In Tricks of the Trade

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I made a clamping device for my bench that can quickly snug up a board just by swinging a lever. The lever has a cam that pushes a sliding stop tight against the board.

I made all the parts from 1/4″ thick stock. The total thickness of the device is 1/2″, so I can use it for planing or sanding any piece that’s more than 1/2″ thick.

The base for the stop is 6″ wide and 20″ long. The guide rails are 6″ long. The inner edges of the rails and the outer edges of the sliding stop are beveled at 10°. The bevels on the rails point up, while the bevels on the stop point down. This dovetailed arrangement keeps the stop from lifting up when it’s tightened. The rails are glued to the base.

The cam lever is 2″ wide and 6″ long; its rounded end is a circle with a 1″ radius. The lever rotates on an 8-32 FH machine screw, 3/4″ long. The hole for the screw is offset: It’s located 5/8″ in from the left side of the lever and 1″ down from the lever’s end. Drill this hole first, using a 1/8″ bit, then align the lever with the sliding stop and continue the hole through the base. Countersink the bottom of the hole, insert the screw and fasten it with a wing nut. –Serge Duclos


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