Ideas from my shop #1: Lap Clamps

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Blog entry by David posted 04-01-2008 10:34 PM 2601 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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April 1, 2008

No this isn’t an April fool joke.

I thought since the price of everything is getting so high, you’d enjoy seeing these clamps. I worked in a boat shop one summer and the standing joke was ”let’s sell all of these clamps and buy one of them thar plactic boats”.

We had buckets full of clamps. You need lots when planking. These are what we called “Lap” clamps. We used them when putting planks on a lap strake boat. They won’t crank up as tight as a Hand Screw but then you can make them so they reach pretty far. Even pieces of scrap 2 X 4 will work and I’ve seen several variations. Some with a piece of leather on the butt end to hold it together. Different shapes for different locations.

This is my design. The larger one has a piece of round stock that is drilled and tapped to accept the threaded rod: that allows it to pivot. The smaller ones just have the hole “wowed out” so the screw can move about. They are 1 1/2 thick and the bench rule will give you an idea of the size.

Yaaa I know there’s a nut and washer missing on the big one. I stole it for another project.
Weld a piece of flat stock to a square nut of the app. size and you won’t have to look for a wrench, you can spin ‘em faster and really crank ‘em up tight.


5 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3850 days

#1 posted 04-02-2008 02:54 AM

Hi David,

This is a very innovative design and you have created a useful shop tool.

Very nice.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4016 days

#2 posted 04-02-2008 06:51 AM

Pretty good design. By the looks of that screw, I would say that you want to get it close before you actually apply glue. otherwise it might take a while.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3902 days

#3 posted 04-02-2008 06:59 AM

Clever, simple, useful, cheap. Love it!

-- Happy woodworking!

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3902 days

#4 posted 04-02-2008 11:16 AM

Nice design. It would be a cinch to make a bunch of these.

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 3840 days

#5 posted 04-02-2008 12:10 PM

Beauty of simlicity. I´m going to make some.
Thank for sharing.

-- Jiri

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