September 19, 2012

Wooden clamps

SketchUp wooden clamp, rumageinthegarageI am sure you had read in some other blog "one can never have enough clamps". When you don´t have all the clamps you would like, the truth is that sometimes one have to glue the pieces of furniture in stages. When I watch professional woodworkers (and not that professional woodworkers) videos, always catches my attention all the amount of all size clamps they have hanging on the wall (and how they are arranged).



My little clamp collection,  enredandonogaraxe
Wooden clamp plan, rumageinthegarage

I am making my collection gradually, buying them when I find a bargain price in a hardware store. I prefer the lifelong clamps with the screw, but I also have a couple of strap clamps that are perfect for big pieces of furniture and for frames. Recently I bought some quick clamps, but I am not very sure about them.
Wooden clamp plan, rumageinthegarage

Well, the thing is that before I make a piece of furniture to post in this blog, it will be better to make some wooden clamps. I will copy the one the teen woodworker makes (thiswoodwork.com). It is the same design but using the router  tenon and mortise system I showed you in this blog. And to compensate that I am coping the design, I drew the plan with SketchUp.

Surfing the Internet I found this other wooden clamp that looks really nice, but it looks more difficult to make (here you can download the SketchUp model). And in woodgears.ca Matthias Wandel makes another one that I am asking myself how it would work with the router tenon and mortise system I use.


Video with subtitles in English


Problem using the wooden clamps, rumageinthegarage
I have to admit I am not very happy with the result. I supposed that the blocks could rise when tightening, but I think I will solve that problem using some small clamps.

A different thing are the mistakes I made when I made the clamps:
- The 8mm threaded rod is too thin and bends when tightening the clamp. It is better to use at least a 10mm one.
- The piece of threaded rod I use is too long. 200mm would be enough.
- If we don´t have a wooden drill bit with the diameter we need and we are in a holiday it is better to wait until we can buy one. If we use a metal drill bit we can make a botch of the job (splintered holes).

Wooden clamps, rumageinthegarage
Wooden clamps, rumageinthegarage                                         Wooden clamps, rumageinthegarage 

Wooden clamps, rumageinthegarage
Wooden clamps, rumageinthegarageNow it is time to prepare a place for them in our shop. The best we can do is making a clamp rack. With a piece of wood strip and some 6mm dowels we can make a hanger we can fix to the wall at hand and in a place that it is not in the way. We only have to drill a hole bigger than 6mm in diameter (the 6mm dowel must go into the hole easily) in each one of our wooden clamps the way we see in the picture so that we can hang them without worrying about they can fall.
It is very useful to keep them like that, I´ll have to make something similar for my other clamps.