You can never....

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Blog entry by Troy posted 04-12-2010 10:11 PM 1332 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch


…have enough clamps. Every woodworker in the world knows this.

Previous collection
I certainly don’t have enough; not even close.

The Problem
Recently, in an attempt to speed up production in the shop, I’ve noticed the lack of clamps was slowing me down significantly. Even though I was initially adverse to working on more than one project at a time, it’s quickly became necessary.

More clamps
So this morning, after a nice relaxing breakfast with wife, we took a trip to Home Depot, a.k.a the BORG (Big Orange Retail Giant). We filled up the cart, checked out and went home.

I put the clamps together, looked around the shop and had no idea where I was going to put them. I realized there was no decent place to store the new clamps. After a few moments, it became apparent that I could solve this issue, and another, with one solution. But first, another trip to Home Depot (reminds me of early shop setup efforts involving numerous trips to HD and/or Lowe’s per day).

So ugly – yet so useful
The answer focused around the sub-standard glue-up / assembly table. This thing served me well for several years, but now it was due for a face lift as well as an upgrade. There is no such thing as a “pretty” glue-up table. Mine is no exception, esp. since it serves as a finishing table too. it’s downright ugly, but it works well.

The Solution

Satisfying upgrade
Several 2×4’s later, along with some deck screws, a sheet of hardboard and particle board, the table had a new extension. Now I have a new glue-up station with the clamps I use the most in the same spot. It doesn’t seem like much effort to walk a few feet to get the clamps elsewhere, but the time adds up. I am going to try and preserve the top and keep it clean, but that probably won’t last long. The whole point of using hardboard as the top layer is to have a smooth work surface as well as a cheap, easy replacement. Beyond that, I’ll use thicker mil sheets of plastic and newspaper as needed.

Free space!

Now what?

Well, it seems I have another problem now. Splitting up the clamp storage was so effective that I now have more room for additional clamps. Somehow I went from a problem, to a solution, to another problem. I cannot help but think how I ended up, even after all this, validating that universal truism known to all makers of fine sawdust: You can never have enough clamps.

Thanks for reading.

Your Arctic Woodworking Friend,

-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) ||

5 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7233 posts in 3350 days

#1 posted 04-12-2010 10:18 PM

I agree… but I just love buying clamps… and tools … and timber… and beer… oops… and more tools.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View swoper's profile


59 posts in 3220 days

#2 posted 04-13-2010 12:30 AM

my clamps have to wait till i get a job which looks pretty bad around here

-- Harry, Jackson Mi

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3284 days

#3 posted 04-13-2010 01:01 AM

i have a good collection of clamps but i still have alot of fittings that don’t have the pipe, You should try harbor freight they have real cheap prices of clamps bar and pipe. I got most of mine from them.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3160 days

#4 posted 04-13-2010 02:58 AM

My last trip to the borg netted me about 12 clamps of various varieties. I am still hanging them on a pegboard, but the big cabinet clamps are going to need a better place. Don’t have too many of those…......because I am not making big cabinets yet. But never enuf clamps….........(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3751 days

#5 posted 04-13-2010 04:08 PM

I really like your solution. Having the clamps as an integral part of your assembly bench will certainly reduce the amount of “travel” time in preparation and glue up. Wish I had the floor space for an assembly table, like yours.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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