If you can't afford clamps ...

  • Advertise with us
Project by LeTurbo posted 03-27-2014 07:49 PM 2922 views 13 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just mucking about in the workshop. I needed some long clamps and felt stomach-sick at the price. So I went and got just under US$10 of meranti (Philipine mahogany, but not the good grade) and US$3 of brass rod. It was also an opportunity to practice some long disused skills, so I made them mainly by hand with hand-cut mortise-and-tenon and other bits. OK, I cheated on the sanding machine and bandsaw…

There are two long ones, just under a metre, and three at about 600cm.

I need to add some cork to the jaws. Otherwise they work OK. They won’t get a bone-crushing bite, but so far they’ve done all they needed to. Maybe, next time, I’d cut the shoulders back further as they sometimes interfere a bit with the work – you have to clamp at an angle. But heck, about US$140 saved.

12 comments so far

View Matty272's profile


49 posts in 575 days

#1 posted 03-27-2014 08:27 PM

Sitting here trying to work out how they clamp…...

I think the tongue is a cam lever? and the slot below it works as the part the cam pushes against?

-- It's worth every moment of effort you put in if the kids enjoy it!

View Lukas's profile


30 posts in 1204 days

#2 posted 03-27-2014 10:06 PM

I love the dragon head carvings. I always need clamps as well but now I need dragon head clamps.


View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2614 days

#3 posted 03-27-2014 10:16 PM

They look cool but I don’t understand how they work ether

-- Custom furniture

View pinebox's profile


32 posts in 1005 days

#4 posted 03-27-2014 10:19 PM

Just guessing but I think if you rotate the tongue up, it pushes down on the lower jaw of the dragon.

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2614 days

#5 posted 03-27-2014 10:22 PM

I’m thinking maybe the tong is a cam that tilts the jaw so it locks ?

-- Custom furniture

View Nicky's profile


672 posts in 3129 days

#6 posted 03-27-2014 11:06 PM

They are cam clamps or luthier cam clamps. The tongue applies pressure to the lower jaw as pinebox mentioned.

LeTurbo, nice job. Very creative for a practical tool. Love the designs.

-- Nicky

View BJODay's profile


451 posts in 980 days

#7 posted 03-27-2014 11:43 PM

Nice work. I like whimsical stuff. Did you work from plans?


View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1010 posts in 671 days

#8 posted 03-28-2014 12:26 AM

Someone has way to much time on their hands…

Love the look of the clamps… that’s just sick…

-- Jeff NJ

View LeTurbo's profile


207 posts in 622 days

#9 posted 03-28-2014 06:59 AM

Thanks all for the comments. Yes, they’re cam/luthier clamps. Slide the two faces tight together, flip up the tongue (or horn) and it pushes the animal’s jaw down. It’s an old design that’s been around since … oooh, I dunno, medieval times? No plans, BJ, I just studied some pics I found on the net. And yes, waaaaaaay too much time on my hands, bwahahaha! (Still, a lifecoach once said to me “You’re either earning or your learning”, so I put this down to honing some new skills, when I’m not honing chisels.)

View jinkyjock's profile


466 posts in 611 days

#10 posted 03-28-2014 08:34 AM

Klemmsia make similar clamps, only difference being the bar is steel. As you say they were originally used used by Luthiers, I have used them and they are really easy and quick to use. And here’s the bonus for you, they retail at around £9 ($14) EACH. So well done.

View aussiedave's profile


3101 posts in 861 days

#11 posted 03-28-2014 11:44 AM

Very cool clamps and I like the faces carved in some of them…great job and thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Rick's profile


8286 posts in 2070 days

#12 posted 03-29-2014 04:48 AM

Very Nice and Well done! Thanks for Posting.


-- Can You Hear The Toilet Flushing?

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics