Over on the ToolGuyd Forums, Fred pointed out these new MatchFit dovetail clamps from Micro Jig — the company that makes the Grr-Ripper table saw hand guard. What’s interesting about these clamps is that you can use them to make temporary fences or jigs that attach completely from behind with no trace of the clamp on the front, similar to what you can do with T-track.
All you need to do is create a specific sized dovetail groove in your custom fence, saw guide, or other jig. The MatchFit clamp head slides into the dovetail to secure it without the clamp head getting in the way. Another way to think about it is your fixture becomes the head of the clamp.
The clamps can open up to 5-1/4″ wide and have a throat depth of 2-3/8″. They can provide up to 595 lbs of clamping pressure while open to 4″ wide.
To use the MatchFit dovetail clamps first you need to make a matching dovetail groove. MatchFit is compatible with dovetails cut by a 1/2″ by 14° dovetail router bit. The dovetail needs to be at least 3/8″ deep so the MatchFit clamp sits below the surface and at least 3.75″ long to hide the head completely.
To get you started, Micro Jig provides two different PDFs for creating your own fixtures: A router table pressure jig and the two-in-one straightedge guide, shown above, that can be used with your circular saw and router.
You can buy MatchFit dovetail clamps directly from Micro Jig. A pair of the dovetail clamps will run you $40 plus shipping, or you can purchase them for the same price at Amazon shipped free with Prime.
For more ideas about what you can do with the MatchFit dovetail clamp check out this video from Consultingwoodworker.com:
There are a few times in the video I thought, “it’d be way easier to just do X,” but the video does show a great variety of uses, including reversing the head to use the clamp as a hold-down.