Super Fantastic Happy Ultra Duty Glue-up Clamps.

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Blog entry by RockyBlue posted 05-15-2011 04:48 AM 10988 reads 7 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I scored 8 sets of these “double bar” clamps on craigslist for $40 about 8 months ago. You are supposed to use wood as the rails and it sandwiches your workpiece while edge gluing panels to keep them all flat. However, the rails will bow inward when pressure is applied. This is compensated by cutting a taper on the inside faces of the wood clamping rails per instructions. This did not appeal to me so I decided on 11ga. 1 3/4” square steel tubing. If I were to make them out of wood, I would want a decent hardwood, which would cost near the same as the steel. So being a machinist, I knew I could make it stronger and here it is. The tubes are cut to 48” and I can clamp up to 36” between the pushers. I tapped a series of 10-32 holes so the 12 position brackets can be moved along the top rail depending on the width of my workpieces. I can clamp from 1/2” thick up to 3 1/2” thick. The goemetry of these clamps are a neat idea, the more you tighten the screw, the tighter is squeezes the rails together, keeping it all parallel. I think Rockler used to sell these sets, but I havent seen them new anywhere .

-- I haven't had this much fun since hogs ate my little brother.

10 comments so far

View CovenantCreations's profile


127 posts in 2927 days

#1 posted 05-15-2011 06:25 AM

Wow looks great. I saw these clamps somewhere, and was wondering how they work also. I may just have to do a similar setup. I like that your glue up table doesn’t have to be perfectly flat, as the clamps only rest on 2 points.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3110 days

#2 posted 05-15-2011 07:01 PM

Shopsmith sells the complete clamps, a complete set of three 48” clamps would be over $200 delivered.
Do you use wide masking tape to keep the steel bars from staining the wood when you clamp it? That is
a wonderful set of clamps that will last you a long time. I am trying to figure out how to make a set
from scratch, but it would take a lot of work. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3198 days

#3 posted 05-15-2011 07:06 PM

Nothing succeeds like excess !

Those are VERY cool !

-- -- Neil

View RockyBlue's profile


271 posts in 2718 days

#4 posted 05-15-2011 07:30 PM

The steel cost me $125, to make 6 sets, so it looks like I’m money ahead compared to shopsmith. In the 5th picture you can see rolls of paper in the background. I have many “endrolls” of paper from a printing company. Many are newspaper and some are slick magazine paper. I will lay a strip of paper between the wood and steel so I won’t have to constantly scrape glue off the clamps. But if I ever have to, I can just DA the rails clean again. I am also building a table with notches for the clamps to sit in with a notch every few inches so that I can adjust the spacing as needed. The rolls of paper have endless uses and are free. When the rolls get too low for a print run, they just put a new giant roll on and toss the partial roll.

-- I haven't had this much fun since hogs ate my little brother.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10532 posts in 3453 days

#5 posted 05-15-2011 09:12 PM

Those are pretty darned nice.
What Neil said, too!
Do you work as a machinist at a printing co.?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3811 days

#6 posted 05-16-2011 07:59 PM

Holy smoke those are real beauts!!!
I be proud to own those.
Nice work.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2718 days

#7 posted 05-16-2011 09:16 PM

That’s a slick setup. That steel’s going nowhere.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View RONFINCH's profile


143 posts in 2949 days

#8 posted 05-16-2011 09:50 PM

Hmmmmm, where can I order 3 sets? Do you take paypal? Great job!

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2913 days

#9 posted 05-17-2011 01:19 PM

You can make a similar set with hardwood rails (or steel if you prefer) and threaded rod. Drill through both ends and inset the threaded rods, then jam two nuts together on one end of each rod as a stop, with a flat washer between them and the rail. Use another nut and washer on the other end and tighten both ends evenly.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 3745 days

#10 posted 05-17-2011 01:23 PM

Those are cool!

-- christopheralan

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