Set of Walnut Inlaid Oak Cauls

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Project by KnotCurser posted 02-13-2010 05:08 AM 2623 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay, so maybe I went a TAD overboard with these, but I needed the practice!

I needed to make a set of cambered cauls for both clamping as well as even glue-ups on cutting boards, etc… I also just received my router inlay set and really, REALLY wanted to try it out, so….......... Now I have a set of three cauls with a bunch of walnut inlays! I just couldn’t stop! Each caul has four walnut inlays plus a poplar plug (so I can tell which side is which when I take them apart). I wanted to make them look like the walnut was plugs instead of just inlays so I matched the same inlay on both sides.

The inlays are less than 1/8” deep to preserve the strength of the oak. The cauls are 28” long and can take a board 25” wide. With the current bolts I can clamp up to a 2 1/2” thick piece. Very adequate for what I am doing at the moment.

Oh yeah – I also tapered the insides a eighth of an inch from the center to each end – you can see this on the third picture pretty clearly. This ensures adequate clamping pressure in the middle of the joint as well as the edges. When I do a glue-up I am planning on using cello tape on the inside edges to keep the glue from sticking to the cauls.

It does feel nice using tools you build yourself!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2612 days

#1 posted 02-13-2010 05:12 AM

Wow these are very fancy cauls great job.

-- Custom furniture

View Jeison's profile


947 posts in 2142 days

#2 posted 02-13-2010 05:13 AM

if youre gonna go, may as well go big :D

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 2305 days

#3 posted 02-13-2010 05:26 AM

Cool….I end up practicing on things alot….it’s funny sometimes looking at my inlaid chisel handles…..jigs with fancy borders and detailing….stuff like that….but if you are going to practice…why not make something useful.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12253 posts in 2191 days

#4 posted 02-13-2010 06:29 AM

nice looking cauls… almost too nice to use.. lol

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2093 days

#5 posted 02-13-2010 12:04 PM

Very cool. Looks like you got your brand working as well. What is the rate of taper that you used on the clamping surface. Are both pieces tapered or just the top half?

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2111 days

#6 posted 02-13-2010 04:47 PM

Very cool on two aspects… (1) well they just look great (2) I learned what a caul is today (I’m still pretty new to the woodworking stuff)

Thanks for sharing!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View KnotCurser's profile


1929 posts in 2103 days

#7 posted 02-13-2010 05:45 PM


The taper was placed on the top half only (that way the boards are sitting flat when you initially glue them up) and is tapered about 1/8” from center to each edge.

Did that make sense? Hope so!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2150 days

#8 posted 02-14-2010 01:14 AM

fancy dressed cauls they are deffently ready for the catwalk

and I´m with reggiek great idea to practice on shopstuff

tank´s for sharing


View norwood's profile


303 posts in 2104 days

#9 posted 02-14-2010 07:30 AM

The purpose isn’t to embellish our projects its the care in the creating that adds to our love of wood work if thats the care you put into the clamping of your materials than the project will turn out wonderful not to mention the experience you can put into your next projects

well done


-- of all the things Ive lost in life i miss my mind the most

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