LumberJocks

Improved Bar Clamp Made with Limited Tools

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 03-28-2015 12:57 AM 1693 views 8 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As the old saw says: You can never have too many clamps. Over the past year or so, in the times that I have needed a bar clamp for a project, I always need more 2 footers than anything else. Since I recently came up with an upgrade for my old shop built clamps, I thought I’s make a few more from scratch to add to my arsenal.

So I thought that while I was building this, that I’d film it as well. Then I thought it would be a nice plus if I made it with pretty much only hand tools. I had to resort to my electric hand drill, but I stuck to twist drill and spade bits which are most likely to be in a DIY workshop. This example is very down and dirty, but it works. Using better wood, and the power tools in the normal wood shop will yield a more elegant looking result.

The wood is common 3/4 inch pine which for a 2 foot clamp needs to be about 5 feet long and 1-1/2 or 1-3/4 inch wide. Originally, I thought 4 feet would do, but I ended up 4 inches short. This size might actually be close to what one might cut off of a larger board. Ripping a length of 2×4 might also be possible.

The threaded rod is 3/8 inch and 9 inches long, (it’s a little long to be truthful.) In the movable jaw a nut on the rod is trapped between two washers, one on the shaft, and a slightly smaller one to help cushion the push and (hopefully) keep the rod from pushing through the jaw.

The arms on the stop are 1/8 inch strap metal 1/2 inch wide and they’re held in by 1/4 inch bolts. I didn’t put washers on either side of the stop jaw, but they would definitely make the stop more more freely.

You’ll notice I went away from the nifty flip grip for tightening that can be seen on my original design. I wanted to upgrade from the flimsy 1/4 inch eyebolts, but the eyebolts I can find in 3/8 do not have a long enough thread to work, so I went to a standard grip.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!





11 comments so far

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

4881 posts in 2134 days


#1 posted 03-28-2015 01:03 AM

Certainly a useful clamp to have and you are right ,never enough clamps or the right size .

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View CharlieK's profile

CharlieK

467 posts in 3260 days


#2 posted 03-28-2015 01:04 AM

HI Dave,

Those are very cool!

Charlie

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans http://www.Jack-Bench.com

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2375 posts in 1658 days


#3 posted 03-28-2015 01:16 AM

Nice clamps, look sturdy. I’ve seen clamps similar in operation to these prior, in a book about old woodworking tools.
You mention making a video, going to post soon?

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1656 days


#4 posted 03-28-2015 01:23 AM



Nice clamps, look sturdy. I ve seen clamps similar in operation to these prior, in a book about old woodworking tools.
You mention making a video, going to post soon?

- Oldtool

I’m currently playing with a new video editor. I’ll see what I can do next week. This weekend’s shot.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8263 posts in 2896 days


#5 posted 03-28-2015 11:57 AM

Lookin’ good, Dave.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View GerardoArg1's profile

GerardoArg1

941 posts in 1461 days


#6 posted 03-28-2015 01:48 PM

Great! ery useful. Looks very cool..Congratulations!

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View NormG's profile

NormG

5510 posts in 2471 days


#7 posted 03-28-2015 02:04 PM

Very useful clamp, nicely made and has a pretty good range of sizes to be used

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View English's profile

English

517 posts in 945 days


#8 posted 03-29-2015 11:17 AM

Very ingenious, Store bought bar clamps prices are outrageous, good alternative.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View devann's profile

devann

2202 posts in 2160 days


#9 posted 03-29-2015 12:35 PM

That’s an innovated clamp you have made there. Did you use a t-nut on the threaded end?

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1656 days


#10 posted 03-29-2015 05:13 PM



That s an innovated clamp you have made there. Did you use a t-nut on the threaded end?

- devann

I used a 3/8 inch nut, inset and epoxied into a hole. T-nuts are a good option, but I didn’t have any and I’m hoping a nut is a little less likely to strip out.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1656 days


#11 posted 03-30-2015 03:06 PM



Nice clamps, look sturdy. I ve seen clamps similar in operation to these prior, in a book about old woodworking tools.
You mention making a video, going to post soon?

- Oldtool

Sorry. No video on this one. I took a look at the footage and it’s grainy and out of focus. The reason is because the camera has 2 settings and was on the wrong one. Making videos isn’t always as simple as the YouTube stars make it seem. The good news is that I’ll want to make a few more of these clamps, so I’ll definitely have a build video on them, just not right away.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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