15 May The Axminster T-slot Hold-down System
The new Trade Clamps Set (item 720776, $78) from the British tool company Axminster lets a woodworker create a sliding hold-down system in any thick wooden surface. It includes two F-style clamps and a ½” shank T-slot router bit. After plowing one or several grooves in a worktop, the guide rail clamps can simply be slid into position. It might be a good idea to first run the groove or dado with a 1/4″ straight bit to remove most of the waste, especially in species such as hard maple, and then complete each cut using the T-slot bit. Each clamp has a specially designed head that fits into the milled slot (it also works with power tool guide rails such as the Festool FS and Makita rails but not Bosch). Or a woodworker could cut a T-slot in a length of hardwood and use that as a custom made or temporary guide rail. Each clamp has a plastic pad on the swivel shoe to protect the work surface, and it can double as a hold-down when the shaft is inserted into a 20mm bench-dog dog hole. The spigot (foot) is 7/16” wide by about 9/32” thick, and 2-23/64” long. Each clamp has a 6-1/4” capacity. Axminster offers free shipping to the United States on all orders above $120. The company lists email, WhatsApp™ and phone numbers on its site for customer service.