Fixturing, Clamping, Vacuum Tables, T-Slot Vises,

To make anything with a CNC wood router, you need to be able to hold or "fixture" the material you want to machine, via a CNC table. The table can be as simple as a sheet of MDF or as sophisticated as a modular vacuum pod system with moveable T-Bars clamps.

Any movement or vibration causes inaccuracies in dimensions, and poor cut quality It can force you to reduce feed speeds and ultimately reduce tool life ... so fixturing or CNC workholding becomes a key skill, often overlooked at the initial buying stage.

A CNC router table must ultimately cater to your specific needs, whether that is cutting down full sheets or shaping solid wood in three dimensions. Consideration must be given to the type of raw material being processed dictating appropriate fixturing or clamping techniques, with denser woods requiring more challenging solutions and softwoods being more forgiving.

Lets start by looking at a few of the hold-down options and include a discussion of how the type of work you're doing and the material you're using might affect your CNC workholding decisions.

CNC Workholding with Basic T-Slot Systems

CNC Router: Vacuum Table

Vacuum Pumps

Homemade CNC Router Table