Cam clamp is another great way to hold long workpieces
A strong, low-profile option for holding long pieces firmly on the bench for handplaning or router work.
Here’s another strong, low-profile way to hold long workpieces firmly on the bench for handplaning and router work. At one end is a 1/4-in.-thick plywood panel with a cleat that goes in the front vise. This acts like any planing stop. At the other is a 3/4-in. benchdog with a 1/2-in. pin on top of it. Glued to the pin is a pivoting cam handle. To clamp a long piece firmly to the bench, you drop the cam clamp into a dog hole, push the work up against the handle in its open position, push the stop panel against the other end, lock it in the front vise, and turn the cam. The dog holes on my bench are 5 in. apart, so I made the clamping panel 9 in. wide, allowing plenty of lengthwise adjustment in the vise. I turned the stepped benchdog from a plywood lamination to keep it stable, but it could also be made by inserting a 1/2-in. dowel into a 3/4-in. one. Or you could use a straight 3/4-in. dowel with a larger cam. After drilling and bandsawing the cam clamp, I sanded its curved perimeter for smooth clamping action.
—FRANK FRONCZAK, Madison, Wis.
Illustrations by Dan Thornton
From Fine Woodworking issue #300