Clamps #1: Parallel Clamp V1

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Blog entry by MikeB_UK posted 09-10-2021 07:40 PM 410 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
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So, decided to try making my favourite type of clamp.
Parallel clamps are quick, versatile and have loads of clamping power.

Starting completely from scratch with this one.

So split a log to start – willowin this case, which I’ve not really used before, but they make cricket bats out of it so it should be fairly tough, time will tell.
Not a big log so just using a normal cold chisel to split it.

Saw one eighth in 2 and then use an axe to split the halves down to rough dimensions, riving the wood gives really straight grain for making screws.

And then just dimension the wood with a jack plane

And I’ve essentially now made a short 1×2

Which needs to get cut in half for the arms, meaning I’ve just spent a fair bit of time making 2 chunky pen blanks

Cut the holes for the threaded rods in the arms.

Straight through and threaded on one of the arms

And, with a bigger bit, on the other arm – straight through on the front hole and half way through on the back one.

Onto the screws
I think I’ll get 2 out of this, just split it with an axe.

Square them up

And plane to a rough octagon

And repeat, not aiming for anything very exact here, just something about the right size

And out with the rounding plane, great shavings off this one, like a giant pencil sharpener

Soak in oil for a couple of minutes and cut the threads

Never used willow for this before but these turned out perfect, they should stay straight as they were riven, should probably have left them as an octogan for a couple of days to acclimatise just in case, but I think they’ll be OK.

Which just leaves the handles.
Make another, bigger octogan, cut it in two and knock the edges off

Drill and tap holes in the centres

And glue in the threads

Shape the ends of the arms for ease of sight and clearance, really don’t need to do this on something this small.

Quick coat of oil

And that’s a working clamp

Tools used

So, this one was more of a proof of concept, for the next one I think I need to be a bit more precise with the holes, works fine but would look and work better with everything perfectly square. I was paying more attention to putting the right size holes in the right places this time out, really expected to get that wrong.
The willow might have a little bit too much flex, still useable but back to beech for the next one I think.

Then I reckon I can get away with making a few sets of the screws and a bunch of customised arms for different uses.

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

1 comment so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8288 posts in 1798 days

#1 posted 09-11-2021 02:04 AM

Nice, Mike! From tree to cramp!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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