Clamping table

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Project by Robb posted 08-27-2007 04:04 AM 14048 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This isn’t anything fancy, more functional. I’m definitely in agreement that you can never have enough clamps. I glue up a lot of long thin pieces of wood to make stock for many of my projects, so I’m always running low on clamps. Out of frustration one day I made this clamping table. It’s got its pro’s and con’s, but it works pretty well in a limited range for gluing up strips. I’d like to make the backstop easily adjustable to different locations, but for the time being, it’s just screwed to the worksurface about 5” or so from the clamps. The worksurface it’s all fastened to is roughly 1.25” mdf, with a laminate top. I just rest it on whatever I’m not using at the moment, sometimes my saw, sometimes sawhorses. If I get real ambitious, maybe I’ll give it some legs of it’s own one day ;).

The clamps were from an auction at my work, so no, I didn’t go out and buy these all at retail prices. I’m sure there would be a cheaper solution if that was the case ;). I think they worked out to be around 50 cents apiece.

Any thoughts on how to make an easily adjustable, floating backstop that would still be sturdy? Right now, I just place different width stock behind what I’m gluing to make up the difference. It works, but it’s kind of clunky and time consuming.

-- Robb

14 comments so far

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1251 posts in 4507 days

#1 posted 08-27-2007 04:16 AM

Simple, effective and clever design. You got a great deal on those clamps!

-- Bob A in NJ

View Greg Mitchell's profile

Greg Mitchell

1381 posts in 4577 days

#2 posted 08-27-2007 04:29 AM

Great idea Robb!

-- Greg Mitchell--Lowell, [email protected]

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4470 days

#3 posted 08-27-2007 05:04 AM

It looks like a great idea even if you did have to buy the clamps. I’ll think on the back stop.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4908 days

#4 posted 08-27-2007 05:06 AM

Great Clamping Station. Does the clamps give enough pressure on the glue line?

-- 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 Robb's profile


660 posts in 4442 days

#5 posted 08-27-2007 11:29 AM

Thanks everyone!

Bob, I realize now that I did get a great deal on the clamps. At the time that I bought them, I had no clue how expensive they were! A friend of mine and I bought a big box of them and split the winnings. A lot of them have glue on the threads of the bolts, but they clean up nicely with a wire brush, or, in the worst cases, a little heat from a torch and a wire brush.

Thos. : I’d really like to hear any ideas you come up with. All I’ve thought of so far is doing something like bench dogs, where I could pop in different stops for different widths. I’m not sure if that would be solid enough, though.

Karson, it seems to work pretty well, pressure-wise. As long as the clamps are adjusted individually to the proper fit, I haven’t had any delam. Because the clamps are a fixed distance from the surface of the table, they limit how thick the stock can be that I can glue up, though. I haven’t tried gluing anything thicker than about 2”, figuring that I’d be asking for delam if I did.

-- Robb

View Gary's profile


1417 posts in 4832 days

#6 posted 08-27-2007 05:01 PM


“Any thoughts on how to make an easily adjustable, floating backstop that would still be sturdy”

Buy a number of T-tracks (Highland Hardware has good prices on them) and run them perpendicular to the clamps. Attach a fence milled square from a piece of hardwood. Put clamps on top of the fence that securely grab the base. If you look online for router table plans, esp. something like the Ultimate router station—to which there’s probably dozens—you’ll see ideas to borrow.


-- Gary, Florida

View cheller's profile


254 posts in 4617 days

#7 posted 08-27-2007 09:51 PM

Here’s my idea. Remove the backstop and cut a couple of grooves in the base perpendicular to the clamps. Then use bolts that run through the grooves and the backstop with the nut on the top.

Very nice solution to the clamping dilemma, by the way.

-- Chelle

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4442 days

#8 posted 08-28-2007 01:37 AM

Gary and Cheller, thanks for the great suggestions. I was daydreaming about different solutions at work today, but hadn’t reached any good conclusions. I’ll definitely give these some thought. There’s surely merit in borrowing from those router table plans. I hate to reinvent the wheel!

-- Robb

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4544 days

#9 posted 08-31-2007 04:15 PM

That’s a good idea, Robb!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4252 days

#10 posted 02-28-2008 07:25 PM

Robb, this is a good idea. I can see the use for something like this for bending laminations, with a curved form and the clamps placed around it.

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4442 days

#11 posted 02-29-2008 09:28 AM

Tim, I wonder if you could put the clamps right in one of your steam boxes? Would that work?

-- Robb

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 4290 days

#12 posted 02-29-2008 01:41 PM

What about saving some less than perfect strips that you have cut? You could glue up some in different thicknesses and use them as shims. That way you could put a solid backstop as far back as you can on the base & just stack up as many shims as you need & never have to re-adjust the clamps.


View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4442 days

#13 posted 02-29-2008 10:48 PM

Tim, that’s almost exactly where I’ve landed to date :). I just haven’t moved the backstop to the rear of the board yet. Maybe this spring, when the weather lets up. Thanks for the suggestion, and for taking a look at my project!

-- Robb

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4807 days

#14 posted 07-12-2010 04:45 PM

A very handy looking set up.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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