In the workshop, clamps keep things together: parts held firmly on a bench during sanding or chiseling; plywood pieces kept in alignment as screws or nails are driven; boards pressed together as they’re glued into a wide panel. But just like tools, there’s no single clamp that’s right for every woodworking task. This article surveys the entire range of clamps and accessories, to help you decide which are best for your woodworking projects.
Crank-handle Bar Clamps
Handscrew-tightened Bar Clamps
Parallel-head Bar Clamps
Edge and Installation Clamps
Bench and V-Clamps
Clamping Support Blocks, Pads and Alignment Devices
Keep all your metal clamps corrosion-free by spraying the bare surfaces with a rust-preventative spray, like Boeshield T-9. Spray all clamp screws with WD-40 or other light lubricant to keep them turning smoothly.
To leave room for clamping blocks or pads, buy clamps that are at least a couple of inches longer than the size of the biggest workpieces you’re likely to clamp.