|Project by Mike in Wisconsin||posted 07-10-2013 02:55 AM||4298 views||19 times favorited||11 comments|
Here’s a fun trick I picked up from a book I had around. They called it a luthier’s clamp, but it’s handy even if you’re not making guitars. You can use this for any edge-gluing job, but its biggest advantage is when gluing up thin pieces.
You’ll need a number of sticks, the same number of wedges, and a length of rope. Sorry to be so vague, but you can really use pretty much anything. My sticks are some chunks of furring strips from the scrap bin. The wedges are roughly a foot long, cut at a 5 degree angle. I used about 15 or 20 feet of 1/4” nylon rope for this job, but that will vary a lot depending on the size of the pieces you’re using.
I also waxed the surfaces of the sticks and wedges – it keeps glue from sticking to them and makes the wedges easier to put in place.
Spread the glue and press the pieces together. Lay the sticks underneath the glued pieces, perpendicular to the glue line. Tie one end of the rope to the end of one of the sticks on the outside. Now thread the rope in a figure-eight pattern, over the glued pieces and under the stick underneath.
You should do this before you put the wedges in - sorry, forgot to take a picture of that!
Go around three or four times, then move the rope over to the next stick. You’ll want to keep the rope relatively tight, but a bit of slack is okay. When you get them all done, tie off the free end of the rope.
The wedges go underneath the rope but on top of the glued pieces. By pushing in the wedge, you draw the rope tight. The rope pushes in the edges of the glued pieces and also pulls the wedge & sticks against them, keeping them in alignment.
Here’s another closeup of the wedge position.
You can see I got glue squeeze out, so the clamps are doing their thing.
Here’s the final product – just a rough storage box, one of a batch of them for an organization project. The pine I used is a little under half an inch thick.
This is a pretty nice way to edge glue some wider boards. It’s especially handy when you’re using thin stock that would be hard to keep from bowing in a bar clamp. It’s also handy if you just don’t have enough clamps around. You could adapt this to wider glue-ups by using a second set of sticks on top of the others, in between the wedge and the glued pieces. You want something that will go across all the boards to keep them flat.
With a little ingenuity, you could probably adapt the basic idea of wrapping a rope around and pushing in wedges to some other clamping jobs.