Quite often a task will need the upper surface to be completely machined preventing
the more normal overhead clamps being used. In this case, if too large for the machine
vice, low profile end clamps will be needed for the task. Photos 1 and 2 show typical
Both clamps additionally provide a degree of downward force and are from the five
designs of low profile clamps which I have produced.
Photo 3 shows a commercial clamp which works with the head of the screw being off
centre providing a cam action. This is probably more apparent in Photo 4. The advantage
of this design is that it does not just work in line with the tee slot but at any
Photo 5 shows my own version where it is working at right angle to the tee slot.
Photo 6 shows a block being machined to the required thickness, a task that would
appear an obvious one for the milling vice. However, the thickness was important
as it is one of six being made for two sets of soft jaws I was making. The method
bypassed any error in the vice and the effect of jaw lift.
The clamps in photographs 5 and 6 are two more from my five designs.
The setup was then used to machine the channels down either side. As accuracy was
vital the fixed jaw was set using a dial test indicator rather than a square off
the front edge of the table.
Photo 7 is a very simple design of mine just using grub screws to secure the part.
Photo 8 is similar but has pressure pads to avoid the screws marking the workpiece.
Both clamps have the advantage that they can be used at any angle. LINK