|Project by Dave Rutan||posted 11-08-2013 04:04 PM||5589 views||55 times favorited||19 comments|
I wrote out these instructions for making a hand screw clamp. I ended up making two of them while filming the video (link to video here.) I posted the video earlier, but I’m finally posting it as a project.
How To Make A Hand Screw Clamp by Dave Rutan
Woodworkers always say you can never have enough clamps. Even though they’re not thought of as real tools, when you need a clamp to hold a project together for gluing, you realize how important they are. But clamps are expensive. And who wants to spend good money on something as mundane as a clamp? So why not make your own?
In this article I’m going to show how to make a woodworking clamp. I’ll take you through the process step by step. When you’re finished you’ll have a useful tool to add to your woodworking collection.
Parts of the clamp:
Jaws: The jaws of these clamps are made of wood. It’s actually one of the attractive aspects of these clamps. I’m using an offcut from a stud I had laying around. It’s not important whether the wood is new or old, but it should be a good solid piece with no large knots. It needs to be at least 3 ½ x 1 ½ x 10 inches (9 cm x 4 cm x 25 cm) long.
Handles: The handles are also made from scrap wood. I cut mine from a hunk of 2×4. They measure 4 inches long by 1 inch on each side (11 cm x 2.5 cm x2.5 cm).
Threaded rod: I’m using 3/8 inch (M10) threaded rod for the screw mechanism on this clamp. You can use something slightly larger, though I would not recommend using anything smaller on this size clamp. You need two lengths a foot long (30 cm).
Nuts: you need 6 nuts that fit on the threaded rod you are using.
Dowel: You need a piece of doweling to plug the holes you will drill for the nuts (see Below)
Glue: You need some wood glue and some strong epoxy.
Making the jaws
Cut the wood to 10 inches (25 cm) long. Then cut it lengthwise exactly in half (about 1 ¾ in.) (4.5 cm). Mark for the angle on the jaw and cut that.
Using the layout lines, drill 2 shallow 3/4 in. (25 cm) holes in both sides of the right jaw. Make the holes just a little deeper than the thickness of the nuts.
Now drill a 1/2 in. (13 mm) hole through the center of the 3/4 in. (20 mm) holes, but drill all the way through. Also drill matching 3/8 in. (13 mm) holes on the left jaw using the layout lines. These are the holes for the threaded rods.
On the face of the left jaw, drill 3/4 in. (20 mm) holes for the nuts to fit into. These holes do not go all the way through, but must be deeper than the holes for the rods.
Making the Handles
Cut the handles from another piece of 2×4. They measure 1×1 inch (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm) and are 4 inches (10 cm) long.
If you want to put copper caps on the handles, you will need to round the ends to fit the caps. A lathe is handy for this, or you can use a belt sander.
The hole for the threaded rod must be drilled in the cap as close to center as possible. The cap can then be used to locate the hole in the handle.
A hole to match the threaded rod is bored into the handle. Make it 3 inches (7.5 cm) deep.
Now that the component parts are done, the handles can be assembled. Use epoxy glue to hold the rods in the hole in the grip. The caps can be slipped on and glued on as well.
Assembly and Finishing
Before beginning the assembly, cut two short pieces from the length of dowel. The dowel should match the holes in the face of the left jaw and should be about 1 inch (25 mm) long.
Thread a nut most of the way down one rod, leaving about a ½ inch (1.5 cm) from the handle. Insert the rod through the lower hole on the right jaw from the outside. Now thread on a second nut almost all the way to the jaw. Place a nut in the lower hole on the left jaw and inserting the threaded rod into the hole in the ide, thread the rod onto that nut, just until it comes out the opposite side of the jaw.
Place a nut in the upper hole in the left jaw and thread the other handle through it most of the way. You will need to press down on the nut with your thumb to keep it from turning freely. When you get close to the right jaw, thread a nut onto the end of that rod a few inches in. (5 cm). Insert the end of that rod into the right jaw and thread a nut onto the end of the rod. Pick up the clamp by the handles and give it a little spin. Everything should spin freely and feel a little loose.
Now glue the dowel pieces into the holes on the face of the left jaw. The dowels need to hold the nuts from turning.
After the glue has dried, sand the glued dowels down even with the surface of the jaw. Give the clamp a final sanding at this time.
You can finish the clamp with lacquer or an oil finish to help wood glue from adhering to the jaws.
Your clamp is now finished. Go and make something with wood!
A video of the construction of this clamp is available on YouTube. Search for ‘Ligneroj-1’ [or click here]
-- - Ni faru ion el ligno!