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How to Reverse a Woodworking Clamp

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Blog entry by WoodAndShop posted 08-19-2014 03:24 PM 1146 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In my above video I share a eureka moment that I had when trying to apply reverse clamping pressure against the walls of my dovetailed tool chest. The original blog post is here.

I discovered that I could simply reverse my small Bessey clamp’s jaw and it would push outward instead of inward! It’s kind of hard to explain in words, so just watch the video! I’m not sure if any other clamps can be reversed like this, but I hope it helps. Here is where you can buy these clamps:

-Bessey 6-inch UniKlamp
-Bessey 12-inch UniKlamp

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO JOSHUA’S FUTURE ARTICLES & VIDEOS!

-- Joshua Farnsworth - Free Traditional Hand Tool Woodworking Tutorials: http://WoodAndShop.com



5 comments so far

View Rob's profile

Rob

290 posts in 1725 days


#1 posted 08-19-2014 07:10 PM

I don’t have any parallel clamps, but all my Quick Grip-style clamps can be reversed like this so they work as spreaders. My bar clamps don’t have this feature though. Thanks for the tip.

View WoodAndShop's profile

WoodAndShop

139 posts in 163 days


#2 posted 08-20-2014 12:59 AM

Hi Rob, thanks for your comment! Yea, I figured that my quick grip clamps would also work…if I can knock out the pin in the end. Although they don’t have quite the clamping power of parallel clamps.

-- Joshua Farnsworth - Free Traditional Hand Tool Woodworking Tutorials: http://WoodAndShop.com

View Rob's profile

Rob

290 posts in 1725 days


#3 posted 08-20-2014 03:57 PM

I’m not sure about other brands, but the Irwin quick grips have a tab or screw that lets you remove the fixed end and move it to the other side of the bar.

I’ve been holding out for another big sale on the longer Bessey or Jet parallel clamps, but if I need any shorter ones I might buy some UniKlamps. Right now I get by with some gear clamps and Quick Grip/Quick Grip XL clamps.

View Mike Throckmorton's profile

Mike Throckmorton

69 posts in 319 days


#4 posted 08-20-2014 04:30 PM

Reversing parallel head clamps can also, with a pair or more of reversed clamps, extend your clamping reach.

I’ve used a pair of reversed parallel clamps with a third un-reversed clamp or a c-clamp to join them, easily clamp very long assemblies. Thus (poor quality pic alas):

Those are 40 and 24” (groz) parallel clamps used to clamp a 66” assembly.

Of course, you need a lot of them and you need to account for the off-clampling line of force forces since the clamping assembly is no longer rigid.

-- You are never complete, you just draw a line where done is and stop at that line.

View WoodAndShop's profile

WoodAndShop

139 posts in 163 days


#5 posted 08-20-2014 07:13 PM

Wow Mike, that’s a lot of clamps!

-- Joshua Farnsworth - Free Traditional Hand Tool Woodworking Tutorials: http://WoodAndShop.com

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