Cheap, Free, or at least reasonable Glue Clamps

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Blog entry by Karson posted 07-28-2008 09:23 PM 3350 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started to build a sample – first of the kitchen cabinets. It’s one over the microwave and is a standalone. I wanted to check out my techniques.

Gluing on edge banding on the front edge of the plywood.

1 cabinet 21 X 24 X 12 and takes lost of clamps to glue on an edge band 1/8” thick on the front edge.
(Note: I’m doing European style cabinets and not face frame style.)

So I started to think about my options.

At the toy workshop we sometimes use rubber bands to hold small parts together while gluing. Cheap and easy.

Note to self – Rubber Bands are too short / small.

Ah! a big rubber band. I went to the local salvage tire dealer. – No one uses tubes in car tires any more. He suggested the truck tire place just up the street.

I walked in and said I need an old junk tube that I can cut up. Out he comes with a Lawnmower tube 16 X 8.5 X 9.5. I think is this going to work. The tube has a big hole in it. I take out my pocketknife and cut the tube apart. I then slice off a 1? slice – very rough and very ragged. But it stretched about 18”.

I also need something for the base cabinets. Do you also have a bigger tube I ask?

He shows up with a tractor-trailer tube with a hole the size of my fist missing. To self I think, Why would this tire be in his storeroom? I know – waiting for me.

So I take my two tubes to my car. Total cost $0.00. Thats American the price in your location might be different.

I come home and start cutting up the small tube. Because the outside is so much longer than the inside lots of pie shaped pieces are sitting in my trash can.

But I got this.

Twenty five rings. You can also notice the hole in the truck tube. These rings are 9” in a normal state and will stretch to 18”

The board on the top is to equalize the pressure across the whole edge band.

I started to cut the truck tube. Because it has a bigger hole radius, I have less tube being cut like a pie wedge.
I cut about 1/2 of the tube and got 25 rings there so I can probably get 50 rings.

The piece was 12” in a normal state and it stretched over 26” with no problem.

I tried to stretch it over a 31” piece of wood. This is the result.

You can stretch them too far. The sharp edge of the board could also have contributed to the problem.

I did find that the easiest way to cut them is:

I’m right handed so the tube is on the right, I held the piece that I was going to cut off in my left hand and I then held it that it wouldn’t slide as I cut. And then cut it off. Works pretty good.

1 hr time and zero cost. Have fun. Work safe.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

22 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4388 days

#1 posted 07-28-2008 09:42 PM

Ingenuity is alive and well. I used rubber bands alot when doing dollhouses and it makes perfect sense to use bigger rubber bands (if you can get them) for bigger things. Definitely a technique to remember.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Karson's profile


35194 posts in 4849 days

#2 posted 07-28-2008 09:55 PM

Russell I guess that you could use bicycles tires and cut them the long way around. But you wouldn’t get many circles but you could sure get them quite long.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 4165 days

#3 posted 07-28-2008 09:56 PM


-- jeanmarc manosque france

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4193 days

#4 posted 07-28-2008 10:28 PM

Ata boy, Karson. That’s good ole American ingenuity at it’s best. This is a great way to clamp. I use the bike tubes cut the short way for small items. Everybody should be putting this one in the methods of work, if they don’t do it already. Thanks for the post.

View Kevin's profile


291 posts in 4407 days

#5 posted 07-28-2008 10:52 PM

Karson that is a great idea. I too have used rubber bands as well as bungy cords, but I didn’t think of using tire tubes.

Another one that I have had some success with is ratcheting tie down straps.

-- Kevin, Wichita, Kansas

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4428 days

#6 posted 07-28-2008 11:07 PM

Hi Karson;

Try keep track of how many miles you get out of ‘em.

Great idea!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Richard Williams's profile

Richard Williams

162 posts in 4241 days

#7 posted 07-28-2008 11:10 PM

Great Innovation and head thinking buddy. I’ll have to keep that one in mind. But where the hell do you find inner tubes these days???hahahaha

-- Rich, Nevada,

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4047 posts in 4512 days

#8 posted 07-28-2008 11:11 PM

Posts from Karson and Niki on the same day. Good stuff.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 4162 days

#9 posted 07-28-2008 11:20 PM

My Grandpa used to have a line that he said all the time, “Heck, I’ll take anything that’s free!” His blood runs in me, GREAT POST!!!

I would not have thought of using tire tubes as clamps… Thanks Karson!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Grumpy's profile


25526 posts in 4300 days

#10 posted 07-28-2008 11:37 PM

Great idea Karson but I think $0.00 is a bit expensive, just kidding. LOL. Thanks for the post. Those cheap stretch bands are’nt too bad either.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Karson's profile


35194 posts in 4849 days

#11 posted 07-29-2008 04:11 AM


You can see from the last picture I got less life than Goodyear got from their NASCAR tires this weekend. But of course they were using tires, but 10 laps is not bad for a set of tires. I mean that’s 25 miles before they started to blow out.

While I was only using tubes.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4162 days

#12 posted 07-29-2008 04:37 PM

FYI Many tractor and farm wagons (etc) use tubes and tire dealers probably change them for thier customers. Finding one that keeps them may take some doing but then if disposial of tubes is as regulated as tires mabey not. either way a little time invested in pr with a local dealer would probably result in having a few saved for you.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View lance's profile


170 posts in 4437 days

#13 posted 07-29-2008 09:19 PM

Thanks for the innovative tip and good luck with the cabinets.

-- Bob Lance, DE

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4428 days

#14 posted 07-30-2008 05:11 AM

Hey Karson;

I’m glad to hear you going with the European style cabinets. No face frames saves on materials. ( not that your stash of lumber couldn’t use some thinning). lol

Maybe you should visit me in the shop and we can slice up the sheet goods and do the inline boring. Between the two us us I bet we could get a lot done

You can also use the hinge machine for the doors.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Karson's profile


35194 posts in 4849 days

#15 posted 07-30-2008 06:11 AM

Lee I think I’m going to take you up on your offer. There are some things I want or need to do here at home, because of the length of time like veneering the pieces etc.

We’ll talk.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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