|Project by ADHDan||posted 02-25-2015 03:21 PM||3562 views||10 times favorited||8 comments|
I can’t really afford to buy more than a handful of parallel clamps right now (I’ve got two 24” and two 50”) so I was looking for a decent workaround for glue-ups requiring extra parallel clamping action. After a little tinkering I came up with this modular, adjustable, and portable parallel clamping jig made from scrap plywood.
The jig has quite a bit of flexibility. First, each of the clamp holder racks is slotted to allow various clamping widths. Second, I made clamp rack sets for both 3/4” pipe clamps and aluminum bar clamps – since the aluminum clamps are so much lighter and easier to maneuver. Third, I cut three lengths of vertical spacers (roughly 20”, 30”, and 40”) to provide the best possible support for various clamp lengths. Fourth, I cut one extra bar clamp rack and sliced it into individual holders (pic 3) for situations where I just want to elevate one or two clamps off the table without setting up a full rack.
The racks have a little wiggle when assembled but once the clamps and the workpiece are in place it locks pretty close to square (and it’s really easy to fine-tune it with a square right before applying final pressure). And I can store all of the components in a “case” made from a cut-off of 4” dust collector pipe.
I’m always on the lookout for ways to make panel/face frame clamping even easier, so now that I have the Rockler T-Track table I may try to rig up something that lets me quickly square up an assembled rack using T-Track stops. Alternatively, I might drill holes in the bottoms of the rack components (adding a wider sub-base if necessary) spaced such that I can lock the components on my workbench with bench dog pegs so that they self-square.
-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.