How do you hold down your sheet of plywood?

I’ve just started carving sheets of plywood on my 4x4 XCP and I’m looking for tips on how to hold it down when you need to carve one edge of it.
For example, if I want to carve the left edge of my sheet of plywood along the entire length, I can’t clamp it down on that side, so basically I end up with it not sitting flat on the table because the sheet is never flat!
Any tips and tricks from the community?

Also, along the same lines, I’m wondering how you support the other half of the sheet of plywood floating beyond the dimensions of the XCP. I can guess that the answer is to have another table there, but I’m wondering if there is anything more clever than that :slight_smile:

You could use the tape and glue method. PhillipLunsford has info on it.
New Video: No Clamps Just Super Glue and Tape - X-Carve - Inventables Community Forum

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I use wood screws directly into the mdf wasteboard on my 4x4 (its not a XCP)

double sided carpet or double sided duct tape. I dislike superglue fumes.

There’s a type of nail gun that shoots composite nails that won’t damage the bit if contact is made. I think I may go this direction on my own machine. For now, double-sided tape works very well. A pasted a link to the tape I use.

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Cool, thanks for the tips, I’ll try them out!

Screws and nails don’t work for me because I don’t want any holes through the plywood.

My experience with double-sided tapes is that they often add some springyness to the surface, which makes it harder to carve precise depths. Is this not an issue you have faced? (those of you who use the thicker tapes?) And when I bought really thin double-sided tape, it’s nowhere strong enough to hold the piece down (we’re talking 4x8ft pieces of plywood here).

I’ll try the tape and super glue, as that might be thin and strong.
I should also try the hot glue technique, as it looks like it has some potential.

However, I must say that these two techniques seem to work well for a piece that’s already flat on the wasteboard, whereas the difference in my case is that my sheets of plywood (3/4") never sit flat, they’re always more or less bowed. The clamps solve this because they press down on the material and make it flat, but I’m wondering whether the tape and/or hot glue would have the same strength. I’ll try clamping, hot gluing, then unclamping to see if it holds…

try this tape you won’t be disappointed

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I use hot glue. Just use sparingly and check the strength of the adhesive, it can rip off the veneer if its too strong.

If your workpiece won’t sit flat on its own, I wouldn’t trust tape to solve that problem. Tape is good at counteracting relatively small amounts of force, but a bowed board produces much more.

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Vacuuming the countertop should solve your problem of plywood not leveling.

Not exactly….the plywood is bowed from about anywhere you would buy it nowadays. I agree, tape may not pull down the bow. And it it does, it is likely to pop back up during carve.

Wood screws i to mdf
After u pull the workpiece off I use rough sanding block to knock down the raised up surround of where the screw went in, and resurface the whole thing every few months, when should be done anyway due to seasonal movement…

Its fast, for that walnut one, I place the corner screws into place and,I run a shallow inside perimeter pass around the whole thing, that shows me where I can safely add more screws, I add the extra screws and proceeded with the full cut.
Sometimes I do something similar in easel by adding some drill points to specific places, running that job first, adding screws, and then running the actual carve…