Start to Finish

Neo7CNC - Chop Saw Clamp with Valve

DIY Pneumatic Saw Clamp – Neo7CNC

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DIY Pneumatic Saw Clamp

I made one of theses many years ago when I was helping my father with a shop he was building.  We were using very long 2×4’s and this style pneumatic clamp helped hold the extra long boards while we cut them down to a more manageable size.  It can also save a finger or two by keeping your hands aware from the blade in the event that things go sideways 😐


What you’ll need:

Your saw or other application may vary, so these parts are just examples based on what I’m showing in the video. The pneumatic components directly below are from 

  1. AVS-53D2-HL 5 port 2 position toggle valve 1/4 NPT (Qty 1)
  2. A17020SN 1 and 1/16 bore 2 inch stroke 1/8 FNPT spring return air cylinder (Qty 1)
  3. SBC-14N Bronze cone silencer 1/4 MNTP (Qty 2)
  4. MS14-14N Male straight 1/4 tub to 1/4 MNPT (Qty 3)
  5. BFRHP-14N recessed hex head plug 1/4 MNPT (Qty 1)
  6. PU14BLK100 Black poly urethane 1/4 OD tubing 100ft (varries)
  7. ME14-18N 1/4 tubing to 1/8 MNPT (Qty 1) OR if you want to control the flow of air into the pneumatic cylinder so it doesn’t move so abruptly then use FVR14-18N flow control valve meter IN for 1/4 tubing to 1/8 MNPT (Qty 1)

Along with the pneumatic items above, you’ll also need:

Some material to mount the pneumatic cylinder.  I used 3/16 (4.76mm) thick x 1.5 inch (38.1mm) wide flat steel bar.  The piece that connected the 5/8 bolt (15.875mm) to the pneumatic cylinder is 6.5 inches (165.1mm) long.  The “spring” top piece is 4 inches (101.6mm) long.  The 5/8 bolt was 10 inches long and it fit the clamp hole on the saw perfectly.  I used 2 5/8 nuts to sandwich the 2 pieces of flat bar.  I didn’t have a large enough drill bit to drill the 5/8 hole and cylinder hole properly. I ended up using an old step drill bit that was large enough to get us there.  It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done. The last thing you’ll need is something to mount on the end of the pneumatic cylinder so you don’t damage your work piece when you clamp it.  I used a small section of UHMW rod.  You can find small lengths at McMaster-Carr (1 inch (25mm) rod a foot long for @ $3 at the time of this post) or you can use a rubber stopper or wood. You’ll also need to use one of the MS14-14N connectors and either plumb it to your air supply or mate it with a quick air hose disconnect.

Neo7CNC LED CNC Machine Can Light – Start to Finish

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LED Can Light – Start to Finish

In this start to finish project we go through the entire process from Ideal to finished part.  First we do the 3d design on the computer using Onshape.  We then CAM (create the tool paths that tell the CNC machine how to actually cut the part) using BobCAD/CAM.  Next we use a 5C collet fixture to hold the stock and test cut the part in plastic.  Finally we cut the design from 1 inch (25mm) 6061-T6 aluminum bar stock.  The lens is made from 1/8 frosted acrylic. You can tell in the pictures that this process made a big mess! The tolerances on the lens were “spot on”.  The KR33 CNC is a beast of a little machine

I polished the aluminum version and that made it pop.  It’s a nice, compact unit.  I still need to finish them and mount them to the machines.  One issue I have is finding good wire to use.