View Full Version : How do you hold stuff down?

11-05-2003, 09:00 PM
OK, so you have built a very cool router that does amazing things. I would think it would be fairly easy to hold down plaques or cabinet doors while your router works on them.
However, what if you want to make allot of small things at one time? I was thinking about making pistol grips for guns. I was thinking about cutting 10-20 of them at a time from one large piece of hard wood. When the router cuts through the wood to make each one it seems to me they would go flying. Hmm.....
I don't think a vacuum table would work because the parts are small (not enough area for suction).
I guess I could have the router to drill the two screw holes for each pistol grip and then actually use screws to hold it down to the sacrificial table while it completes the job.

Besides vacuum, screws and clamps, is there any other process that might work to hold things down?

11-05-2003, 09:36 PM
when I was cutting my clocks, some of the gears were 3/4" in diameter. I did just as you suggest. Have the machine drill the holes, pause while you put screws in, then start again. You can even make a fixture with tapped holes in the right location for the hold down screws.

Larger parts I have just let flop around when the cutting is done. So far no flying parts here.


11-05-2003, 09:46 PM
Would double sided tape work? The only thing I can think is that if you should hit part of the tape, it may gum up your tool.


11-05-2003, 10:07 PM
This is what I do to make alot of small things at one time.
Use a butter board, with a lot of vacuum.
Start programming from left to right.
Cut all the not thru steps on all the parts first.
then drill all the small holes, even the thru holes.
then tap all the small holes, .

Then program in quadrents,,Left to right.
Contour your larger holes and the
outside contour of each part thru leaveing (3) (minimum)
.05 wide, .020 high spokes to hold your parts onto the main
stock to prevent them from flopping around.
When the first quad in cut a lot of your vaccum is excapeing.
so clean off the chips and put a peice of clean sheet
metal over the parts that are finished .(seals the vacc again)
And repeat for the second third and forth quads, always
leaveing the clean sheets on untill the program is complete.
I tap larger holes with a tap head later.
Every move is important, think it thru.
Plastic moulders nippers removes spokes flush.
Then thru in the tumbler, while you go to lunch.
Love Scott

11-05-2003, 10:43 PM
Include small tabs that keep the cut out part connected to the blank then when the project is finished on the router table snap off the parts and sand smooth the roughness of the remainder of the tab.
Similar to the plastic pieces still attached in a model kit.

Some programs have this feature built in. I can't name them .... I'm still building my machine not making chips yet.

11-06-2003, 11:01 AM
I've got a vacuum table (4'x 8') - when I've got small parts I leave a few .001s (keeping the sheet intact), break them out and use a flush router to clean them up.

11-06-2003, 03:35 PM
You can hold down small parts with locating pins and vacuum if the parts have holes in them. The pins arrest any lateral motion of the part but still allow the part to be placed and removed without tools. If you’re cutting parts out of a sheet and have to machine them on top and bottom, the holes need only be on the top. You would cut half way through the sheet, then flip the sheet over onto the locating pins and cut the bottom.
DO NOT use double sided tape on small parts if the parts are at nut height (I don’t mean the nuts on your machine) unless your machine has a sturdy blast shield. Luckily, mine does.


11-06-2003, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by tsalaf
DO NOT use double sided tape on small parts if the parts are at nut height (I don’t mean the nuts on your machine) unless your machine has a sturdy blast shield. Luckily, mine does.


All machines are a nut hight.....:):D


11-07-2003, 11:01 AM
Not mine :D

11-14-2003, 01:24 PM
Well it can work. I've used a few times when cutting parts out of various types of plastic sheet. A few things to watch out for though...
1. It may not hold wood very well (I've had problems with mdf).
2. It may hold some things too well. I've got a few broken parts that I could not get off the machine table!
3. It will clog up small cutters if you cut into it....

It is kind of nice though when you get it all correct and you cut down to but not into the tape (which is very thin)....