Handscrew Clamps #1: Get a handle on it..

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Blog entry by jeth posted 12-18-2011 09:15 PM 2316 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Handscrew Clamps series Part 2: Further fun with clamp handles.. »

Hello all, I thought I’d post a short blog on the handscrew clamps I have just made. I was short on clamps for extra cauls on some laminated panels I am working on, as usual i didn’t find what I need on sale here so I had to knock something together.

I won’t be posting all the details of the construction as the design is based on danriffles project here... (Thanks Dan :)
As I don’t have a lathe, or a source of hardwood dowels, or time at this moment to build the router carriage lathe I have planned, i decided to adapt the design to use threaded rod. I thought I would blog the main differences in the construction for anyone else who would prefer this approach.

I used 5/8” rod, only because after browsing around I was offered it at a better price than the 1/2” I had planned on. This has the advantage of being a bit sturdier and a slightly coarser thread, a couple less turns per inch. Unfortunately it also makes the clamps fairly heavy but I can live with that.

First up some handles.. I cut some blanks and drilled them @ 1/2” for the rods. I made a “tap” with a short length of rod, you can see how here

I found it difficult to tap the 1/2” holes for the 5/8” rod, just a bit tight in there. So I set stops to place the handle blank slightly off center on the drill press then drilling with the blank registered against each face in turn. This widened the hole and as my drill press is a bit loose the drill bit widened the hole a little but tended to push itself to the original centerline as it was lowered, giving me a slightly tapered hole :)

Next up i set my bandsaw table to 45degrees and eyeballed the fence to trim the corners of the square handle blocks, a cut on each corner and you have an octagon.

I poked about in the scrap bin and found a couple of pieces that had been ripped with a 45 degree bevel, screwed them to a plywood base, stopped the end and had a handy little board for roughly smoothing the edges of the handles.

All planed up..

I then put a bevel on the top and bottom edges to neaten them up…

I’ll be back a bit later to show you how I pinned the handles to the rods and to finish up with the jaws..

3 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#1 posted 12-18-2011 09:40 PM

Thanks for sharing.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3149 days

#2 posted 12-20-2011 08:03 PM

Pretty cool, I’m subscribed and will watch for the next update.

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

View jeth's profile


262 posts in 2836 days

#3 posted 12-20-2011 10:30 PM

Lol, thanks for taking pity on me chaps, nice to get a little interest at least. Had a busy couple of days but will try to get the rest up tonight..

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