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Adjustable Cauls

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Project by gsimon posted 09-08-2015 12:51 AM 3782 views 36 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Why did I wait so long to make these?
A version of a Woodsmith magazine article made with some poplar I had around the shop. I used 5/16” thread x 6” carriage bolts in a 3/8” spacer but they should be alright. I set up a dry run to see how it would work. Here are the Woodsmith specs which are readily available online as well

3/4” x 1.5” x 36” hardwood slats with 5/16” x 1.5” x 3” spacers.
3/4” x 1.5” x 3.5” feet with counter sunk bottom to accept 5/16” x 5” carriage bolts.
2.25” Female Pentagon knobs with 5/16” thread

Wax paper or use painters tape or somehow shield the clamp faces from adhering to your work
Cheers

-- Greg Simon





13 comments so far

View R_Stad's profile

R_Stad

374 posts in 1310 days


#1 posted 09-08-2015 01:56 AM

Nice Greg – those could be very helpful. Thanks.

-- Rod - Oregon

View Brady's profile

Brady

45 posts in 1047 days


#2 posted 09-08-2015 01:58 AM

Great idea! I have hardwood that I use for cauls, but they aren’t adjustable like this. To keep glue from sticking, I use packing tape on the inside surfaces.

-- Brady, Texas, http://www.MonicaCharlesDesigns.com

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3024 posts in 1719 days


#3 posted 09-08-2015 02:02 AM

I’ll have to add that to my already large to do list. I suppose you could add a spring joint to the top and bottom cauls for even clamping pressure across a glue up.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Hawaiilad's profile

Hawaiilad

2897 posts in 2488 days


#4 posted 09-08-2015 02:20 AM

So to make sure I got this right, if I wanted to glue up much thicker wood, I would just use longer bolts…correct?

Great build, thanks for sharing

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View gsimon's profile

gsimon

1198 posts in 1581 days


#5 posted 09-08-2015 11:15 AM

Hi Larry – the plans called for 5” carriage bolts but I felt it limited the board thickness so I went with 6” bolts
After that size you will likely need to jump to 3/8” dia bolts which means finding knobs or wing nuts with a 3/8” thread – it also means the spacers need to be 3/8” of course

-- Greg Simon

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3187 posts in 2244 days


#6 posted 09-08-2015 11:25 AM

I would do one more thing – I would put a piece of wood that the bolts go through on each side that create a “C” around the split bars. This will keep the split pieces from spreading. Doesn’t have to be thick – 1/8” is all you need.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View CB_Cohick's profile

CB_Cohick

460 posts in 718 days


#7 posted 09-08-2015 12:51 PM

Very nice! Thanks for sharing. How are you storing these? I’d love to make some of these, but storage is always a concern for me. Also, I think I might add a nice fat washer under the star knobs.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View gsimon's profile

gsimon

1198 posts in 1581 days


#8 posted 09-08-2015 03:36 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone!
I thought of flat washers I will probably do so the next time i’m at the box store

For storage, I lightly tighten the clamps and have them under a table for now but I’ll probably store in the floor joists and strapping above my work space since they will not be used everyday

-- Greg Simon

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2471 days


#9 posted 09-08-2015 10:31 PM

You’ve convinced me!

View niftynoel's profile

niftynoel

108 posts in 1013 days


#10 posted 09-10-2015 02:03 PM

Identical to those I built a couple of months ago (with some maple I had sitting around). So far, they work great. And I thought the very same thing: why’d I wait so long.

-- Noel

View Brad's profile

Brad

1129 posts in 2207 days


#11 posted 09-12-2015 07:20 PM

Thank you so much for posting this project! I was poised to glue up a bookmatched lid for a box when I saw this. I used a jury-rigged setup to mimick your cauls, complete with packing tape to prevent gluing the cauls to the work. And it worked perfectly! The panel was flat for once.

As a result, I am definitely going to build these cauls!!

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1769 posts in 1115 days


#12 posted 01-30-2016 08:59 PM

This is good, clever work, I’m very impressed with these, and may I return the compliment, your photos are very well done.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View SawdustOnMyBoot's profile

SawdustOnMyBoot

79 posts in 1366 days


#13 posted 02-21-2016 11:04 PM

NICE!!! I need to make myself a set of these!! :D

-- The only difference between try and triumph is a little umph... and many a splinter in the hands! ;)

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