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Panel Clamp

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Project by Ben Simms posted 08-30-2012 12:59 PM 5343 views 63 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I make a lot of panels out of smaller boards from pallets so I thought about it and came up with this design which I sketched up (with pencil and paper), and set out to find a similar version on the web that I could compare to. I am sure I’m not the first person to come up with this but I couldn’t find anything quite like it so I figured I would just built it and see how it worked. Turns out it works great, and it frees up my bar clamps for assemblies.

Improvements/notes:
1. Added a stiffening rib to the back of the arms to prevent flex.
2. Apply wax/paraffin to the arms to prevent glue squeeze out from adhering to the arms. (Do not use spray silicone as originality posted).
3. Pegs are glued into the arms (not the strut/clamp pads), this keeps them stiff which reduces flex from the clamping pressure. If you have something better then pine you might be able to get away with multiple holes in the arms for different size panels.
4. The knot is a taught line hitch.

I am going to make the next one with wider struts/clamp pads, to better disburse pressure.
If you have any thought or improvements I would love to see your comments, if not for me then for the next person that tries this.
Thanks for looking.

-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.





38 comments so far

View Eric in central Florida's profile

Eric in central Florida

3665 posts in 2300 days


#1 posted 08-30-2012 01:19 PM

Great idea.
Thanks.

-- All glory comes from daring to begin.

View Philip's profile

Philip

1148 posts in 1264 days


#2 posted 08-30-2012 02:15 PM

Genius, considering I have virtually no clamps but a lot of scrap wood this is right up my alley…

-- I never finish anyth

View rftyree's profile

rftyree

14 posts in 821 days


#3 posted 08-30-2012 02:15 PM

i like this. I might have to make one for my self. good idea. thanks! Do you have anything to keep the boards from bowing out of plane? what do you do to accommodate different width panels or do you just let your angle of your arms take care of that? your legos comment is all too familiar to me. i am also an engineer now with a woodworking hobby.

-- Russell, Tennessee

View Cygnwulf's profile

Cygnwulf

30 posts in 848 days


#4 posted 08-30-2012 02:32 PM

I’m a particular fan of the hook built in to the toggle.

-- Stephen H -- If it ain't broke, it probalby still needs fixing....

View MichaelT77's profile

MichaelT77

111 posts in 837 days


#5 posted 08-30-2012 03:31 PM

Seems like I’ve heard that silicone shouldn’t come near wood that you want to finish. I’ve been told to keep it off my table saw top. Maybe it’s just the bottom of your panel against the silicone, but I’d probably just wrap a piece of plastic wrap where the glue might contact your jig.

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

View Kevin May's profile

Kevin May

66 posts in 1040 days


#6 posted 08-30-2012 04:08 PM

Great idea. I will definitely be giving your design a try. I’ll try one in wood, and I’m sure I’ll build one out of metal.

I would think that your clamp design creates tremendous clamping pressure.

-- Kevin May "Making wood useful and fun!" www.kevinmaywoodworks.com

View tblrxdave's profile

tblrxdave

44 posts in 2018 days


#7 posted 08-30-2012 04:50 PM

This is just the type of clamp that I’ve been looking for. I’m heading out to the shop to build one or two. Thanks for an excellent idea for glueing my smaller panels.
Dave.

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 1392 days


#8 posted 08-30-2012 05:01 PM

Great idea as well as the improvements you have made.
Pallet wood makes up a large part of the wood that I use and I will try your idea.
This technique is sometimes referred to as a Spanish Windlass.

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View StuffMadeFromWood's profile

StuffMadeFromWood

17 posts in 822 days


#9 posted 08-30-2012 05:06 PM

Great design! Wondered if you put a very slight curve on your pads/cauls to spread the pressure at all. An added part, for a long panel, could be a simple homemade adjustable Cam type clamp. As you see, I have been inspired. Thanks

-- Russ, Wisconsin

View Ben Simms's profile

Ben Simms

191 posts in 1016 days


#10 posted 08-30-2012 05:30 PM

rftyree – No problem with bowing for tongue and groove, for butt joint i use a homemade Double Spring PVC Clamp.
As far as accommodating different width panels i haven’t had any issue there but my boards are all about the same width which is what i sized the clamp for.
that said i think you could get a lot of range by making the strut and clamp pads wider and offsetting the mounting holes so that you could flip them over on the dowel pins.

Note1: That the dowel pins are glued into the arms and not the strut or clamp pads.

MichaelT77 – I heard the same thing so i only sprayed silicone in the “slight relief” to avoid getting it on the panels.

Kevin May – I don’t know exactly how much pressure, but i have to be careful not to over tighten and squeeze out all the glue.

Note 2: I think hanging it is key because it continually applies pressure even if the rope begins to relax.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone :)

-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.

View Ben Simms's profile

Ben Simms

191 posts in 1016 days


#11 posted 08-30-2012 05:41 PM

Terry Ferguson – Spanish Windlass that’s what i thought but i wasn’t sure. thanks

StuffMadeFromWood – good idea.

-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4157 posts in 1581 days


#12 posted 08-30-2012 06:59 PM

Ben when I first saw it I passed it over

Purely ignorance on my part as I did not

look beyond the first picture. :(

Now that I look, it is sheer brilliant

It solves a problem I’ve had, after buying

12 more clamps last week (poor me :) ) )

Picture six is the picture that says it all.

Thanks for sharing

jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Ben Simms's profile

Ben Simms

191 posts in 1016 days


#13 posted 08-30-2012 07:15 PM

Jamie Speirs – thanks, I thought about putting that picture first but i ended up placing them chronologically.

I have to say i am really excited that people seem to like it :)

-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5202 posts in 1302 days


#14 posted 08-31-2012 01:20 AM

Great idea, thanks for posting.

For different size panels, maybe drill more holes up the left and right arms?

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1754 posts in 1289 days


#15 posted 08-31-2012 03:36 AM

this is awesome

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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