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Facelift for a Kreg Right Angle Clamp.

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Project by LittleBlackDuck posted 05-14-2017 07:55 PM 2445 views 2 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For all you “pocket holers”, here is a way I made “my” useless Kreg clamps usable.

Just a disclaimer, I only use pocket holes on melamine.

Looking at all the glossy pictures of pocket hole making, I thought that the Kreg 90° Clamp would be a great tool in my pocket holeing arsenal. In fact, I thought they were so great that after a bout of excessive vino partaking I must have stuttered and duplicated my mail order. I eagerly awaited the package(s) and after receiving the first shipment could not move fast enough to try them out.

As I mentioned before, I only use pocket holes on melamine, and was eager to put my new clamps to use and overcome my past continual melamine misalignment issues. I could never get an even edge when “pocketing” melamine. I put the clamps to the test and this time I finally managed to achieve another perfect misalignment, as per usual. Try as hard as I could using the clamps, the edges refused to perfectly align short of “tacking” the two boards together with 6” nails… and even then they probably would have slipped. I latter found out that the only way to align melamine perfectly using pocket holes is not to use melamine.

Consequently I don’t really need to elucidate my lack of eagerness waiting for the arrival of the duplicate order. All was not lost as afterwards, every time I made a melamine box I chose to forget my past failures and tried the clamps again, only to toss them back into the corner accompanied by many a cuss words and tears for the wasted shekels.

Unfortunately outside of pocket holes, there’s not much use for these clamps, but not for lack of trying,

And maybe at a “pinch”,

Then one day I had a bright idea and thought I could make fishing sinkers out of them but quickly realised they were not made of lead but steel so there was another impractical use for the clamps…. the list was growing.

While making one of the T & J models I put a 9mm ID cylinder on the pin end while waiting for the glue to dry and suddenly came up with a lightbulb moment. After groping around and finally switching the lights on, I could see (finally) that maybe some wooden caps on the clamp could make them function as their name suggested… as clamps.

For the pin end I drilled a 11/32” hole down the centre of a ¾” dowel.

If you haven’t got a 11/32” drill bit, then go for a drive and buy one, as a 8.5mm is far too tight, a 9mm hole lets the cap fall off and roll under some inaccessible spot in the workshop and most modern sale persons would not know what a “S” sized drill bit was let alone attempt to spell it. The 11/32” is tight and you have to force it on, however, you will exercise your muscles and test your stamina if you ever try to take them off for use on pocket holes… but NOT on melamine.
This ¾” dowel is then inserted into a 1” dowel with a ¾” circular mortice.

This cap, picture #2, should be sufficient as it perfectly compliments the swiveling clamp pad opposite the pin. If you happen to be a wood lover and don’t like to bruise the wood, you could drill a 1” round mortice into a 1 ¼” dowel and cap the pivoting head.

The parts you need for the upgrade,

and of course a naked clamp,

Followed by a bit of gluing, sanding and cutting (I’ll let you sort out the order),

To prevent this cap from falling off and following the other piece in rolling under that same inaccessible machinery, I use a knob of blue-tac to hold it in place.

That way if it falls off, the entire clamp goes with it and when it hits the concrete floor the cap breaks in two just before one of the broken pieces rolls to that same random inaccessible spot. However, this time it is broken so who gives a damn about a missing broken piece.

Please note that the sizes quoted may only be approximates as I translated them to imperial measurements using one of those fancy Internet language translators because my camera will not take metric pictures.

Now modified, these may not be the most practical clamps, however, I can now REFUSE to use them rather than NOT BE ABLE to use them.

I don’t sleep any better, but I no longer have to keep trying to invent some other convoluted impractical uses for them.

Again as always, if you think this article is a waste of your valuable time, I do recommend you don’t bother to read it.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD





25 comments so far

View steliart's profile

steliart

2473 posts in 2444 days


#1 posted 05-14-2017 08:40 PM

Now your telling me not to read it… at the end HAHAHAHAHAHA
I had such a blast … :D :D :D
Thanx

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions

View crowie's profile

crowie

1933 posts in 1706 days


#2 posted 05-14-2017 09:13 PM

Innovative Ducky…..

Makes me glad I don’t have any with all the extra thinking and work to make them more useful….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

9439 posts in 3184 days


#3 posted 05-14-2017 11:57 PM

Very enjoyable read. Thanks. Keep ‘em coming.

-- 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 kiefer's profile (online now)

kiefer

5472 posts in 2422 days


#4 posted 05-15-2017 01:41 AM

I like it when people give there opinion and don’t hold back.
Now I won’t bother reading the rest or should I or is that all ?

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

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1664 posts in 2768 days


#5 posted 05-15-2017 04:20 AM

You are right … only one use for those clamps. However, now you’ve got me thinking outside the box.

Funny and entertaining as ever.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

4217 posts in 1959 days


#6 posted 05-15-2017 07:29 AM

Humm these clamps are way beyond my budget so I have never bought any, let alone 2 sets, (tee hee)

The mod you did is a practical secondary role for them, however Trade Tools (possibly only located in Sunny QLD) sell reasonably priced ones with the metal caps already attached,

I like your alternative uses for them and I suugest you make a Utube video demonstrating their alternate uses,

Or hey ! Maybe Kreg and they might spring for a few free sets!!

-- Regards Robert

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)

LittleBlackDuck

1146 posts in 576 days


#7 posted 05-15-2017 09:20 AM

robsc’, I am advised that they work great on solid timber and since I specifically bought them to help me overcome the melamine slip as all my other clamps refused to speak melamineian, they really did not have a secondary role in my workshop except maybe a gag hanger…and please don’t remind me of my order duplication.. UGH!. They were scrap heap destined just a few days ago. With the facelift there may be a potential use for them, however, in the advent I run out of clamps I’d jump in my car and rush out to buy more suitable ones before the glue dried (as likely as me loosing weight).

While the above Kreggies look more practical, I probably would keep a full nelson on my shekels and refuse to release my grip.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)

LittleBlackDuck

1146 posts in 576 days


#8 posted 05-15-2017 09:21 AM



... now you ve got me thinking outside the box.

- tyvekboy


Just make sure it NOT a melamine box.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

4217 posts in 1959 days


#9 posted 05-15-2017 09:55 AM

ebay or gumtee comes to mind beats dumping them.

Just out of interest what were you making with melamine, I just scanned all your projects and saw no melamine there.

Nothing gets out alive when these big boys get a grip on you let alone melamine,

Carver rack Clamps

How is the new drill purring?

-- Regards Robert

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

1440 posts in 1378 days


#10 posted 05-15-2017 11:36 AM

I haven’t used melamine for anything so most of the post doesn’t apply – However, I do have the self adjusting kregg clamps with the ‘face’ already attached and they do a fine job on the woods I’ve used them on Good read tho -

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

27800 posts in 2622 days


#11 posted 05-15-2017 11:42 AM

Duck, this is an interesting post. I don’t use mine that much but after reading this I’m goin to take them off the shelf and take a look at them. Thanks.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)

LittleBlackDuck

1146 posts in 576 days


#12 posted 05-15-2017 03:09 PM

.... I just scanned all your projects and saw no melamine there.

Nothing gets out alive when these big boys get a grip on you let alone melamine,

- robscastle


They were so bad I didn’t publish… even to use as a bad example. Usually its for “office type” furniture. Never built for looks but for practicality and melanine looks office like and is cheap… no need to finish except for some end strips. Also most of the cabinets are under my desk or hidden in corners where you can’t easily see the flaws.
I should probably biscuit join the melamine first to prevent the slippage, but as I shouldn’t need to I don’t.


How is the new drill purring?

- robscastle


Initially I was planning to buy a boat so I could use the drill as an anchor for it. However, a bit of close liasing with the NOVA software developers and a few teething problems and familiarisation I am now very happy with it. I still don’t think it is worth what it cost, but with the extra feature and a bit of self education I don’t regret buying it as any cheaper drill press comes nowhere as close… but then they’re nowhere as expensive.

I lodged a few issues with NOVA and without hesitation offered me a refund. I broke out in a cold sweat thinking of the new features I’d have to forgo and with the first firmware upgrade a lot of issues were fixed and some of my other issues are being addressed. Bottom line will be that some of the “features” that are sus, I wouldn’t use anyway or could easily live without.

I would be much happier if I was about 6-8 inches taller and look the digital display in it’s face. I was thinking of building a platform but then again, my nose bleeds at heights… that’s why I wear flat shoes.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)

LittleBlackDuck

1146 posts in 576 days


#13 posted 05-15-2017 03:29 PM



... and they do a fine job on the woods I’ve used them on

- recycle1943


Hi rec’1943, Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the clamps are no good per se, what I was alluding to was that for me, they do not work on melamine which is what I specifically bought them for. I simply put it down to “wrong tool for the wrong job” and the post was meant as a light hearted take on my mistake. I have one of those Kreg clamps that hold the small pocket hole jig to the workpiece and it works great (even on melamine). It’s just that the 90° clamps do not prevent the butt joint using melamine from slipping when screwing.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

1440 posts in 1378 days


#14 posted 05-15-2017 05:42 PM


... and they do a fine job on the woods I ve used them on

- recycle1943

Hi rec 1943, Please don t get me wrong, I m not saying the clamps are no good per se, what I was alluding to was that for me, they do not work on melamine which is what I specifically bought them for. I simply put it down to “wrong tool for the wrong job” and the post was meant as a light hearted take on my mistake. I have one of those Kreg clamps that hold the small pocket hole jig to the workpiece and it works great (even on melamine). It s just that the 90° clamps do not prevent the butt joint using melamine from slipping when screwing.

- LittleBlackDuck

Hey Duck,
I totally enjoyed reading your tongue’n’cheek rant and took it as such. I don’t have the clamp on kregg tho, I went full bore and got the ‘big boy’, mounted it to a board and do my drilling then lay out and clamp the heck outta stuff and screw it together. Melamine is NOT the only wood? that moves around when trying to screw it together.

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)

LittleBlackDuck

1146 posts in 576 days


#15 posted 05-16-2017 06:09 AM


... the clamp on kregg …

Was a boxed package freebie. Only used once when I bought it to see how it works.

... the big boy , mounted it to a board and do my drilling then lay out and clamp the heck outta stuff…

- recycle1943


Carbon-copy ditto, however, with more clamps than “stock” (and then the beefy Quick-Grip XP) with the grip cranked tight using another Quick-Grip XP, that slippery melamine sucker still moved. I just though (and on hind sight it might have been some sort of funny-cigarette infused thought) these clamps might help… OK I confess it was not a rational line of thinking… shoot me… just look for a spot I missed when I multiply shot myself. I did try them on some scrap pine and they were great… a bit of care and common sense and the join did not move during screwing.

I have found that melamine moves even if you only look at it. I now have greater respect for office furniture cabinet makers… even if they use industrial machinery.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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