Tips & Tricks: Bar Clamp Hold-Down

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This article is from Issue 104 of Woodcraft Magazine.

During a recent project, I realized that I needed a bench hold-down. I’ve seen commercially available toggle-style hold-downs that fit in 3/4"-diameter bench dog holes like mine but wanted the kind of extra strength that a screw clamp can apply. I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I created one by modifying a clamp I already have. I began by sawing the head off of a 12"-long F-style clamp that has a 3/4"-wide bar. Then, using an angle grinder outfitted with a 1/16" disk, I ground a dozen or so pairs of opposing notches about 1/8" apart at the end of the bar, angling them at about 60°. Finally, I filed the sharp edges of the notched section for safety and for an easier fit in my dog holes. The modified clamp works great! It’s remarkable how often I find myself using it.

—Don Stump, Grand Rapids, Michigan


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