Might add a washer at the end.
That's an interesting idea. I do have a question though - are the connectors clamped to the top somehow or do they just drop through the dog holes and "cock" when the clamp is locked down? May not be a good idea on an MFT style top where the holes are used as locators and it would be a problem if they became oversize/eggy form the clamp use. I bought the Kreg bases on a special deal when they first came out, and really like the concept. I have some similar clamps - another brand but functionally identical - but am thinking that I could make a version of my own for way less money.
Sticking with the 3/4" dowel concept (because I always seem to have some pieces lying around):
- take a piece of scrap 1/2" BB and counterbore a 3/4" hole partly through. The footprint of the bare clamp is a little on the small side (in my opinion) and this spreads the load over a larger area.
- cut a piece of 3/4" dowel to the appropriate length, glue it into the plywood and drill the 5/16" hole (I believe that the tapped hole in the foot of the clamp is 5/16"NC) through both parts.
- take a 5/16" knob with male stud and install through the mount and into the clamp from under the top. I don't know if the male knobs come with the stud length needed, but I always buy female knobs and a length of all-thread and make my own - cuts down on inventory and I can make the stud length what I need - red Loctite fixes the stud in the knob, and I've never had a problem with one coming loose.
With this idea, or something similar, you can make your own bases using scrap pieces - cost would probably be a couple dollars for the knob.
I used the Kreg clamps the other day and found that the clamps swiveling was a distraction as I was having to turn them slightly each time to get them lined up where I needed so wound up making a couple of shorter dowel sleeves so that the knob fixed the clamp in place - I guess having both versions lets me use whichever is appropriate.