This is a very easy to make tool that is incredibly useful. It's so easy, that I almost didn't post it because I thought people would think it's stupid. But I'm throwing caution to the wind and showing it to you anyway.
I always had a hard time holding small components still while glueing them. So I came up with this board to help.
Step 1: Materials
Everything necessary is readily available at hardware or craft stores.
1/16" Thick steel plate
Adheasive backed felt or plastic bumpers
Various small clamps and angles
Step 2: Attach Backing
All I did was attach a felt backing to the metal sheet, and cut off the excess with a pair of scissors. The felt keeps the metal from scratching my table. The felt backing is available as peel-and-stick. I think I got mine at the hardware store a while ago.
You could also use those adheasive backed plastic bumpers you can buy at hardware stores.
You really don't NEED to do this step, but don't blame me when you gouge the nice table.
Step 3: Vaseline Fun Time
I noticed that my metal plate was rusting fairly quickly. I didn't want WD40 all over the place, so I rubbed petroleum jelly over the whole surface in circular strokes. This helped a LOT.
There are some rust spots, but that's my fault. I hadn't reapplied it in a while. I think the petroleum jelly also keeps all those fun superglues from sticking to the metal.
Step 4: Clamps
The board is done, and all you need now are some clamps. As you can see, mine are all simple, standard clamps you can find at office or hardware stores. All of the metals are magnetic, so they stick to the magnets which sticks to the board.
That's magic at work folks.
The little angles are helpful in holding things square. And, as I'm sure you are aware, if you want to hold things down to the board while you are working on them, just throw a few magnets on top.
Step 5: Use
Here's the thing in action. A huge benefit is that it can hold very thin material without crimping or ripping it. Here I just clamped paper as an example. Not even a wrinkle.
So there you are.
A few bucks and 10 minutes of time is all you need.