Often times a vice just doesn’t cut it when you’re trying to machine an odd-shaped piece. If you’ve got T-slots in your table, you have a lot more options — for instance, you could slide in Bessey’s RiteHite hold-downs.
Manufactured with a strong ductile iron body, these hold-downs are pretty hefty — the smallest model weighs half a pound. The swivel rocker attaches to the hold-down body, so there are no small pieces to lose. The rocker allows you to position the hold-down quickly, with no shims. You just need to provide the T-nuts and the studs.
Bessey sells two different types of RiteHite hold-downs: long-reach and short-reach. The short-reach hold-downs are made for closer setups and feature a higher load limit, compared to the similar sized long-reach hold-downs. Some of these hold-downs can clamp up to 5″ inches and handle loads up to 80,000 pounds. For the full product line, check out the link to Bessey’s product page at the bottom of the post.
These aren’t cheap, but then again, any halfway-decent machinists equipment isn’t. A single RiteHite hold-down starts at $35.