I have used the term “High profile clamp” for this device as it was born out of the
low profile clamps that I had made and that were placed in the T slot of the milling
machine table. These consisted of five forms of clamp with four being of two piece
construction, that is a fixed portion and a moving jaw but the fifth was just a
single piece of steel, Photograph 1. At the time, I thought that the height of this
one could easily be increased for holding more substantial workpieces.
For the original the working face was just 14.5 mm wide being governed by the width
of the tee slot in which it was to be used,. However, when I eventually came to consider
the idea I came to the conclusion that making it wider, whilst still using the same
clamping method, would result in a more useful clamp. For that reason it could no
longer be just a single piece of steel and the device is now held in position by
using a separate tee nut having two, rather than one, fixing screws. The reason for
using a two screw fixing is that the method will be capable of a considerable clamping
force that will be attempting to move the clamp along the worktable. With that in
mind it is worth taking note of the fact that the device uses two 1mm pitch clamping
screws. This compares to a single screw of 3 or 4mm pitch with the average vice so
that a secure hold will be achieved with much less torque being applied.
Whilst a single fixed jaw with a single clamping jaw will find many uses in the workshop
making two pairs will greatly enhance the capability of the system with Photograph
2 showing two sets of clamps being used to secure a length of steel whilst a pair
of slots are being made in it. The advantage of the system in this case was that
the workpiece was far longer than the vices available would handle and quicker and
easier than setting it up using conventional workpiece clamps.
The drawings show the clamps as I made them, with two exceptions which I will discuss
later, but the reader may have to amend the dimensions to suit the milling machine
on which they are to be used. Even if the dimensions given suit the tee slots on
the machine on which they are to be used, do check that two sets can be mounted in
adjacent slots, if not, then modify the width to permit this, see photograph 2 which
illustrates this requirement. Of course, you may choose to make only a single pair
of clamps should you consider this will satisfy your requirements.