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Virtual Designs in Sketchup #14: Clamp for cutting Dovetails

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Blog entry by rance posted 01-24-2012 11:47 PM 5578 reads 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Simple Corner Spline Jig Part 14 of Virtual Designs in Sketchup series Part 15: Dovetails ...with Curves »

I ran across the ”Workbench clamp for perfect dovetails” article by Michael Pekovich from Fine Woodworking.

The article suggests drilling holes in your bench to accomodate pipe clamps to hold down a guide board. I REALLY like the clamp idea but even though I revere a bench as a consumable, I’d rather not drill THAT big of holes in it.

I’ve come up with an alternate solution that does not require any new holes in your bench. This means it can also be used in whomever’s workshop you might visit. This is a real plus for me since I often work in other’s shops.

If you straddle this block across the corner of your bench, you can achieve the same effect but not have to drill holes in your bench. I also swung the head of the clamps outwards to give more room for your hands when holding the chisel.


 

I drilled a blind hole for the upper pad of the clamp to keep them oriented for easier setup. Without these shallow countersinks, the clamps could easily rotate around making the tightening process difficult.


 

The added slat(shown transparent), spanning the lower part of the bars, corrals the lower part of the clamps. This should make it much easier to put in place until you get the clamps tightened down (and is required once you swivel the clamps outwards).


 

You’ll also note that I’ve incorporated the more commonly found bar clamps. A wide variety of clamps could be used for this though.

Credits: Again, this is not my idea. I just enhanced the “Workbench clamp for perfect dovetails” article by Michael Pekovich from Fine Woodworking. I am(again) merely standing on the shoulders of others greater than I.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--



9 comments so far

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6369 posts in 1619 days


#1 posted 01-25-2012 03:27 AM

Can I use this idea in my show a couple weeks from now? I’m demonstrating some hand cut dovetails on the tool cabinet and I want to try this out. If it works like it looks like it will, I’ll recommend it to the viewers. (I’ll give credit to both you and Fine Woodworking)

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

12111 posts in 1509 days


#2 posted 01-25-2012 04:18 AM

Rance, I like that idea. MUCH better than drilling big holes in a beloved bench! Once again, I am in awe of your Sketch Up skills.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View rance's profile

rance

4149 posts in 1979 days


#3 posted 01-25-2012 06:53 AM

Use to your heart’s content Stumpy. :) Thanks Andy.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1791 days


#4 posted 01-25-2012 07:02 AM

Nice work rance. You know me… always trying to keep things simple…
If you left off the bottom block of wood and flip the clamps upside down, you could achieve the same thing. (I think)
Flipping the clamps upside down, allows you to get the handles out of your way AND it lets you pivot the clamps inward so the clamp screw would just push against the bottom of the bench, while the clamp end would push down on the block.

It would allow you to shorten up the overhang of the block ends so you’d be less likely to smash into them with your hip/leg/other vital equipment. ;)

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8067 posts in 2871 days


#5 posted 01-25-2012 07:23 AM


I’m wondering if you could do the same thing with a couple of these?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View rance's profile

rance

4149 posts in 1979 days


#6 posted 01-25-2012 07:35 AM

Swirt, I think that would work just fine.

Joe, I’m not a big fan of wood screws. In this application, the key is to get a clamp that won’t fall off. It keeps from needing 3(or more) hands to align and tighten up the works.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View rance's profile

rance

4149 posts in 1979 days


#7 posted 03-03-2012 06:59 AM

Swirt, I like your suggestion. Something like this maybe?

The upper block could more easilly be built as follows:

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Brit's profile

Brit

5457 posts in 1662 days


#8 posted 03-03-2012 07:25 AM

Great idea Rance, or at least your adaption or someone else’s idea. One for my favourites. Thanks for posting.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Brit's profile

Brit

5457 posts in 1662 days


#9 posted 03-03-2012 07:28 AM

In fact using Swirts idea, you could mount it on the front of the bench instead of using the corner of the bench. Ideally, you’d want the workpiece positioned over a leg with the clamps either side, so the mallet force is directed down the leg.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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