Homemade Hold-Downs Can Do the Job
While building a project, I found myself needing a hold-down clamp. Because I live more than 200 miles from the nearest home-improvement center, I thought I'd try to make my own. The clamp shown works so well, I've made several more.
I cut the handle, arm, and base from scraps of hard maple. To make the shoe, I ground the head of a carriage bolt flat and epoxied a faucet washer to the head.
The clamp screws to a jig or fence from the bottom, but when that's a problem, I bolt it to a larger plate, then screw the plate to my work surface. You also can accommodate thicker workpieces by making a taller base or by inserting a spacer to raise the clamp height.
—Allan Kruger, Eagar, Ariz.