Tee Slot Drill Press Clamps, Easy and Quick

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Introduction: Tee Slot Drill Press Clamps, Easy and Quick

About: Woodsman and field tutor on a week day. Life long inventor, designer, engineer for the rest of the time. From items that make life easier to items with no reason to be....other than the idea popped into my hea…

If you have a pillar/pedistal drilling machine I am willing to bet that at some time you have held something to drill a hole and the thing has been whipped out of your grasp leaving you thinking "I need to be able to clamp it down before I get hurt".

I had that very experience as I was part way through a number of sheet metal pieces that needed a large hole drilled through.

G clamps are not the answer as they rarely reach near enough the middle of the table and I usually find that the threaded handle gets in the way whichever way up you try to use them.

I had a thought that maybe I could modify some toggle clamps for quick use clamps.

Step 1: Quick Release and Quick Action

I wanted the clamps to be easy to fit and remove from the drill table and the obvious way to do it is to use the tee slots.

The gap in the clamp frame is 4mm wide, I had some 3mm x 35mm steel to make the tee slot pieces

The slots are 11mm wide and the table is 14mm thick so that gave me the size of the cutouts, an acurate drawing was produced :)

I decided on roll pins to hold them together.

Step 2: The Tee Slot Pieces

The first cuts were done with a cutting wheel in my angle grinder. A couple of holes were drilled to make it easier to chisel out the remaining metal. The slots were finished on my milling machine but could just as easily be done with a hand file.

Step 3: Assembly

Once the tee pieces had been checked for fit the hole for the roll pin needed to be drilled.

As the plate is a loose fit in the clamp frame I used a bit of expanded metal jammed into the gap to keep the tee piece in place for drilling.

A roll pin was them driven in to hold it together

Job done!

Step 4: Do They Work?

Yup, drop into a slot twist to grip the table, press lever to lock the toggle onto the work piece.

Easy to adjust easy to use, danger of injury avoided.

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11 Comments

0
crazypj
crazypj

2 years ago

I've got a couple of those clamps but my drill table has 'proper' T slots. so I use T nuts.(slot bottom is 'closed' and doesn't go all the way through) That is a simple solution though , wish I had thought of it as it looks much easier than what I did

0
garagebuild
garagebuild

2 years ago

So where I come from we have these... (pics attached) which work OK but they are quite large and don’t suit every workpiece or drill table. Could be made better with a tee piece like yours for quicker positioning. I like your idea - something similar for holding down a drilling vice on the table would be good, maybe 4 x Kip style cammed lever fasteners with tee pieces like yours

8D1B5A52-C57B-426E-9C80-9D9F94EAAFE1.jpegDE4B34B9-C706-4E9F-8C3F-F71D06EF9A3F.jpeg
0
alfadog67
alfadog67

2 years ago

Uhh, you should patent these quick! This is an AMAZING idea.

0
deceiver
deceiver

2 years ago

Okay, this is a simple, elegant, solution for some basic clamping of some types of items. Bravo.

0
mikecz
mikecz

2 years ago

If you're only ever going to use the clamps with your drill press, as shown, this design is OK. But setting & removing roll pins is kind of a pain in the butt. I would use bolts & nuts instead.

The idea is great, though!

1
c.hill
c.hill

Reply 2 years ago

I just installed that myself then saw your comment. Great minds ..... :)

0
dewey302
dewey302

2 years ago

Great idea.and well executed. I'm stealing this one for sure.

0
c.hill
c.hill

Reply 2 years ago

a bolt and a washer work just as well

0
ToddW_00
ToddW_00

2 years ago

Awesome! I already have some clamps without a purpose so I will have these soon. I'd argue the "I" shape is not needed, just the inverted "T". Looks to me the roll pin is doing the work at the top. I'll probably make a little wood spacer/jig to get the gap set correctly. I'm curious as to how thick of a material I can hold with my clamps. Maybe try a remove-able pin and then I can have a couple different length T-posts, or break down and get some bigger clamps. They're not too expensive on ebay IMO :)

0
rog8811
rog8811

2 years ago

I love simple solutions, this could not be more simple and the clamps mount and dismount in seconds!

2
seamster
seamster

2 years ago

Very clever solution. The underside of every drill press table I've used is not flat, so using common clamps generally has worked for me, but it's always a bit fussy to get solid purchase. This solves that problem!