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Pinch Rods

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Project by Zatara posted 10-15-2017 04:17 AM 860 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first completed project in a long time. I’m focusing on getting my workshop up and running and I’m starting off by making some marking and measuring equipment.

These were originally inspired many years ago by an episode of The Woodwrights Shop where Roy makes “pinch pods” and “squeeze blocks. I later bookmarked a page on Chris Schwartz’s blog where he describes making these from home center supplies.

One difference between mine and Roy’s is that I have the screw come through the first bar and press into the back rod. This eliminates the need to lock the clamp in place by using a screw from he opposite side as he shows on his vintage pair. I don’t know if my departure is a sognicant difference – feel free to educate me if these should be made as his were.

I used some thumb screws in brass from a stash from McMaster-Carr that I have squirreled away for making some Campaign Chairs one day soon. The square tubing came from HD and is 3/4 thick.

I would like to finish these with something to pop the grain and protect the wood from sweaty hands. I like the contrast between the steel and the brass the most, but would make the oak bars a more exacting fit next time. I may play around with the filework to embellish the blocks.

Thanks for looking and feel free leave a comment or a picture of your own.





8 comments so far

View dannmarks's profile

dannmarks

342 posts in 395 days


#1 posted 10-15-2017 03:22 PM

Like the idea.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

3560 posts in 2223 days


#2 posted 10-15-2017 04:48 PM

Interesting project.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Mike Shaffer's profile

Mike Shaffer

21 posts in 1011 days


#3 posted 10-15-2017 08:00 PM

Very nice. I’m in the process of making a couple of these myself.

View Zatara's profile

Zatara

15 posts in 42 days


#4 posted 10-15-2017 11:59 PM



Very nice. I m in the process of making a couple of these myself.

- Mike Shaffer

Can’t wait to see what you come up with. I made the hardware for a second set and will pick out some straight grained hardwood to equip them for larger casework.

I don’t know if there is a better material to tap for the screw threads – I’m worried that there isn’t a lot of bite with such thin stock.

View GnarlyErik's profile

GnarlyErik

301 posts in 1948 days


#5 posted 10-16-2017 11:10 AM

Nice new and useful tool! I applaud your constructive changes.

Regarding your screw threads, the way I deal with tapping thin stock is to solder a nut of the right size to the material before drilling the pilot hole for tapping the threads. This also helps guide the tap.

A coat or two of thinned down varnish or lacquer will penetrate the grain and enhance the look of the wood while protecting it too.

Erik

-- "Never let your dogma get run over by your karma!"

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1698 posts in 2827 days


#6 posted 10-16-2017 04:06 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks.

Here are some ideas for your pinch rods.

WOOD: I would use Watco Danish oil as a protective finish. If the wood you used is OAK it would look even sexier.

SQUARE TUBING: Polish up the square metal tubing and then use gun blueing to give it a really nice black color like a gun barrel. You can go to Wal-Mart, gun shop or sporting goods store and get some gun blueing. That would really make the brass thumb screws stand out.

Alex

Good luck with finishing it off. Nice job.

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

View Zatara's profile

Zatara

15 posts in 42 days


#7 posted 10-16-2017 05:15 PM



Welcome to Lumberjocks.

Here are some ideas for your pinch rods.

WOOD: I would use Watco Danish oil as a protective finish. If the wood you used is OAK it would look even sexier.

SQUARE TUBING: Polish up the square metal tubing and then use gun blueing to give it a really nice black color like a gun barrel. You can go to Wal-Mart, gun shop or sporting goods store and get some gun blueing. That would really make the brass thumb screws stand out.

Alex

Good luck with finishing it off. Nice job.

- tyvekboy

I just did research about hot blueing the metal – I don’t know if my better half would let me heat up chemicals in the kitchen! I think it would look really good and help protect the mild steel. Have you ever soldered or brazed steel?

I don’t have welding gear, but I have a torch and a soldering iron. I’d like to add some metal to the screw side to beef up the threads. Also, I think I can eliminate one of the thumb screws and just have that side locked onto the butt of the rod. I was thinking of using a oval head brass screw with machine threads and filing off the head after countersincing it into the metal.

I feel like I’ve seen paint on gun blue before – but I have never used it. Any recommendations on that front?

-Ed

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1698 posts in 2827 days


#8 posted 10-16-2017 06:13 PM

Many years ago I built some muzzle loader rifle kit and got a chemical that I applied to the barrel. Turned out great. No heat required.

As far as adding metal to the square tubing you could probably braze a brass nut with a MAPP gas torch. Read up on brazing on YouTube.However since you are not applying much pressure to the thumb screw I don’t think you need to add more threads. If you screw it too tight you’ll start compressing the wood where the screw end contacts the 2nd stick. All you need is enough pressure to keep the wood from moving.

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

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