A Clever Way to Clamp Oddly Shaped Objects

In my workshop, I'm fortunate to have a generous collection of clamps.  But when it comes to clamping round objects, like the handle on an antique doll stroller or the shattered pedestal on a table base, conventional clamps aren't necessarily the best solution. I've found that a bicycle inner tube can be a perfect clamping tool for certain jobs.

To turn a bicycle tube into a clamp, first cut away the valve and then cut the tube in half, lengthwise. You will now have two long narrow strips of very stretchable rubber.

Place your object that needs clamping in the most comfortable and convenient position and then pour a small amount of glue in a disposable container. The cutoff bottom from an empty water bottle works well for this.

Brush the glue onto both sides of the broken pieces, and then place them together.

Gently wrap a piece of painter's masking tape around the broken pieces to keep them from slipping.

Begin wrapping the rubber strap, stretching it as you go, so that the band is applying continuous pressure on the joint. With each wrap, apply more and more pressure in the same way a conventional clamp would.

Attach a small spring clamp to hold the strap in place while the glue dries.

One of the disadvantages of using the bicycle inner tube is that the tube completely covers the joint sometimes, which means you can't see the glue that is probably squeezing out.

To prevent this from causing any problems, apply paste wax to the finished surfaces of the wood so that if glue does squeeze out, it won't stick to the wax and it can easily be removed later on.

After the glue dries, unwrap the inner tube and masking tape. It there is any bit of the crack still visible, you can conceal it with a touch up marker. Simply dab on the marker, and then allow it set for a few seconds. When you wipe off the excess, the repair should be nearly invisible.

You can use virtually the same process to repair almost any small round object.

And if you ask your local bike shop for a flat, then your clamp is absolutely free!!

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