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An exercise in making wooden bar clamps #1: The bar and front jaw

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Blog entry by George_SA posted 09-12-2012 12:10 PM 13383 reads 18 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of An exercise in making wooden bar clamps series Part 2: Securing the nut for the front jaw »

You can never have enough clamps, right?

I have an odd assortment of bar clamps, including some homemade clamps I made from 25mm (1 Inch) square tubing and a few wooden clamps that work with wedges. I also have some cheap pipe clamps of which the back jaw keeps on slipping under the clamping pressure.

The other day I stumbled across this YouTube video i.r.o. homemade heavy duty wooden bar clamps.

I drew some plans to get started

And so the journey begins.
I started by cutting the bars from some pine I have had for many years.

There was enough for four clamps plus an old door post for two more
The first four is from what we call SA Pine and the last two from the door post is Origan Pine.

Note the finer grain pattern on the Origan Pine.

I will need to do some repair work on the hinge holes from the door post.

Update the repair

Then I cut the blocks for the front jaw from some SA Teak that I also have had for many years.

In the following photos that show how the front jaw goes together, the holes for the dowels had not been drilled yet.

The whasers will help prevent the wear from nut on the front end.

I still need to decide how to secure the front nut to the threaded rod. I don’t trust the long lasting qualities of epoxy inside the block which will not be able to be opened once it is glued together. I don’t want to use two nuts locked together either as this will leave the front wall of the jaw to thin to my liking. I am thinking about a solder process and a pin through the nut. I will update this blog on what I come up with.

The next step will be the screw post and then the back jaw.

Next blogs
2) Securing the nut for the front jaw
3) Back post
4) Back jaw

-- There are some things that money can't buy - Manners, morals and integrity



11 comments so far

View derosa's profile

derosa

1557 posts in 1558 days


#1 posted 09-12-2012 12:33 PM

Silver brazing which is not real high temp works well for this type of thing. Or drill a hole through and run a pin through it, peen both ends and nothing will move. Looks like a good start.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View jaydubya's profile

jaydubya

183 posts in 1535 days


#2 posted 09-12-2012 12:36 PM

Subscribed. Cant wait to see how these turn out

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6871 posts in 1874 days


#3 posted 09-12-2012 05:05 PM

Sweet. I love home made clamps.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View KOVA's profile

KOVA

1311 posts in 1101 days


#4 posted 09-13-2012 04:33 AM


https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.253324391378288.68238.148976618479733&type=3 TAMBIÉN PUEDES ATRAPAR LA TUERCA CON UNA MADERA FINA COMO YO LO HICE EN ÉSTE ÁLBUM DE FACEBOOK :-)

-- KOVA, EL CARPINTERO DEL PUEBLO https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Carpintero-Del-Pueblo/148976618479733

View George_SA's profile

George_SA

205 posts in 936 days


#5 posted 09-13-2012 07:17 PM

Thanks for the feedback so far. I used a nylon lock nut plus a pin. Details in blog 2

-- There are some things that money can't buy - Manners, morals and integrity

View George_SA's profile

George_SA

205 posts in 936 days


#6 posted 09-13-2012 07:19 PM

Kova, Thanks for the photos as well as the link to your FB page. Quite interesting.
Kova, Gracias por las fotos, así como el enlace a su página de FB. Muy interesante.

-- There are some things that money can't buy - Manners, morals and integrity

View Roger's profile

Roger

15051 posts in 1526 days


#7 posted 10-01-2012 11:17 PM

Very genius. I likes em a lot. Sure beats the high prices they ask for parallel clamps.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View George_SA's profile

George_SA

205 posts in 936 days


#8 posted 10-02-2012 05:32 AM

Roger,

Thanks for the kind comment.

If I had to buy the 6 clamps that I am busy making (almost finished), it would cost me about R2000 ZA (aproximately $240 US at the current exchange rate) Actual cost was all in all about a R100 ZA ($12,5 US) for the hardware. The wood is free from my shop that I collected over the years. If I had to purchase the wood it would cost a bit more, but nothing close to the price of shop bought clamps.

I wont say that I saved R2000 because I won’t spend that kind of money on clamps even if I had it to spend (which I don’t), but that I gained that value in tools plus the satisfaction of making a tool that will be useful. This by far outweighs anything else.

-- There are some things that money can't buy - Manners, morals and integrity

View rance's profile

rance

4145 posts in 1883 days


#9 posted 10-15-2012 02:04 PM

I like seeing folks build their own tools. Good one here. Nice drawings too BTW. What did you use to do those?

Might I suggest that you increase the size of the triangle gusset since it won’t affect the clamping capacity? It would also serve to keep the movable block nicely aligned.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View George_SA's profile

George_SA

205 posts in 936 days


#10 posted 10-15-2012 06:27 PM

Rance

Thanks for the suggestions.

I used Microsoft Power Point to draw my plans since I have not had the time to go through the learning curve for Sketchup (that is still on my to do bucket list as I like the 3D capability of Sketchup).

When drawing the plans the idea of the gusset was to strengthen the back post. Your idea of increasing the size of the gusset makes sense. I decided however not to put the gussets on because my mortise and tenon joints came out nice and tight (thanks to my kerfmaker). I decided that would be strong enough, but added five dowel pins just for in case. On my test clamping, the movable block did not show any tendency to wander so far. If it becomes a problem when I start using the clamps for real glue ups, I will consider adding a larger gusset. For now the gusset does not seem necessary.



-- There are some things that money can't buy - Manners, morals and integrity

View rance's profile

rance

4145 posts in 1883 days


#11 posted 10-15-2012 09:16 PM

I like the KISS method too. It looks good.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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