In Tools

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Tool: Toggle Clamp Plates

Manufacturer: Lee Valley

MSRP: $22.50

A hold-down can get you out of a tight spot. Sometimes an odd-shaped or small part doesn’t lend itself to being held by a typical clamp or vise. These new Toggle Clamp Plates from Lee Valley are a really cool idea.

Mount the clamp to the plate, and drill a 3/4″ hole anywhere you need it. The 3/4″ x 5″ long post is actually slightly undersize and barbed, so when clamping pressure is applied, there’s no slippage.

The plates are drilled and tapped to accept Bessey Auto-Adjust clamps. It’d be nice if they’d accept a variety of clamps, but the Bessey Auto-Adjust clamps are the cream of the crop, in my opinion. Mounting bolts are included.

The actual plate is 3/8″ thick, so it adds 3/8″ to the maximum height capacity of the clamps, but doesn’t take anything away from the minimum capacity. According to the manufacturer, you can still clamp a piece of paper to your bench. If you’re using the Inline Auto-Adjust clamp, which applies horizontal pressure, its center height is raised from 7/8″, to 1-1/4″.

The plates are sold separately, or including a clamp. The clamp adds $15-$17 to the price.

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