|Project by Jerry||posted 03-05-2014 03:19 AM||2857 views||21 times favorited||11 comments|
I get a lot of ideas from the Stewart Macdonald catalog. I have been looking at their spool clamps for awhile, and recently saw a video by Dan Erlewine, the main repair guy, where he mentioned that he always flattened the sides of the spool clamps to get them closer together, so I thought, ” Why not just make them square in the first place? “
I went to Ace and bought 3 6 foot lengths of 1/4 / 20 allthread, and 14 nuts, fender washers, and wing nuts, also a sheet of cork 1/8” thick.
I cut the allthread to 12” lengths on my chop saw ( using a metal cutting blade ), and then cleaned up the ends on the grinder. Then I cut 14 1.5” wide pieces from a 2×4. Then I sawed them in half. I set everything up from the get go so the grain would be running parallel to what would become the clamping surfaces.
I then set up a fence and a stop block on my drill press, and drilled out the holes, then I drilled out a sunken hole for the nut on the bottom of the clamp, not necessary, but I like to keep as much metal buried as possible, seems like if you don’t, it always manages to scratch the wood somehow.
After that, I laid them out on my work bench in the most material saving shape I could figure out to use as little of the cork as possible.
I cut the cork and put two lengths of double sided carpet tape on the bottom sides to hold the sheet flat on the work bench, ( it was really wanting to curl severely since it came off a roll )
Then I covered the top with double sided carpet tape also, and then laid all the blocks with the clamping surface down on the tape covered cork.
After that, I freed the individual blocks from each other with a utility razor, and assembled the clamps. These are lightweight and much easier to handle than the full size clamps I’ve been using, and they give 5/8” of clamping surface along a 1.5” width. I made 14 because when I make an average sized box, it takes four on the long side, and three on the short side.
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