Disclosure: I’m posting this after-the-fact on January 8th, 2011.
A neighbor presented me with this problem. Her mom had come up with a perfectly worthy kludge to table-mount a very nice hand-crank food processor. However, the kludged mount had failed, and I had the opportunity to either fix it or come up with something better. I should add that I was always looking for any projects that would give me an excuse to use my Harbor Freight Tools Mini-Mill (44991).
I opted to start over from scratch. The clamp/mount would need to accommodate a range of table top thicknesses, give enough height to allow room for a bowl, provide a strong mount without marring the table top, and be able to take some abuse.
The original mount used a hex piece to mount to the triangular base of the cutter body. I opted to mill three flats at a taper, onto a piece of 3/4″ round aluminum stock, with a 3/8″ hole drilled through it; this turned out to be two pieces, since I felt like the height was too low with just the one. For the clamp itself, I used 1/2″ x 2″ 6061 aluminum bar stock. The vertical piece was drilled and tapped, to accommodate four 1/4-20×1-1/2 stainless steel button head hex socket screws I had around. The top horizontal piece was milled to accept the head of a long 3/8″ bolt used to attach the round pieces on the top, with a lock nut at the very top. The bottom piece was drilled and tapped for a 3/8-16 thread, and I used an i-bolt to act as the clamp spindle.
For the clamp pad, I originally used a 3/8″ stainless cap I found at Home Depot, but I didn’t like it – it was loose and unstable, and not up to the standard of the rest.
If I had a lathe at this point, it would have been easier to make a nice clamp pad from a small piece of 3/4″ aluminum. It was challenging to get an exact center on the mill, and I originally planned to connect the pad via a short #4-40 flat-head screw, screwed into the end of the i-bolt. This would have worked, but the tap broke off in the i-bolt, and I went with plan B, which was a screw in the side of the pad, just long enough to keep it on while the pad rotated freely. This involved grinding off a couple of the i-bolt’s threads just wide enough for a #4-40 screw. All this was done so the pad wouldn’t come off when the clamp was unmounted and rattling around in a drawer.
Some felt was attached to the bottom of the top piece, and it was ready!
Not long after this, it was strenuously field tested and pronounced done! I was a little sad to part with it, but it found a good home.