Workholding Vote?

I’ve seen several people do this. I never had the patience to pound or screw all of those threaded inserts in though!

Do you have some pictures of your setup you could share?

Sure, I’ll post some pics in a day or so.

Been doing this for 30 years. Nothing but screws and cams occasionally.

CA glue and painters tape…how does this not make sense he lost LOL!

That is what I’m doing in the photos I posted, further above. I’ve got threaded inserts at the bottom of every one of those holes. They are the flange type so the cannot pull through if I over tighten and I put a ring of construction adhesive on each one before screwing them in. It took 1/2-day to get them all done but it has been quite handy… (see photo of the diagonal pattern of holes, further above.)


Have you ever seen the Saunders Machine Works vises? It looks like that grid pattern might work with a vise-style work holding setup.

Also, for those of you using vacuum pods, which ones? I have a real vacuum pump system for other tools, but have never found any vacuum pods for routers that looked good.


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is that a plasma cutter attached to your gantry?

Yes, that is a plasma cutter on a 2’nd Z-Axis on the gantry. CNCRouterParts/AVIDcnc set this machine up for me that way. It is a 4’x8’ machine. I’ve got a rotary axis recessed, parallel to the X-Axis of the machine, then about 30"x48" of swarfboard with the embedded screw down anchors for working with the router. (I do a few projects in wood and a whole bunch in acrylic there) and lastly, On the far side I’ve got a 4’x4’ section with a water table on it for plasma.

I’ve posted a few projects on this forum of the plasma cutter in action. It works great and I use it a ton.


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very cool. you have me thinking about when i extend my table i might move the back end be a plasma section. thank you for the idea.

Wood box nails. I use mostly 1" baltic birch plywood.
When I tried a composite nailer, it did not have enough force and it’s nails bounced the plywood up off the table before pushing the nail into the spoilboard, so the stock material was off the spoilboard surface.

I used to use double-stick tape on a smaller CNC machine.

Since Eric asked (re my response to work holding) that I post some pics of my setup. So here goes.

The first pic is an overview of my machine. The galvanized units on the wall make up a cyclone dust collector (shop built from plans in Woodsmith) some years ago. Dust is collected in a 20 liter gray pail. My 24x48 unit is mounted on the base of my previous machine. There is a small amount of overhang on each end of the X-axis, but the Y-axis fit well. The machine is on casters but supplemented by jacking feet barely seen at the bottom of the photo. There are 2 spoil boards: one with threaded inserts on a 6" grid, and a smaller one with threaded inserts on a 2" grid.

The second pic is another view that shows the jacking bolts clearly. Also the stand for the laptop is shown here. The bottom of the laptop stand is a rather heavy wheel providing a solid base for the stand. The tilted base the laptop sits on will rotate. This view also shows the dust shields on either side of the X-axis; this was a great addition. There is a cubby (left of E-stop) for the pendant and Z-axis probe (seen on right side of spoil board).

The third pic is a closer look at the spoil boards and clamps.

The last pic is a closer look at the dust shoe. This is an AVID design which was made initially for a previous router. The upper portion of the Delrin warped over time such that the magnets wouldn’t hold the 2 halves together. The when I replaced the router with a spindle (Yes, it’s Chinese) the hole for the clamp was too large. So what you see in this pic is a new dust shoe using parts of the original with a wooden upper part and a Baltic birch clamp for the spindle. I’m very happy with the dust shoe now.

I am trying to decide between building one like you have or buying the black box. If you don’t mind can you share the vac blowers you used?


I am sorry, there is a sticker on the motors, but it is in a almost impossible place.

It’s been a long time since I built the system (still works perfectly)

Jut found a better pic from the build

Hope this helps

Yes this helps, what is the black pipe off the discharge side of the blower a muffler? If so can you share any details?

These are mufflers for built -in vacuum systems. I realized afterwards that the first pic I sent in the last post, I took for you that night. The second pic I found in my files, and are from the guy I got the idea from. That is why in the first pic the mufflers are white (mine) and the second pic was his (black|)

I will send you a PM, and if you want we can exchange e-mails, and I will send you a lot more info I have including wiring diagram

I made my own version of the black box as well. In the shop bot forums there is a ton of info on the subject, one really long thread in particular. When buying the motors go to zoro, they had the best price on them. Sign up and then add them to your cart, but dont buy them. You will get a coupon usually within a day for 10-20% off. I do recommend using 220v motors if you have an available line for it. Half the amp draw over the 110v which adds up and the wiring isnt as heavy.

It depends on what I’m making. I don’t do a lot of sheet goods, so I don’t have a vacuum table. I prefer T-tracks along with double sided tape, but also sometimes do bench dog vices.

If there are enough people building vac boxes we could start a wiki here to collate all of the information.


I am not familiar with zoro do you have a web address?


Here is a link to the units that I bought.