Make your own hold-down clamp like the one shown here.

While building a project, I found myself needing a hold-down clamp. Because I live over 200 miles from the nearest home improvement center, I thought I'd try to make my own. The clamp shown below works so well, I've made several more since.

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 can also accommodate thicker workpieces by making a taller base, or by inserting a spacer to raise the clamp height.
—Allan Kruger, Eagar, Ariz.


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