What methods do you use to hold down small parts?

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Scott Marshburn
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What methods do you use to hold down small parts?

Postby Scott Marshburn » Sat, Mar 28 2020, 6:45PM

I am curious to know what methods our members use to hold down small parts that will move even with a vacuum table. I recently came across this video from a subscriber Mark Lindsay CNC. Pretty sweet trick. https://www.youtube.com/embed/3uTsQ3dYRrk?fbclid=IwAR1hLR4mNA_n9Rhb0-u-JEL7KCKgptYkUhTf7HvLTqApvgR-PqoD7nMOPjk

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Re: What methods do you use to hold down small parts?

Postby Jeremy Schiffer » Mon, Mar 30 2020, 8:42AM

ANY MEANS NECESSARY

Never used double sided tape though. We have used contact adhesive, nails, screws, clamps, and hands.

This is an interesting method, thanks for sharing. And I hope someday that guy will flycut or replace his wasteboard...OMG I almost had a heart attack when I saw it.
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Re: What methods do you use to hold down small parts?

Postby Tommy Wieler » Mon, Mar 30 2020, 10:41AM

Our favorite method is to use additional part clearance, and leave a skin before final outline, although I plead guilty to adhesive and nails as well. But hands? Really?? Not sure I have the guts to hold down a small part by hand with a router bit spinning at 20000RPM within a few inches of my hand.

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Re: What methods do you use to hold down small parts?

Postby Clint Buechlein » Mon, Mar 30 2020, 1:47PM

Tommy Wieler wrote:Our favorite method is to use additional part clearance, and leave a skin before final outline, although I plead guilty to adhesive and nails as well. But hands? Really?? Not sure I have the guts to hold down a small part by hand with a router bit spinning at 20000RPM within a few inches of my hand.


I recently saw the after effects of someone trying to use their had to hold a part down. They were cutting acrylic and the material started to lift. He went to hold the material down and at about that time it broke and piece stuck to the bit. Cut a couple of his fingers really good.

From the tips side of things, if you have a large run of small parts to do, we have been known to make some fixture boards. We take a sealed piece of 3/4 MDF and use it to replace the tableboard and wasteboard. Pocket out the area where the parts are going to go, cut a channel for the foam to fit into for a gasket around the edge of the pocket to seal the part into the pocket, drill holes all the way through the pocketed area to get vacuum from underneath the board, and then cut channels that lead to the holes for vacuum to distribute throughout the pocket. If this were going to be a fixture board I plan to use more often in the future, I'd spring for some StarBoard or the likes so I don't have to worry about the fixture board getting wonky like MDF would, but for a relatively decent price and a little bit of set up time you can have a good fixture board.

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Re: What methods do you use to hold down small parts?

Postby David Egnoski » Tue, Mar 31 2020, 7:39AM

I've used custom spoilboards with great success. The gasket technique Clint talks about takes time to implement but is very effective for large runs. I've also used custom boards with just 3/16" through holes to direct the vacuum to the part. I've cut literally hundreds of sheets with the boards in the photos. For small parts that are mixed with larger cabinet parts in a sheet tabs and skins are about the only option.
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Re: What methods do you use to hold down small parts?

Postby Will Williamson » Wed, Apr 08 2020, 9:05AM

If you are cutting nested parts, The best way, I have found, is to use a down, spiral, cutter and let it pack the kerf, with sawdust.
I cut a lot of, small, intricate, parts and I am only running a 18 HP Becker Vacuum. If necessary turn off your, sawdust extraction.
The smaller, the cutter the better.
If you are running, small, single, parts, the gaskets, from All Star Adhesives work well.
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