Shop made Cauls and Clamp suports

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Project by ScottKaye posted 08-08-2015 11:23 PM 2678 views 8 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve made Cauls before, but never like these. I’ve ALWAYS struggled trying to edge clamp two board together to achieve a smooth joint and after my last glue up I knew I had to come up with a better way. The cauls are too tall to fit between my workbench and the bottom of the boards being glued up. I solved this in the past propping up the clamps with 2×4’s or whatever else I had laying around. I have come to realize that the boards I used to prop up the clamps were not uniform in thickness and some clamps where higher or lower than other clamps causing a wave effect. I ended up milling a set of 6 supports out of Fir 2×4’s that were jointed and planned to a uniform thickness. I then cut a wide dado grove that the clamp could rest in for additional support.

As for the Cauls, I used the standard construction method of hand planning the last few inches of the board, then starting a few inches closer to the center and planning the board towards its end overlapping the first cut and so on until I reached the center of the board. This of course, puts a convex or bow shape along the length of the board with the high point in the center and low points at either ends. I over the curved section with some packing tape to prevent glue adhesion. Now this is where I used a little ingenuity and routed a dado just wide enough for my Harbor Freight F Clamps to fit into. I’m sure everyone has struggle with trying to clamp cauls in place before. You really need two sets of hands to hold the cauls together while you screw the f clamp in place. The dado’s I cut into the cauls act as a third hand by holding the f clamp in loosely in place on one end while being able to attach the other clamp on the other end. It makes one person glue ups so much easier and hardly any struggle what so ever.


-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

5 comments so far

View ScottKaye's profile


797 posts in 3006 days

#1 posted 08-09-2015 12:26 AM

Dado for clamp supports

Cauls with 3/4” dado for F-Clamp pads at both ends

You can see the bow shape when I bring an end together. Clamp pressure pulls the board flat across the face thus helping to keep your glue up board flat

The main benefit of this set up is that I am now able to get my glue ups clamped down much quicker before anything has a chance to set which allows me to adjust the glue up boards to achieve a flat glue up.


-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View The2CarGarageShop's profile


18 posts in 2465 days

#2 posted 08-09-2015 03:53 AM

Smart, simple modification. I like this


View AandCstyle's profile


3296 posts in 3310 days

#3 posted 08-09-2015 09:39 PM

Scott, that is a great idea. Thanks for the tip.

-- Art

View CharlieK's profile


605 posts in 4846 days

#4 posted 08-10-2015 12:53 AM

That’s a good idea!

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View bch's profile


303 posts in 3742 days

#5 posted 08-13-2015 04:07 AM

Great idea. Great execution. Thanks for sharing.

-- --bch

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