When do you have enough clamps?
When there is no space for new tools.
A clamp is one of the simplest tools in the shop. And yet, there are
nearly endless variations. I hate spending good money on such simple
devices - even if they work well. really well. $40 for a 40" bar clamp?
You've got to be kidding! I've got some dirt cheap bar clamps that I
bought at Big Lots for $4/ea many years ago. They are poorly made, yet
they work great. That has convinced me that I can make my own
clamps...and save a lot of $$$ in the process.
My first set came about when I needed to clamp two 48" pieces together
to make a 1.5"x1.5" bar. I only have a few C-clamps, so I grabbed
some scrap 3/4" plywood and cut them into C shapes. With the help of
some wedges, they did the job:
The C-clamps work great in conjunction with some more scraps to make
effective 90deg corner clamps. These corner clamping jigs were made
from some scrap MDF. I chose MDF since it will not move unevenly
when the humidity changes. Dimensions are easily adjustable based on
your needs...the only critical factor is that they make a perfect 90deg
angle. I made a dozen.
Bar clamps (plans here)
Here are the bar-clamps I made from some scrap oak...but you'll need to accumulate a pile of long
scraps...depending on the length of clamps you need ;)
The inspiration for these bar clamps came from Woodsmith #108
. However, my design
is significantly different.