Introduction To Woodworking Clamps
Choose the best clamp for your next woodworking project. The clamp you need depends on the task you are trying to accomplish. We show you great clamps you can use for several common tasks, including clamping panels, cabinets, bent laminations, face gluing, making jigs, wrapping around projects, hold downs, and specialty clamps. You can never have too many clamps, but no one clamp is perfect for every project.
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Introduction To Woodworking Clamps - Video Transcript
Speaker There's an old saying in woodworking that you can never have too many clamps. The thing is, no one clamp is perfect for every task. So today, I'm going to walk you through several common tasks and show you the best clamp for each application. Let's start with one of the most common woodworking tasks, edge gluing panels. Bar or pipe clamps are the best option for edge gluing panels. These clamps feature a bar or pipe that provides enough length to span the width of the glue up. The bar or pipe also provides a support for the panels. These clamps come in a variety of types.
This aluminum bar clamp is lightweight, making it easy to handle and it provides a wide stable base. Pipe clamps are an economical option that you can modify to reach different lengths. These clamps are typically sold as a set of jaws, and then you purchase whatever length of pipe you need to thread to the jaws. If you're face gluing parts to create a table leg, a turning blank, or a bent lamination, an X-style clamp is often your best bet. X-style clamps are available in a variety of jaw depths that extend the point of force further from the edge of the workpiece.
This F-style piston clamp is a great option if you have difficulty gripping clamp handles. It features a handle that swivels to 90 degrees, making it easier to grip and creating more leverage. When you're assembling cabinet boxes or face frames, parallel jaw clamps are great choice. These bar clamps feature a pair of jaws that remain parallel and distribute even pressure across the entire face of the clamps jaw. Another important consideration when making cabinets or boxes is to keep the parts perpendicular, in these cases a set of assembly squares and clamps are very helpful. An assembly square is simply a right angle jig that you clamp in the corner of two join pieces to keep them perpendicular.
Attaching solid wood edging to a panel is a common task when you're working with sheet goods, these banding clamps make this super easy. This is a spring clamp that features large grippy clamp pads that won't slip, and a tough rubber band that stretches between the jaws. They're also great for holding cables out of your way. Woodworkers often need to secure parts or jigs to a workbench tool surface or directly to a workpiece. These quick grip clamps are easy to attach, adjust, remove, and hold work securely. Hold downs like this are traditional method of holding a workpiece to the workbench using its dog holes.
A modern version of the hold down is this T-track hold down, which offers additional adjustability. If you need to hold a workpiece on edge, a wood screw clamp that is clamped to your bench creates a makeshift vise. If you make your own jigs or shop fixtures, toggle clamps are the ticket for securing small workpieces. They come in a variety of sizes and styles that either push out or down. When you need to wrap around an assembly, such as a box with mitered corners, or segmented or staved cylinder, a ratcheting band clamp is your best bet.
That's more than a dozen examples and I barely scratched the surface in terms of the variety of specialty clamps that are available for unique project challenges. For example, this drawer front installation clamp won't help you clamp up a panel, but it sure makes it easy to align and secure drawer fronts without all the trial and error. The next time you're working on a project and you wish you had a third arm, or longer reach, or maybe a little more strength, take a spin through the clamps department, I bet you'll find the help you're looking for.