Not owning a jointer, either electric or a handplane, has left me using my tablesaw with a sled to straighten the edge of a board. While it is somewhat slow to tighten down on the nut(a t-nut in a small piece of plywood) and grab a piece of scrap close to the width of the piece I am cutting, I have always had great results with the method. Then it occured to me why not use a cam clamp instead of a t-nut. I wasn’t able to find any pictures of anyone doing this so I thought I would blog about it to share my process, results and feedback.
I started with some oak boards from a pallet.
Squared them up and cut them in strips and rough final length
Cut the middle notch out where the cam will go.
Glued the body together
Shape the cam piece
And finish with the cuts and drilling on the body piece.
And here it is all finished
It was slipping a little so I added a bit of sandpaper with double stick tape and it seems to be working just fine. I had a bit of trouble with the carriage bolts leaning so I added a fender washer and nut.
While I don’t think this cam offers as much clamping force as a nut, it seems be strong enough to hold a board with out any problems.
The oversized handles get in the way of the bolt but there seems to be enough room for the cam to work correctly. If I make more I will most likely make a change in the cam handle.
All said and done I think this will significantly cut down on time spent with this jig. I had a lot of fun with this small project and would love to hear any suggestions for improvements to this.
Materials used: 2 pieces of pallet wood and some glue
Time spent: about 3 hours
-- Life is 20% of what you make it and 80% of how you take it.