Author Topic: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System  (Read 2075 times)

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Offline ChuckS

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Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« on: September 03, 2022, 04:04 PM »
https://www.rockler.com/rockler-pneumatic-clamping-system



Like Veritas and Woodpeckers, Rockler should be commended for bringing new tools and gadgets to the market relentlessly.  [thumbs up]

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Offline afish

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Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2022, 04:10 PM »
built this years ago. its posted here somewhere. same/similar valve but mine was made to work with MFT dog holes.

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3800
Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2022, 04:17 PM »
Yes, similar systems have been around. Putting one together using parts sourced from various places probably will cost less, but some may like its turnkey approach. It sure doesn't replace the discontinued Festool vac sys.

Online Crazyraceguy

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Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2022, 01:17 PM »
Yes, similar systems have been around. Putting one together using parts sourced from various places probably will cost less, but some may like its turnkey approach. It sure doesn't replace the discontinued Festool vac sys.

Right, it is effectively the same as the Festool Clamping Elements. It is still holding the part from the edges.
Vac Sys is a completely different thing.
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Offline afish

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Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2022, 03:17 PM »
It misses the mark not working in 20mm dog holes IMO very few people use T'track benches compared to the the number of MFT styles out there.  Im not a fan of mft for cutting but its hard to beat for clamping and work holding. 

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2022, 04:02 PM »
All those little hoses sticking up give me the willies.

One thing I do like are the nuts that secure the brackets to the t-track.
It looks like the nuts are set into rubber tires so you can get a grip without needing to use a tool.

Offline RussellS

  • Posts: 343
Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2022, 04:14 PM »
I'm not sure "clamping system" is the correct terminology to use.  It does not clamp anything.  As in clamping boards together you are gluing together.  Clamping takes hundreds of pounds of force.  This is best described as a positioning system or holding system.  Holding woodwork on top of a workbench.  Positioning tools on top of a bench for usage.

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2022, 08:09 PM »
All those little hoses sticking up give me the willies.

One thing I do like are the nuts that secure the brackets to the t-track.
It looks like the nuts are set into rubber tires so you can get a grip without needing to use a tool.

Michael they sell those knobs individually, I have a few. The rubber hasn't held up well, mine are seperating and I had to glue it back on. OK for light use but if you need to crank down on them I'd go with solid knobs.

RMW



As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline afish

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Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2022, 10:48 PM »
I'm not sure "clamping system" is the correct terminology to use.  It does not clamp anything.  As in clamping boards together you are gluing together.  Clamping takes hundreds of pounds of force.  This is best described as a positioning system or holding system.  Holding woodwork on top of a workbench.  Positioning tools on top of a bench for usage.

I guess that depends on if "your" definition of clamping differs from Websters.  However pneumatic cylinders can supply significant clamping pressure.  A cylinder with a 2.5"bore is 4.9sq" x 150psi = 735pounds of clamping force. my comment was regarding using a MFT for clamping which is perfectly capable of applying clamping pressure even festool sells "clamping elements"   

Offline RussellS

  • Posts: 343
Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2022, 12:34 AM »
I'm not sure "clamping system" is the correct terminology to use.  It does not clamp anything.  As in clamping boards together you are gluing together.  Clamping takes hundreds of pounds of force.  This is best described as a positioning system or holding system.  Holding woodwork on top of a workbench.  Positioning tools on top of a bench for usage.

I guess that depends on if "your" definition of clamping differs from Websters.  However pneumatic cylinders can supply significant clamping pressure.  A cylinder with a 2.5"bore is 4.9sq" x 150psi = 735pounds of clamping force. my comment was regarding using a MFT for clamping which is perfectly capable of applying clamping pressure even festool sells "clamping elements"

The Rockler clamping system seems to use 0.25" bores.  Cylinders.  NOT 2.5".  Which will equal 29 pounds of clamping force using your 150 psi.  So holding, positioning seems appropriate.

As for the MFT Clamping Elements MFT-SP, they have a 1/4" rod with a handle used to apply the pressure.  One man grabbing the handle with his whole hand and using the leverage of the handle and throwing his whole 200 pound body backwards, can probably get a few hundred pounds of force onto the clamp.  Force = mass * acceleration.  Mass is the 200 pound man.  Acceleration is however fast he can pull his hand against the handle of the clamp.  Not sure how to measure that.  How fast can you pull your hand and body backwards?  One tenth of a second?  Two tenths of a second?  But I'm not sure the MFT Clamping Elements is designed for clamping.  Like a Bessey K Body clamp or a Pony pipe clamp.  And looking at the Festool MFT webpages, there is no clamping going on.  It is all holding and positioning of objects on top of the table with the MFT Clamping Elements.  So you can cut them or sand them.

Offline afish

  • Posts: 1415
Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2022, 08:49 AM »
I'm not sure "clamping system" is the correct terminology to use.  It does not clamp anything.  As in clamping boards together you are gluing together.  Clamping takes hundreds of pounds of force.  This is best described as a positioning system or holding system.  Holding woodwork on top of a workbench.  Positioning tools on top of a bench for usage.

I guess that depends on if "your" definition of clamping differs from Websters.  However pneumatic cylinders can supply significant clamping pressure.  A cylinder with a 2.5"bore is 4.9sq" x 150psi = 735pounds of clamping force. my comment was regarding using a MFT for clamping which is perfectly capable of applying clamping pressure even festool sells "clamping elements"

The Rockler clamping system seems to use 0.25" bores.  Cylinders.  NOT 2.5".  Which will equal 29 pounds of clamping force using your 150 psi.  So holding, positioning seems appropriate.

As for the MFT Clamping Elements MFT-SP, they have a 1/4" rod with a handle used to apply the pressure.  One man grabbing the handle with his whole hand and using the leverage of the handle and throwing his whole 200 pound body backwards, can probably get a few hundred pounds of force onto the clamp.  Force = mass * acceleration.  Mass is the 200 pound man.  Acceleration is however fast he can pull his hand against the handle of the clamp.  Not sure how to measure that.  How fast can you pull your hand and body backwards?  One tenth of a second?  Two tenths of a second?  But I'm not sure the MFT Clamping Elements is designed for clamping.  Like a Bessey K Body clamp or a Pony pipe clamp.  And looking at the Festool MFT webpages, there is no clamping going on.  It is all holding and positioning of objects on top of the table with the MFT Clamping Elements.  So you can cut them or sand them.

Please reread my posts specifically #4 "Im not a fan of mft for cutting but its hard to beat for clamping and work holding." When I say "MFT" its a more general term not specifically a Festool MFT/3 however, MFT/3 would work also work well for clamping too, but I make NO mention that the rockler system being a good clamping system.  HOWEVER, "clamp or clamping" is a very relative term and would really depend on the person using said clamp and the work they do.  Clamps come in all sizes and shapes and not all "clamps" need to apply hundreds of pounds of force before they are labeled a "clamp"  I guy who builds delicate items may not need a K body but still needs the ability to "clamp" two items together.  It depends on which dictionary you consult some define "clamp or clamping" as a device or force to hold two or more objects together Webster adds the term "firmly" but once again "firmly" is relative to the object and project being clamped.  Not every wood worker builds the same thing.   

As far as the Festool elements clamp goes I used those as an example since they do not apply hundreds of pounds of force and even if somehow by the grace of god you were able to get them to exert your claimed "few hundred pounds of force" it would only be for a split second and I would actually challenge you to prove this theory. What you are forgetting about is the cam style action which no matter how fast or big the force operating the lever the clamping force "IS" limited by the design/offset of the cam not to mention a few other things but the offset of the cam is going to limit the clamping force even if you hook it to an 18 wheeler. I only used the elements "clamp" as an example since they are pretty light duty at best but still labeled a "clamp"  If that doesnt work for you we can discuss 1" or 2" "spring clamps" instead. Once again you are only thinking of "clamping" from your point of view not in broad terms only how it applies to you.  Millions upon millions of "clamps" are sold every year that would not fit "your" definition of a "clamp" but that is "your" definition of a what a clamp is. Not the officially accepted definition of a clamp.  I also NEVER said the rockler system used 2.5" bore cylinders... I said "However pneumatic cylinders can supply significant clamping pressure"  since you were so unfairly trying to compare a K body clamping force to a tiny pneumatic cylinder. Not sure if you work for the White House and are used to trying to change the long standing officially recognized and accepted definitions of words but they might be able to use you.  (that was joke btw) I do not work or profit from anything Rockler does, sells or says and as mentioned I am not a fan of the system but it does indeed fit within the definition of a clamp or clamping system.  Is it a good design? no is it a clamp? yes       
« Last Edit: September 05, 2022, 09:00 AM by afish »

Offline ChuckS

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Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2022, 08:53 AM »
Many of us consider masking tape a clamp or use it as a clamp, too! The force exerted doesn't define if something is a clamp or not.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2022, 08:57 AM by ChuckS »

Offline afish

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Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2022, 09:24 AM »
The force exerted doesn't define if something is a clamp or not.

Exactly, for me the fact that they are using a cylinder with only a few inch stroke on a table with tracks set 8-10-12" apart (full disclosure I didnt watch video or know the exact T track spacing) its easy to see that there will be times you will need to cobble together spacers depending on what is being clamped.  The beauty of the one I made is it used 100mm stoke twin cylinder clamps on a mft which uses 96mm spacing means it didnt matter if you where clamping/holding something 1" wide or 30" wide you were never outside the clamping range or needed to worry about spacers, unless it exceeded the table/bench size.  Plus who wants another odd ball or job specific bench in their shop. That alone would be enough for me to pass on the rockler system "before" I even considered if the clamping force was or was not enough for my work.   

Online Crazyraceguy

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Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2022, 10:31 AM »
Ok....unintended rabbit hole.
The whole "force" bit is not as easy as F=MA though. You can apply force to something and it never moves, doesn't mean there was no force.

This comes up in the debate of horsepower vs torque all the time.
Torque is a twisting force, horsepower is a calculation based on movement of a specific distance over a certain time. Torque requires no movement at all. You can apply 50ftlbs of torque to a fastener without it moving at all. The force is still there.

Clamping is a very relative term. A little "clothes-pin" style spring clamp is no less of a clamp than the big Bessey parallel clamps and they are not interchangeable.
The MFT clamping elements are somewhere in the middle. The have very little range of movement from the point of contact, until full lock. They don't pull things together very well, but they "hold" things in place as intended.
Sometimes the sheer weight of the Besseys can be overwhelming. That's when the UniKlamps come in, they are similar at much less weight.
Tape, rubber bands, and stretch film work as clamps too. Even gravity can act as a clamp. We have all put something heavy on a glue-up, haven't we?
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Offline ChuckS

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Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2022, 10:52 AM »

Snip.We have all put something heavy on a glue-up, haven't we?

Seen at a Costco in London, UK. Too heavy to bring home:




Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Rockler Pneumatic Clamping System
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2022, 12:29 PM »
I have a couple dozen 1# lead ingots for delicate clamping. They’re compact and fairly uniform so I can balance stack on top of a small profile piece.

They’re also useful in combination with anti-slip mesh to keep stuff from sliding around.