Shopmade Cauls

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Project by ilyac posted 03-29-2015 08:30 PM 1549 views 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Yet another shop project that I only learned I needed after my first cutting board project, and some amount of screaming to the heavens “There must be a way to get even clamping pressure all along this damn thing!” (and then Googling, obviously)

Enter: The Cauls

I made these from 2×4’s I picked up at Home Depot. I made the curve by clamping my ‘slightly weathered’ straight edge (i.e. the one i don’t mind too much if I use for such tasks) to the edge of my workbench and placed a pencil at the midway point and used my router to make the edge on a piece of 1/4 MDF. I screwed that down to my table, and routed the profile on the 2×4’s with that. It’s hard to hard to seen in the photos, but I screwed the 2×4 piece under the MDF.

The final size was 1-1/2” at the thickest point, 24” long, and 1” wide. From center to end I have about a 3/16” drop. I would have preferred it be wider than 1”, but with my router bit and this set up that the widest I can edge without having to flip the piece over, switch the router bit (and collet) to then use my bit with a bearing.

It’s not as perfectly matched as I would have liked, but hopefully I can either sand that out, or just fix up my template.

Lessons learned:
1. My first attempt I put too steep a curve on my template. I could not even get them to close before my clamps flew off the ends.
2. I may need to ease off the router, or take more progressive passes, at the ends as i did mess one piece up because the soft 2×4 blew out.
3. Using a 1/2” piece of MDF may have been a better idea for the template, with the way I have it set up now it tends to move just slight as I apply pressure. Not sure if that is what caused my edges not to line up just right, but It could not hurt.
4. I first tried to cut the curved template with a jig saw, but that did not work out so well and I could not get a nice smooth curve when I tried to file down.

1 comment so far

View Richard's profile


1922 posts in 2890 days

#1 posted 03-31-2015 08:10 PM

We live and Learn , the next time will be better. Cauls for clamping Cutting Boards , Guess I am going to need some of those too.

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