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Miter Joint Ratchet Straps

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Blog entry by Blackie_ posted 03-09-2013 10:48 PM 2703 reads 2 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

How do you clamp your boxes together?

Thought I’d share my method of doing it, I’d seen before specially made ratchet straps for mitered joints and I can be a bit tight at times :) so I had these harbor freight straps already sitting around and thought I’d give them a go and see if they work so far they’ve been working great.

What I did was cut the heavy hooks off the straps and removed about 5’ give or take from the length as I knew I wouldn’t need that much strap, I then tied one end of the strap back to the cross bar on the ratchet.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs



17 comments so far

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5085 posts in 1961 days


#1 posted 03-09-2013 11:04 PM

Good use of your ratchet straps Randy…How are they at keeping the box perfectly square during the glue drying?

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View CalgaryGeoff's profile

CalgaryGeoff

937 posts in 1135 days


#2 posted 03-09-2013 11:24 PM

Hi there, I use a very similar method for gluing up my boxes. Tape the corners and use a ratchet strap to get tight glue ups. Works well for me as the tape holds the box square and any gaps are closed using the straps.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3391 posts in 1165 days


#3 posted 03-09-2013 11:37 PM

Greg, they do very well, if you have your miters cut square the straps are going to hold true, this box is right on the money from corner to corner.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3237 posts in 660 days


#4 posted 03-09-2013 11:40 PM

I’ve done this with frames as well. And if the frame/box is small enough, you can use bungie cords to do the same. So long as your angles are true, it’ll set up square.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3606 posts in 2228 days


#5 posted 03-10-2013 01:42 AM

Boy O boy, you aren’t going to believe this Randy.
I was out in the shop today working on a project and needed a clamp, and noticed I had a pack of those straps in the drawer. I saw someone post a “how to” on using them but never followed up on it.
And low & behold, you post this !
Thank you my friend, I’m going to break these out and use your method the next time I need a strap clamp.
(kind of tight on this end as well…:)
Thanks

-- Having fun...Eric

View Boxguy's profile

Boxguy

1472 posts in 920 days


#6 posted 03-10-2013 01:46 AM

Blackie,

Do they look like this?
This is a link to a tutorial about how I make them…much like yours except I eliminated the knot. The scrap piece is to keep the ratchet mechanism from digging into the wood. Looks like you are taking the challenge of fitting a lid on the top with a 45. Why not just glue it on square and bring it flush with a bearing router bit? I have used the 45 technique, but only if I am wrapping a grain pattern from back to top to front and want it all to match.

-- Big Al in IN

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10859 posts in 1343 days


#7 posted 03-10-2013 02:20 AM

Randy, I use those in EXACTLY the same way you do. (Great mind think alike, huh?) I’m amazed that the boxes always come out perfectly square. I have one of those Bessey band clamps that I like as well but too pricy to have as many as I need.The Bessey came with those plastic corner thingys. Used em once, hated em!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

14151 posts in 991 days


#8 posted 03-10-2013 02:28 AM

I am with Andy. I do it the same as you.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3391 posts in 1165 days


#9 posted 03-10-2013 02:56 AM

Big Al, you are speaking Greek to me remember this is all new to me, I’m just now coming into a new world of box making other then bandsaw boxes.

The reason I am doing it this way is because this is how it was demonstrated to me during one of my local woodworking meetups from a 40 year woodworking veteran, I didn’t ask questions I just watched how he did it.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5085 posts in 1961 days


#10 posted 03-10-2013 05:18 PM

Randy…that is a good way to glue your boxes. I have a dozen of these frame clamps that I bought several years ago and they work great….I have a lot of those strap clamps that I bought for use with my flatbed trailer and never thought of using them for box glue up before I bought thew frame clamps. It would most certainly been cheaper than the frame clamps but I don’t have any complaints at all about the ones I use now other than the initial cost.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

1714 posts in 1762 days


#11 posted 03-11-2013 01:38 AM

I have both the Bessey clamp system and another called “Pony”, which I can’t recall where I purchased. The “Pony” has metal corners, which only work if you have already radiused the corners. Kind of hard to do on an unfinished glue-up. I’ve used the “Pony” on boxes as small as 6” by 2.5”. Kind of a clumsy setup, what with the 6 foot strap. I’m hesitant to chop it down, as I always like my tools to span their capability, though I may never make anything that big.

Blackie, it appears that you even mitered the top edges of the sides. Do you plan to glue the lid on and then slit the top off the box?

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3391 posts in 1165 days


#12 posted 03-11-2013 04:52 AM

Hi AtomJack

To answer your question, yes, I’ve already done just that though I am still in the learning stage, I’ll try just gluing the top on straight without the 45s next.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10859 posts in 1343 days


#13 posted 03-12-2013 12:38 AM

Randy, The mitered top you are doing is more difficult than just glueing a board on the top of your box BUT it is a much cleaner/classier look as there is no end grain or long grain glue joint visable. Brit Boxmaker’s EZ Mitre technique is a good example of the look achieved by mitering the lid. You can “flow” the grain right across the lid and down the sides or front. I’ve done it like you did as well as using the EZ Mitre technique. I really like the look!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View WorstNicknameEver's profile

WorstNicknameEver

2 posts in 548 days


#14 posted 03-21-2013 03:55 PM

I am a newbie and I was wondering if any one has used these straps for a simple edge to edge glue up. Something like a table top? I have a number of straps but very few long clamps? The straps would be easier to store and I like the fact that they can have more than one use!

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3391 posts in 1165 days


#15 posted 03-21-2013 11:54 PM

WNNE I’m not the one that can answer that question sorry, hopefully someone here can, might try asking in the forum this question and link this post in your posting.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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