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Thread: Match Fit Dovetail Clamps - Who Uses Them? New Model is out

  1. #1

    Match Fit Dovetail Clamps - Who Uses Them? New Model is out

    I'm debating on getting some these clamps for fence jigs, tapering jigs, add slots to my crosscut sled, and probably add slots to my outfeed table.

    After doing some research there are two kids now: The regular dovetail clamp and the dovetail clamp AP. The AP is 8" and has a spring to keep it up and prevent it from sliding down.

    I don't know if I need 8" of clamp room and if the clamp might get in the way. They are about $30 a clamp for the AP newer model and $20 for the regular 4" model.

    What are you all using and do you like them?


  2. #2
    I use the $20 pair. Used a dovetail bit to cut a dovetail down the length of a board for the clamps to slide in. Works great as a guide for your circular saw or router.

  3. #3
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    Patrick, this might not be a popular opinion but I'm not a fan of these and I personally think they're overrated. Because they don't swivel at 360 degrees like most of the T track/T slot clamps you need more slots. My drill press table has 2 slots whereas I've seen Matchfit tables with over 10 slots. My taper jig has 3 slots and I've seen as many as 12 on Matchfits. My curiosity got the better of me and I tried them out making a crosscut sled only to see a large bow in the plywood after making 10 slots. That was the beginning of the end of my experience with dovetail clamps. One of the selling points is not having to buy expensive T track and yet you make an equivalent by using a router bit just like dovetail slots, besides where I come from T Track is not expensive. Also standard bolts sourced from any hardware store can be used and I have consequently made my own hold down clamps that can swivel at 360 degrees and there are many plans available for these or you can simply buy inexpensive hold down clamps from many places. You can also go up market and use the auto adjust clamps from Kreg, Armor tool, Bessey and Rockler. As for table saw fence jigs there are already inexpensive fence clamps out there where you only need to drill a hole instead off routing a track. So more choices, less expense and less time to make your jigs. My 2c worth!

    By all means try them out and form your own opinion. You may like them as many do and I'm sure there are some applications where they're more suited but they're not for me.
    Last edited by Johnny Barr; 09-30-2022 at 7:52 PM.

  4. #4
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    I have both. The spring is nice but the 8" length can be too much. I suppose it depends on how you are going to use them. I have t-track and a lot of t-track stuff. These are another approach and I use both. I have really taken to the grid layout on my sleds. More versatile than any of my previous t-track styled ones.

    Matchfit Sled 2 (54).jpgMatchfit Sled 2 (51).jpgMatchfit Sled 2 (56).jpg

    Like many products, you choose the direction you want to go and develop practices around that.

    Match Fit Right Angle Jig (2).jpgMatch Fit Right Angle Jig (4).jpg
    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." - George Carlin

  5. #5
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    Any chance these clamps fit in the festool extrusions?

  6. #6
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    I have a pair of each and I’m very happy with them. They can provide a great deal of clamping pressure as well as being quick and very versatile. I do like them much better than the t-track on my drill press table which is more limiting and can’t provide near the clamping pressure. I think it’s a very efficient and easy to use system.

    I prefer the original/shorter design without the spring assist but both work well.

    They do fit my Makita track saw track extrusions which are identical to the Festool track.

    4D309809-7BDA-4A59-915C-D06DC91F4E5E.jpg

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Arnsdorff View Post
    They do fit my Makita track saw track extrusions which are identical to the Festool track.
    Thanks Eric. They seem to have a decent deal on Amazon Canada for the full kit so I'll give it a try.

  8. #8
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    I have two pairs of these clamps, as they are fantastic for the intended use. That last bit is relevant.

    They get used in my Moxon dovetail vise ...






    And they get used in my morticing fixture ...






    These clamps are also use with a mitre ZCI sub-fence on my slider.

    I have a memory of trying them in a Makita track, but that they did not fit.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Last edited by Derek Cohen; 10-01-2022 at 1:17 AM.

  9. #9
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    I use mine quite a lot. I also purchased the Kreg track saw and with a little filing at the bend in the clamp they fit the track to clamp it to the work. The skinny heads also come in handy for tight spots.

  10. #10
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    A7F49A60-15B6-4E30-B320-D679F416137E.jpg 4CBC7950-1381-438E-98D1-D19F80D92F73.jpg
    I wanted to help confirm about them working as a track clamp as well.

  11. #11
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    I use mine to hold tall fences in place for the table saw, router table and bandsaw. Work great for me in those applications.

  12. #12
    What about Festool and other track clamps working in dovetail slots? I guess I can try with a dovetail bit I should have.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    I have the shorter ones. They seemed a tad overpriced when I bought them, but they are very useful for my router mortising jig, auxiliary fence on the table saw, tapering jig on the table saw, and straightening crooked boards on table saw using the same tapering jig board. Turned out to be one of the most useful gadgets that I have ever purchased for specialty work.

  14. #14

    re: Match Fit Dovetail Clamps

    I use the dovetail clamps and like them a lot. Attaching some photos to show their use.
    1. Sled for tapering and ripping rough-sawn lumber
    2. Table saw “L-Fence” based on Fine Woodworking Design
    3. New Outfeed Table based on Wood Whisperer design, but with laminate top, maple ply, and red oak trim. I added a section of hardwood (flush with the formica surface) for dovetail grooves and the MatchFit dovetail clamps. (Because the new Harvey saw table is 31-1/2 inches deep, I don't have to cut miter slots in the table --- the miter gage is 'thru the cut' as the miter bar reaches the outfeed table!!! So, as long as I don't build a huge crosscut sled with longer miter bars, the table can remain slot-free.)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by George Kasten; 10-03-2022 at 7:26 AM.

  15. #15
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    I have 3 pair that I use often. Taking the time to make the backer board, like shown in previous posts, make a huge difference in their usefulness. A straight edge board for breaking down sheet stock only needs one dovetail slot in the bottom, so you can slide one of these clamps in from each end and clamp the straight edge to any length sheet stock for a ripping guide for your circular saw or router. Slots in your saw horses allow using these clamps to hold your work down to the saw horse. etc.

    Charley

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