How to Get the Most Out of Your Clamps

Even though I have dozens of clamps in my workshop, there are still times when I don’t have exactly what I need and it’s time to do some creative clamping.

For example, if I have a piece of loose veneer in the center of a panel, it is nearly impossible to find a clamp with a throat deep enough to reach.  My solution is to take a small block of wood and place it on the loose veneer. On top of that, I place a strip of wood that is long enough to reach to the edges of the panel. Then I attach one clamp on either end.  As I tighten it up, pressure is applied exactly on the spot I want.

If I’m clamping two boards together, but the biggest clamp I have is not long enough to span the distance, I interlock two shorter clamps turning them into one longer one.

Sometimes one of the most challenging clamping jobs is trying to hold something vertical while I work on the edges.  To solve this clamping dilemma I take an adjustable c-clamp and attach it near the bottom edge on both ends.  Then clamp the clamps to the tabletop or workbench.  This leaves both hands free to work.

On occasion, I’ll create my own clamp by cutting a board on the diagonal, screwing it down to a base and tapping in a wedge to hold the work piece in place.

All of these ideas will be much clearer when you watch the video.

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