Better Work Holding Vise or Inline clamps

Hi everyone I hope you are all doing well.

I imagine I am not the only one who is tired of blue tape and CA glue or having to thread in hold downs that get in the way.

I find so much of my time is spent just setting the material and getting it clamped one way or another to the waste board. I would love to do more high speed machining but I worry about the blue tape letting go.

Has anyone used a vice setup? This is very common with regular steel machining so I’m curious why I do not see it with woodworking and router CNC?

Does anyone have any experience with fast inline toggle clamps?

Has anyone tried a dog hole waste board?

Please Im looking for some insight in getting more repeatable and faster material work holder.


I’ve been using t-track and clamps - made my own out of scrap plywood. Using extra clamps to set up fixtures if/when needed. Only time I use tape/CA-glue is when I need to face the entire top of the piece.

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Has anyone tried the Armor Auto Inline T Track Clamp?

I use one in my pocket hole jig (replaced the threaded adjusting one it came with). It’s super easy to use and clamps tightly. Just push it into the material from the end and then push the clamp handle down. The black piece that goes against the material is pretty robust plastic(?) and won’t mar the material.

There’s also an adjustment where you can adjust the clamping pressure so I would expect it to hold project boards tightly on a CNC t-track setup. You’ll need to make sure to adjust your safe Z height so you don’t run a mill into the clamp handle.

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I have done several batch operations where I put in 2 fences (one on x and one on y) with 2 opposing cam clamps to get repeatable and quick mounting of blanks. Works great.

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Thanks BJ, are you using Ben Myers cams? I found them a little difficult to get the correct distance to actually cam over and stay?

Drywall screws direct into my waste board and any generic cam clamp with a screw as well into the waste board. Just make sure the don’t go through or it may lift the top layer up a bit.

For the cam clamps, such as those by Ben Myers, I’ve found that some spacer strips can fix any placement issues. For example cut some MDF strips in the dimensions: 1x12, 2x12,etc. When the clamps are too far away, just place the best fitting spacer strip in there to fill the gap. It can also prevent marring the workpiece from clamps rubbing against it.


@Hermsen.BJ I’ve looked at some cam clamps but I’m worried that the bolt sticking up is going to play havoc on the z slide and hit the bolt is it passes by. Have you had any issues with the length of the bolts ?

The can clamps I use I screw directly to my waste board today so not an I issue. When I get my quick change waste board then it will be something to keep an eye on

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What about a system of wedges? Start with an L-shaped frame/fence fastened at two of the edges of the waste board. Place the workpiece snugly into the corner of the frame, place a wooden peg on each of the two sides of the waste board across from the fence and next to the workpiece. Press a wedge between the workpiece and each of the wooden pegs. Not much pressure is needed. If the job goes wrong, the only thing the bit will hit is wood. This is kind of the idea, though his frames U-shaped:


I looked at the clamp you referenced. Will this work when my t track is 3/8” below the surface of my waste board. You also spoke to using dog holes how are you doing that?
Thank you so much

Jim I dug in a little deeper and found the dog hole version but my dog holes are only the depth of the thickness of my waste board and this continues to be problematic.

Yep. The track bolt is adjustable in height. You can also use longer or shorter t-track bolts with it. But it does require a 3" safe Z height. Rockler also has a version of the same kind of clamp. Not sure how tall that one is.

Dog holes (3/4" dia is typical for woodworking dogs) allow you to use solid dogs in the holes and then a wedge between the dog and the workpiece. Just tap the wedge into place.

But you could use smaller diameter holes and bolts to make whatever sized dogs you want. The wedges can be tapped in between the material and the bolt head. Or use solid rod of good diameter (3/8 is probably as small as could be reliably relied on to provide sufficient clamping power with wedges).

Something else that is good for hold downs is a composite nailer. They use composite (plastic) nails. They work just like regular brads (they’re usually something like 15ga) but because they’re composite material, if the bit hits one it just cuts right through it without any damage to the bit.

Jim I understand the t track now thank you.

I have a waste board system that has t track, 1/4-20 threaded inserts and 3/4” dia. Dog holes. My ? Is how do I use dog holes that are only the thickness of the waste board system in my case 3/4” thick.

Do I need to drill clearance holes in the top of my torsion box table?
Sorry for the confusion

If you’re carving wood, I’d get 3/4" hardwood dowels and cut them to 1 1/2 or 1 3/4" length. Then you’ll have 3/4 or 1" extending over the waste board surface. The 3/4" depth of the hole should provide plenty of strength for the wedge holding. Those should work well even for 2" stock. And because they’re wood, if you hit one with a bit it shouldn’t be catastrophic.

If you’re going to mill aluminum or something, the wooden dogs might work or you could either get short metal dogs or make your own with 3/4" round metal rod.

Thank you for your response. Your suggestions are helpful.
You rock

@Hermsen.BJ what brand of clamps are you using

I made them I in 1/2" ply for cam and 1/4" for hold downs. Hold Doreen are rectangles of different length with a slot in them.

@bhcraft did you end up getting the Armor Auto Inline clamp? if so how’s it going. I just got some clamps and the bolt sticks up wayyyy too high. I Definitely need t track stops or a low profile clamp.

I did get it, and the clamp looks awesome. My current waste board is all 1/4-20 threaded inserts and no T-track though. So I havent tried it yet.