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Last Updated: , Created: Friday, December 7th, 2001

A look at some unusual clamps.

Clamps are used widely in woodworking and metal working, in fact in every task that needs to hold two pieces of something together temporarily. Clamps come in every imaginable size and shape. In fact, if you are looking for a present for someone who has a workshop of some kind, any clamp from cheap to expensive will always be appreciated, but always buy them in pairs. One never has too many clamps.

On this TV segment I wanted to highlight a couple of unusual clamps that I pulled out of my own shop.

The web clamp is simply a canvas or metal strap with some kind of a tightening mechanism. This allows for cinching in on irregular shapes, like chair legs.

The edge trim clamp looks like a regular "C" clamp with another screw in the back, or a three legged clamp. Often it has two screws rather than one in the traditional ends of the "C". The "C" is clamped to a counter or other piece of wood, the trim is slid in and then held in place with the third screw.

The picture frame clamp is usually used in sets of 4. You can clamp both pieces into a 90 degree corner. Some have a relief at the corner to allow you to run a hand saw down the joint between the two clamped pieces, making a perfect matching cut on both sides. Loosen the clamps and slide them in (half a saw blades thickness each) and you have an absolute perfect corner fit because you cut both sides at once.

Pinch Dogs look like over grown staples. Simply drive them into the ends of wood and they will draw the wood together because of the tapered legs on the dogs. Of course them make holes so they are usually used on rougher jobs, like an octagon flower pot for the back porch.

Wedge clamps are most useful to holding things on a table without clamps over the top. Simply place your piece or pieces of wood between two stops (this could be bench dogs, or simply scrap wood thinner than your wood that is screwed to the workbench). Then put in the pair of wedges to fill in the rest of the space between the stops. Tap them with a hammer to cinch everything tight. Tap them with a hammer in the other direction to break it loose. This is quick and efficient for surface sanding a quantity of small pieces of wood.

Keywords: Clamps, Woodworking, Tools

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