LumberJocks

Shopmade Cam Clamps

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Project by Douglas Bordner posted 04-23-2012 03:52 AM 6424 views 37 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Shopmade cam clamps made from scrap 3/4 inch stock after a Fine Woodworking article, and several YouTube videos. The maple bodies are pinned to 1 inch by 1/8th inch aluminum bar from the hardware store on the fixed ends with 3/16th x 3/4 roll pins. Some designs do not fill the bottom slot but rely solely on roll pins to bear against the bar on the movable jaw, but I had a hard time placing the pins to tight tolerance and decided to infill the mortise. I added the decorative hardwood scales in walnut, jatoba, striped mahogany and lacewood to dress them up a bit. Jaw faces are just chunks of cork craft tile as used for bulletin boards etc. The movable jaw is retained with a Pop Rivet.
Finish is BLO/MS/Alykd varnish wiping oil.

I was able to make four sets; two long and two shorts from the 4 foot aluminum bar and a handful of roll pins, total outlay of about $15.00. They are light duty, but handy and quick to set.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.





29 comments so far

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2131 posts in 2400 days


#1 posted 04-23-2012 03:57 AM

Like’em a lot! I’m gonna borrow your design… :-)

Great work…

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Karson's profile

Karson

34886 posts in 3086 days


#2 posted 04-23-2012 04:49 AM

Great Douglas. Some fantastic wood.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View vipond33's profile

vipond33

1405 posts in 1183 days


#3 posted 04-23-2012 11:18 AM

I’ve made a bunch of these and they’re great, but yours are much nicer with the scales. All tools should be decorated!
Tip: don’t try to apply too much pressure as the handle will break at the pivot.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View jeepturner's profile

jeepturner

924 posts in 1478 days


#4 posted 04-23-2012 11:26 AM

Those are nice looking clamps. I must say that I have made similar, just not as nice.
I wonder how much clamping pressure you gain using aluminum for bar stock over wood?
The other thing I noticed is your cam lock if over centered will release pressure it moved too far. On mine the cam is more teardrop shaped and will continue applying pressure until the lever hits the clamp.

-- Mel,

View Roger's profile

Roger

14847 posts in 1490 days


#5 posted 04-23-2012 11:33 AM

Very nicely done. Sure is better that the outrageous amount of money they want for clamps.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Don W's profile

Don W

15217 posts in 1253 days


#6 posted 04-23-2012 11:52 AM

sweet, my to-do list just got bigger!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6663 posts in 2665 days


#7 posted 04-23-2012 11:57 AM

Very nice Douglas.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2560 days


#8 posted 04-23-2012 12:14 PM

Those are great, Doug! Clamps like this have been on my to-do list for awhile, but just haven’t risen to the top of the list yet.

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View nobuckle's profile

nobuckle

1120 posts in 1447 days


#9 posted 04-23-2012 01:18 PM

How timely, I was just thinking the other how I would like to make some of these. Very nicely done.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View WoodsmithJr's profile

WoodsmithJr

4 posts in 910 days


#10 posted 04-23-2012 01:26 PM

Nice work. Very economical.

View hunter71's profile

hunter71

2053 posts in 1872 days


#11 posted 04-23-2012 01:45 PM

Since most of my clamping is light duty, these would be a great addition to my shop.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3966 posts in 2750 days


#12 posted 04-23-2012 01:47 PM

Mel, I followed the plan from the March/April 1996 Fine Wodworking for most of this and I totally agree. If the bug me enough, I may swage out the pin and replace the cams.
That article mentioned the tendency to crack at the bottom if at least 3/4 inches of stock was beyond the bottom of the bar, but nothing about the pivot point and I have noticed a crack on one of them there. Fortunately I am drowning in little bits of stock, so I may tinker with a wooden bar and cams…

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2698 posts in 1972 days


#13 posted 04-23-2012 05:47 PM

Douglas, I have been meaning to make some of these fior a while. Thanks for the inspiration.
I love the way you dressed them up too. I usually end up doing the same thing to my shop projects.
I can’t leave anything plain!

Thanks for sharing
Great job

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14855 posts in 2362 days


#14 posted 04-23-2012 06:47 PM

Nice work! With the cost of good clamps, I wonder why more of these aren’t shop made?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View fernandoindia's profile

fernandoindia

1073 posts in 1629 days


#15 posted 04-23-2012 08:19 PM

Nice job Douglas.

Clamps that money can´t buy

-- Back home. Fernando

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