Editor's note: Today we offer part one of a two-part post on the Rockler Universal Fence Clamp. Our guest blogger, Dave Owen, first posted this prodigious set of suggested uses for the clamp over on his LumberJocks blog. When we saw his article and the fantastic response it got, we asked Dave to share it with our Buzz Saw readers as well. Get ready to be bowled over with all the things you had never thought of that you can accomplish with the Rockler Universal Fence Clamp!
One of the most versatile (and inexpensive) shop accessories I have is Rockler Universal Fence Clamps. I use one or more of them almost daily for a variety of purposes.
The most common use for Fence Clamps is to hold a sacrificial fence to another fence – usually a table saw fence. In the photo shown below, the sacrificial MDF fence is being used in conjunction with a set of dado blades — allowing the set to be partially buried in the fence to obtain the rabbet desired. But this is only the beginning of uses.
Laminate Cutting Setup
I enjoyed using these clamps so much that I began to look for other uses. The following several photos show how I made a very versatile high fence. First I drill a pair of 2'' holes, located so that when the fence is in a vertical position, the bottoms of the holes are in line with the top of my table saw fence. The photos below show the front and back views of a 9-3/4'' high fence mounted to the table saw fence.
High Fence, Front
High Fence, Rear
The 9-3/4'' height of the fence shown was determined by setting the distance from the top edge to the top of the hole (as shown in the photo above) to equal the height of my jointer fence. By doing this — and by taking care in the horizontal placement of the holes, I'm not only can use this high fence on the table saw — but also on the jointer, bandsaw, and drill press, as well — all as shown below. Incidentally, I've found 3/4" MDF to be sufficiently stiff as a high fence on all of these tools, but if I ever need a higher or stiffer fence, I will simply make it from two layers rather than one.
High Fence, Jointer
High Fence, Bandsaw High Fence, Drillpress
To make it easier to clamp the tall fence to the jointer, I glued blocks into the appropriate cavities on the back of the jointer fence. An initial problem I had while making the high fence was the depth of the anchor holes. I didn't have a twist drill bit long, but a sharp 3/8'' spade bit worked fine.
Another handy use for the clamps is for stop blocks for any tools needing same. The following photo shows a pair mounted to a shop-made router fence. Like the low fence, I drill these blocks all the way through. The second photo below shows one of these blocks in use as a cutoff spacer I use when making repetitive cuts with the fence as a gauge. This helps prevent a cut piece from pinching between the fence and the blade.
Stops on Router Fence
Editor: I'll bet these ideas are fueling your imaginations like they did ours. Next time, we'll give you even more of Dave's ideas for Universal Clamp Uses.
About Dave Owen:
Dave Owen is a 79 year-old retired Architect who lives in Florida. He's pretty much always been interested in woodworking, but never had his own shop until he retired and designed a nice one for himself! You can see some of Dave's woodworking projects in his gallery on LumberJocks.com