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Thread: Clamps for a free face frame table

  1. #1

    Clamps for a free face frame table

    A friend of mine recently gave me a free face frame table that has the capacity to do up to 60” x 120” frames. It is made of all 3/4” plate steel and is heavy as heck. It has adjustable squaring bars on the left side and bottom, and a bunch of 3/4” holes that go all over the surface from side to side and top to bottom. I have recently started to get into building cabinets for both myself and family/friends. I buy and sell houses so I like to keep a wood shop to build my own cabinets. Plus I enjoy it.

    Now what I am wanting to do is to get some pneumatic clamps for putting this bad boy to work. Or I would be open to using manual clamps if I could find some that have a base with a peg to go into the 3/4” holes. I am assuming what I need are either pneumatic or manual toggle clamps, correct?

    If I go with pneumatic toggle clamps are there any makes and or models that you would recommend? I already have a couple of simple single manifolds and a bunch of tubing and fittings. If anyone could link me a good pair of pneumatic toggle clamps and a manifold that could be used with them that would be great.

    Or if anyone could link me to some manual toggle clamps that have a 3/4” peg or dog mount for fitting in the holes that would work too.

  2. #2
    Anyone on here have any advice or direction on getting some pneumatic toggle clamps?

    I have found a few possible contenders such as the Destaco 802 U-HT series and a bunch of generic pneumatic toggle clamps on eBay. As far as I know all I would need are an air manifold with an activation lever and some airlines and fittings. Is this correct?

    How would I go about adding the dog pegs to fit into the 3/4” dog style holes on my table?

  3. #3
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    I can't help you with pneumatic clamps. However if you had to go manual Bessey and Kreg make adjustable toggle clamps. I like the Besseys better. I bought a clamping kit for the Festool MFT from Lee Valley. The Besseys have a plate and a post that fits the 20mm holes. They may have a 3/4 dog hole option. You could also make out of dowel or if you can weld you could probably weld to any clamp.

  4. #4
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    Does your table look like this ritter door assembly table?

    http://www.hermance.com/Industrial/R...ssembly-System

  5. #5
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    check ebay under "pneumatic clamp". Lots of hits but i do not really know what I am seeing. Too much air pressure or cylinder area will bend or break things. I think you need a minimum of three clamps.
    You may need to make a baseplate or lever action so the cylinder centerline is about centered on the wood?
    Bill D.

    I had no idea desatco made pneumatic clamps. I would reccomend there manual toggle clamp stuff.

    https://www.destaco.com/products/lig...matic-clamping

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/DESTACO-810...2743753aeb9912

  6. #6
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    If you want to use it as a face frame assembly table (and not a door assembly table), I would just built a sliding gantry and mount air cylinders (just like a typical FF assembly table)

    Manually moving pneumatic clamps to separate holes for each face frame part would get old fast.

  7. #7
    The shop I was in had one of those Ritter tables. Hard to get used to when you are used to bar clamps. However when a guy gets used to it, works pretty well. I have used one to glue face frames up one one of those occasionally, just took a brad nailer and shot a brad through each of the dowels so the frame could be removed after getting it clamped. Rear of the frame to the outside, so you could shoot the brads in from the back.

  8. #8
    A recent Izzy Swan video talked about sourcing pneumatic clamps for a home built table, can’t remember the details. You might look at it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Lisowski View Post
    I can't help you with pneumatic clamps. However if you had to go manual Bessey and Kreg make adjustable toggle clamps. I like the Besseys better. I bought a clamping kit for the Festool MFT from Lee Valley. The Besseys have a plate and a post that fits the 20mm holes. They may have a 3/4 dog hole option. You could also make out of dowel or if you can weld you could probably weld to any clamp.
    I would be just fine with manual toggle clamps as opposed to pneumatic. They would have to have a 3/4” peg or post on the back though. Do you know of any makes or models of manual toggle clamps that have the 3/4” post? I need to measure when I get home and see what the holes measure in metric in case those manual toggle clamps with the post are listed that way.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jared Sankovich View Post
    Does your table look like this ritter door assembly table?

    http://www.hermance.com/Industrial/R...ssembly-System
    Similar design. I will see if I can post some pics when I get home. Mine is much more beefy and much larger than the Ritter table but same design principle. The entire table is made of solid 3/4” plate steel including the base and legs. It measures 122” long by 70” tall. It has a long squaring bar on the bottom and left side.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Robbinett View Post
    I would be just fine with manual toggle clamps as opposed to pneumatic. They would have to have a 3/4” peg or post on the back though. Do you know of any makes or models of manual toggle clamps that have the 3/4” post? I need to measure when I get home and see what the holes measure in metric in case those manual toggle clamps with the post are listed that way.
    According to the Lee Valley website they do have a mounting plate for the Bessey Auto adjust toggle clamps with a 3/4 X 5" post.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Robbinett View Post
    I would be just fine with manual toggle clamps as opposed to pneumatic. They would have to have a 3/4” peg or post on the back though.
    https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop...ounting-plates

    https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...g-Clamp/T28109

    https://www.rockler.com/armor-p7-il-...line-dog-clamp
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  13. #13
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    The adapter plate looks easy to make. Just a thin plate with holes and a peg welded near the middle. You could make the plates with a drill press, hacksaw pieces of rod and hire someone to weld it together. A high school kid could do that welding or a muffler shop. I would drill for the peg and weld both top and bottom. The bottom weld will have to be ground down to flush or counter sink each hole in the frame plate as needed.
    Bil lD

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