Avoiding bit damage by cutting into clamps

Hey guys I’m new to CNCing and vectric software but I’ve cut into a few of my clamps by not positioning them correctly. They are made of wood so no bit damage but I’ve learned something that may be helpful to others to avoid damaging bits or clamps.
Normally I like to place clamps at the corners of the material which means I make sure the project I’m cutting is clear of the corners. The problem arises when the machine starts it always goes to the Home/Start position specified in the Material Setup box in vectric which is 0/0 or the left bottom corner right where my clamp is. So to avoid this I put a value greater than 0/0 in the Home/Start box of vectric and the machine now starts and stops at this position rather than 0/0, missing my clamps. I still have to make sure the clamps are not in the cutting path of my project however. I also specify a high Z1 height to be on the safe side.


I haven’t tried this but I remember someone saying something about nylon bolts/nuts so if you hit the bolt part your bit would still be okay. Not positive but I think it was nylon which I know from reading about
3D printing has a relatively high melting point and is strong and durable.

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Michael, they are nylon bolts and wing nuts. I have used then since the first time I hit a hold down over a year ago. They work great, are cheap, and readily available at any hardware store.

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I’ve found that unless the material being carved is warped, there’s no reason for clamping from the top surface. All that I do is clamp blocks, that have sandpaper glued to their underside to help keep them from moving around, to the edges of the piece being milled. I’ve also replaced the clamp bolts with ones that are short enough so they don’t get in the way of the mills.

Marty from Kingston, ON Canada

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I have tried edge clamping and depending on what I’m doing it might work and other times not. typically if I’m drilling or doing deeper cuts I us clamps on top. If the carves are shallow I will just clamp on the sides.