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Heavy duty wooden bar clamps

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Project by George_SA posted 10-15-2012 09:29 PM 7202 views 54 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

You can never have enough clamps, so I made some heavy duty wooden bar clamps for my shop.

The blog detailing the journey in making them can be found over here:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8

UPDATE

I recently started using SketchUp and drew a model of the clamps as a learning exercise, which can be downloaded over here

-- There are some things that money can't buy - Manners, morals and integrity





9 comments so far

View slapdash's profile

slapdash

61 posts in 943 days


#1 posted 10-15-2012 10:35 PM

They look great, and quite do-able. How do they compare with Steel clamps?

-- I'm not creative, I'm just bad at copying

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112496 posts in 2296 days


#2 posted 10-16-2012 02:18 AM

Well done,not only useful but attractive .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Ben Simms's profile

Ben Simms

191 posts in 1010 days


#3 posted 10-16-2012 12:23 PM

very cool. these look like they would clamp firmer then a bar clamp.

-- 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 George_SA's profile

George_SA

205 posts in 932 days


#4 posted 10-16-2012 03:09 PM

Thanks for the comments.

Slapdash, They compare well i.r.o. clamping pressure with steel clamps. In my o[pinion they are just as good as steel clamps and will last just as long. The advantage that they have over my present steel clamps is that they provide a stable uniform platform for the boards to be clamped even without the saddle feet that I made. To me that is a big plus. The other big advantage is cost, about 10% of the equivalent steel clamps for the same performance. I think they are better, but then maybe I am biased because I made them :-)

-- There are some things that money can't buy - Manners, morals and integrity

View Kookaburra's profile

Kookaburra

748 posts in 943 days


#5 posted 10-16-2012 04:11 PM

I like these because they are beautiful! The fact that they work well is great – I may have to try some. Do you think it would work to make them on a smaller scale?

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View George_SA's profile

George_SA

205 posts in 932 days


#6 posted 10-16-2012 10:49 PM

Kay
Thanks for the compliment. Contrary to my usual approach to tools and jigs, I decided to finish these by sanding and a poly finish.

In my original plan the bar was 50×50mm. To maximise the wood that was available I cut that down to 40mm wide x 50mm high.

There was no science in deciding the dimensions other than my gut feel. I am quite sure that you can scale them down some more. I wouldn’t go smaller than 30×30mm. I suggest you make 1 on a smaller scale and see how it holds up for whatever you plan on clamping with them. Also I would use fine straight grain hardwood, especially if you want to downsize to ensure that you still maintain enough structural strength. The problem with going too small is that you will experience some bending in the bars. However I don’t think that will be a problem with 30×30mm hardwood bars.

If you decide to make some light weight clamps, I will be interested to see how they turn out. A lot of the material on YouTube and LJ about shop made clamps use a lighter construction than what I used. EG. Take a look at Kova’s clamps. (some pics in the comments of episode 1 of the blog and his FB page.

-- There are some things that money can't buy - Manners, morals and integrity

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1607 days


#7 posted 10-17-2012 03:06 PM

Hi George.

In clamps like this, width isn’t as important as depth. You could get as good performance with material half as thick. Bars 3/4” x 1 1/2” (19 mm x 37 mm) would work well as the strength is a combination of tension and bending. The inch and a half depth is sufficient for most jobs providing the clamp isn’t over 24 inches long clamping distance.

Paul

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View George_SA's profile

George_SA

205 posts in 932 days


#8 posted 10-17-2012 06:30 PM

Hi Paul

Thanks for the info, I will keep that in mind for future clamp builds. Cutting on width will help to save when using hardwood (which is more scares than soft pine in my shop).

-- There are some things that money can't buy - Manners, morals and integrity

View KOVA's profile

KOVA

1311 posts in 1097 days


#9 posted 10-21-2012 04:51 AM

QUEDARON HERMOSAS GEORGE Y PARECEN ANTIGUAS!!!!!
FUÍSTE VALIENTE EN UTILIZAR UN PALO DE MADERA EN LAS BARRAS DE TRABAR
EN LUGAR DE UNA DE METAL COMO UTILIZAN EN EL VIDEO ;-)

-- KOVA, EL CARPINTERO DEL PUEBLO https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Carpintero-Del-Pueblo/148976618479733

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