George Vondriska

Repairing Aluminum Hold Downs

George Vondriska
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Duration:   3  mins

You check the toolpath. You do an air cut. You eyeball the material location on the CNC machine, You double-check (maybe even triple check) the hold down locations on the material. But, sometimes, despite our best efforts, a router bit manages to “find” one of the aluminum hold downs you’re using. Ouch!! Most of my hold downs have a rubber grippy thing on the end and, after a router bit has found them a few times, the rubber isn’t very effective any more. No sweat, there’s a solution for this problem, and we can redo the grippy thing.

Plasti Dipto the rescue! This stuff is way more rubbery than plastic, and is actually designed to be used to put rubber grips on stuff like pliers. You can use it to add rubber handles to your tools, like your router wrenches. When you’ve clipped your hold downs a few times, and there isn’t enough rubber left on the tip to actually be able to call it a hold down anymore, you can use this stuff to reapply the rubber and make the hold down effective again. You’re back in business.

The Process

When you do this, be sure you follow the instructions on the can. You need to dip at the right rate to get the proper build of rubber. Do three coats or so to get a good thickness of rubber built up.

Shop Tips

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One Response to “Repairing Aluminum Hold Downs”

  1. seure

    George, i use the plasti-dip on my f-style clamps. When doing glue-ups, I have a habit of scraping my arms across the ends of the clamps and at times have had some nasty scratches from them. This eliminated that. Now if you can tell me how to preserve the remainder of the dip in the can after opening. Thanks for the videos.

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