Reply by David Craig

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Posted on questions on clamps

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David Craig

2137 posts in 3590 days

#1 posted 04-15-2010 11:25 AM

How you clamp will depend on the project you are working on. If you google “how to benchtop glue-ups” you will get a number of resources for how to set them up. I have a post where I performed an edge to edge glue up for a scrollsaw stand worktop here. I am not an expert, but it gives you a picture view of a glue up in progress. Note the use of wood pieces across the face of the board with clamps running vertically to keep the board from buckling. I use wax paper underneath the boards to keep glue squeeze out from causing the cauls (fancy name for them) to become fastened to the project.

I am assuming that you are making the bench by face to face gluing of your pine pieces. When working with pine, keep in mind that glue-ups have to be performed fairly quickly, as pine absorbs glue at a fast rate. If you are doing face to face, I would invest in a small paint roller. I wouldn’t try to glue up all the boards at one time, but make sets of 4-6 boards at a time, then glue the sets together.

As far as types of clamps, you will get many different responses. I recently replaced a good deal of my Harbor Freight clamps and have the following -

Jorgensen 48 inch cabinet clamps – Useful for large carcasses and panel edge to edge glue ups. approx 35+ bucks a piece. I have two.

Irwin 6 inch and 12 inch quick grip clamps – When clamping edge to edge or using right angle jigs , smaller clamps are useful for applying vertical pressure on edge to edge glue ups and for carcass glue ups using the right angle jigs. The jigs are used to align carcass glue ups to the proper 90 degrees so the carcass is square. I have a half dozen of each.

I also like the Bessey reversible clamps= of which I have a couple 12 and 24 inch versions. They are nice because you can lay them down like cabinet clamps or use them vertically and horizontally with other clamps. I also have a small collection of their hand clamps, which are good for many purposes.

F-Style bar clamps are good to have in all sizes, these and traditional wood hand screws can be found at very reasonable prices at Harbor Freight and their versions are pretty decent. Lowes carries Irwin and Bessey products, and Home Depot carries the Jorgensen and Irwin brands.

Good luck and I hope this helps,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

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