|Project by Mainiac Matt||posted 03-17-2015 01:58 AM||6086 views||59 times favorited||22 comments|
I was inspired by the C+ Woodworker’s clamping cauls (thanks Bruce) and finally, with a bench build on the horizon, got the motivation to build them.
I started with some old 4/4 EDH pallet stock (mixed Eastern Dense Hardwood) that was too twisted for pallet stringers and has been in my barn for ages. Jointing and planing this stock into straight lumber reduced the thickness of the boards down to 5/8” at best and in the worst case 1/2” . So I laminated some of them up to make suitable caul stock and figured that in the long run, straight and dead flat was important, and uniform thickness was not. So you’ll see that some of the lower cauls are quite a bit wider than the upper cauls they were paired with.
After planing the stock, I wondered what exactly it was I had. Some boards were Oak, but I wasn’t sure about the others. Turns out they’re Cherry, and I was able to confirm that Cherry is one of the acceptable species for the EDH group. Who knew?
I used scraps of 1/2” Baltic Birch for the center spacers and 1/2” carriage bolts seated and epoxied into 1” Birch plywood bottom blocks.
A deep well socket on my cordless driver will make for quick clamping.
I put two coats of Seal Coat (de-waxed Shellac) on to keep the cauls stable and hopefully make glue squeeze out easier to clean up.
The height allows me to get my Bessey parallel clamps in their plastic stands underneath, and if I move the bolts to the outboard position, I can clamp up a panel 30” wide.
The photo was staged with a glue up I did last fall to communicate how the cauls function for those not familiar with this design. I’ll post an update when I put them into service to comment on how they work.
Here’s an article from Woodsmith that gives the design details.
-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!