Solid Cherry Handscrew Clamp

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Project by KnotCurser posted 07-18-2010 12:22 AM 6070 views 6 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few months ago I was at an auction and bid on a box of “Miscellaneous Tools” and won it for less than five bucks. What I was really after was a set of really nice Forstner bits. I didn’t even notice the three strange packs of what looked like threaded rod and end caps in the bottom until I got home.

“Build Your Own Clamps” the package said. Whatever. Tossed it aside and promptly forgot about it.

I was in need of a clamp the other day and suddenly remembered the kits. They looked pretty well built and it had decent instructions. There were two smaller 10” ones and a single 14” set.

I tore open the 14” one and dug out a nice chunk of cherry that fit the plans. A few hours later and voila!

The thing really works well! It can be torqued really strong and at a pretty steep angle if needed.

Finish is a coat of “medium walnut” danish oil followed by two coats of spray poly. I wanted it to look kind of old and I think it will darken up nicely over the next few months.

I just LOVE using tools I built myself – and for next to no money either!!!!



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

10 comments so far

View mafe's profile


13683 posts in 4426 days

#1 posted 07-18-2010 12:38 AM

Really nice. Well build.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4452 days

#2 posted 07-18-2010 12:40 AM

great work on those clamps and you are right about how much pressure they can give
no one wonder why boat builder stiil use them
and it gives you a speciel feeling to use home made tools :—)


View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

267 posts in 4691 days

#3 posted 07-18-2010 01:06 AM

This is something I really need to do. I’ve looked at ones in the stores and they are often really wobbly and loose. Does anyone know where you can buy kits like these? I have the cherry and would love to make a set of 4. :-)

View Kate's profile


403 posts in 5211 days

#4 posted 07-18-2010 01:17 AM

they look great. nice to use tools that work well and that are beautiful to boot.

-- Kate,

View KnotCurser's profile


2040 posts in 4405 days

#5 posted 07-18-2010 01:18 AM

I just added a picture of the label of the kit – hope this helps Will.

If you are just looking for strength, I would imagine white oak would actually do just as good as cherry. I just wanted to see what a clamp made out of cherry would look like! ;-)


PS: Search amazon for “shop fox handscrew” – They look totally like the DRI ones!

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View JimNEB's profile


239 posts in 4405 days

#6 posted 07-18-2010 03:27 AM

Interesting, I’ve always like the way a handscrew clap works. Maybe it goes back to me Jr High shop days. I have a number of them in my shop and use them often.

-- Jim, Nebraska

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4411 days

#7 posted 07-19-2010 05:39 PM

I wish I could locate some Hand screw clamp kits. They allow you to custom design your clamps. Need an extra deep throat (12”) – you can do it if you make your own clamps.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View swirt's profile


7115 posts in 4309 days

#8 posted 07-19-2010 09:33 PM

Nice looking handscrew. Looks great in Cherry.

@Richgreer you can find them at Grizzly
or on Amazon

-- Galootish log blog,

View Vern Little's profile

Vern Little

103 posts in 4874 days

#9 posted 07-25-2010 12:39 AM

Check this out. He made his own.

Here is another one.

-- Earth first, we'll drill the rest of the planets later. Vern

View KnotCurser's profile


2040 posts in 4405 days

#10 posted 07-25-2010 12:55 AM


I did consider at one time to try the style you reference, but they have the “issue” of being mostly a “parallel” style clamp – in other words, the two blocks must remain fairly in line with each other so the screws can work.

The benefit of using the kit is that it uses a threaded piece of metal that can perform some pretty intense angles! The backs of the jaws can be open around six inches when the fronts are closed solid! See my third picture as an example.

Thanks for posting these links though – others may also find these better alternatives than the kits for sale!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

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