14 Little Box Clamps

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Project by Jerry posted 03-05-2014 03:19 AM 6421 views 23 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
14 Little Box Clamps
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I get a lot of ideas from the Stewart Macdonald catalog. I have been looking at their spool clamps for awhile, and recently saw a video by Dan Erlewine, the main repair guy, where he mentioned that he always flattened the sides of the spool clamps to get them closer together, so I thought, ” Why not just make them square in the first place? “

I went to Ace and bought 3 6 foot lengths of 1/4 / 20 allthread, and 14 nuts, fender washers, and wing nuts, also a sheet of cork 1/8” thick.

I cut the allthread to 12” lengths on my chop saw ( using a metal cutting blade ), and then cleaned up the ends on the grinder. Then I cut 14 1.5” wide pieces from a 2×4. Then I sawed them in half. I set everything up from the get go so the grain would be running parallel to what would become the clamping surfaces.

I then set up a fence and a stop block on my drill press, and drilled out the holes, then I drilled out a sunken hole for the nut on the bottom of the clamp, not necessary, but I like to keep as much metal buried as possible, seems like if you don’t, it always manages to scratch the wood somehow.

After that, I laid them out on my work bench in the most material saving shape I could figure out to use as little of the cork as possible.

I cut the cork and put two lengths of double sided carpet tape on the bottom sides to hold the sheet flat on the work bench, ( it was really wanting to curl severely since it came off a roll )

Then I covered the top with double sided carpet tape also, and then laid all the blocks with the clamping surface down on the tape covered cork.

After that, I freed the individual blocks from each other with a utility razor, and assembled the clamps. These are lightweight and much easier to handle than the full size clamps I’ve been using, and they give 5/8” of clamping surface along a 1.5” width. I made 14 because when I make an average sized box, it takes four on the long side, and three on the short side.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

11 comments so far

View 49er's profile


182 posts in 3094 days

#1 posted 03-05-2014 03:53 AM

That is pretty slick.

View Jerry's profile (online now)


3579 posts in 3138 days

#2 posted 03-05-2014 04:10 AM

Thanks 49er

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 3034 days

#3 posted 03-05-2014 04:12 AM

Now that’s thinking! Good job!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View jakeprater's profile


90 posts in 3078 days

#4 posted 03-05-2014 04:33 AM

Great idea!

-- All this sawdust.......wait........ what happened to my board???

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3314 days

#5 posted 03-05-2014 11:40 AM

What a great idea, I will have to keep them in mind, thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 3100 days

#6 posted 03-05-2014 12:52 PM

that is very creative, great work

-- steve, simple and effective

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 3560 days

#7 posted 03-05-2014 12:53 PM

Very nicely done, and the principle on this can be taken to a much larger scale. I use 1/4-20 on a lot of my small boxes, but if you made some with bigger rods and pieces, youd have even more pressure and coverage. You may never need to buy clamps again!

EDITED: Ok I had a look at your stuff, you obviously know your way around homeade clamps. I should probably have stuck with very nicely done!

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View jeffswildwood's profile


5155 posts in 3467 days

#8 posted 03-05-2014 01:10 PM

Very nice! Lately I have been using a rabbeted edge on my boxes, assemble a competed, sealed box and then table saw the top off and this would just fit the bill. Perfect. Thanks for sharing!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4293 days

#9 posted 03-05-2014 01:50 PM

Really simple and I’m sure very effective. Nice work.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View garbonsai's profile


154 posts in 3445 days

#10 posted 03-05-2014 05:19 PM

I’ll admit, my lack of woodworking knowledge reared its ugly head, and I had to Google “spool clamp”. A few seconds later, and I found myself asking two questions. First, why would anyone buy these instead of making them? And second, why would anyone make them round in the first place? Regardless, thanks for the putting the idea in my head—favorited for future reference.

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

View Jerry's profile (online now)


3579 posts in 3138 days

#11 posted 03-05-2014 07:00 PM

Thanks everybody for your comments. I really appreciate it. Before you go out and make these, though, I have to say I woke up with an idea for something this AM that will do the job more effectively and be easier and simpler to make. I’m going to run right out and build it today and will post it this evening.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

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