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Review by woodsmithshop posted 1480 days ago 3129 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
new clamp purchase new clamp purchase new clamp purchase Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just purchased six of the Woodcraft clamping system clamps, they were on sale, plus if you bought $100 or more the shipping was free, I have been having trouble keeping any panels flat on glue ups, this system does a great job, though not totally perfect, you can get near and sometimes perfect if you are careful, and your 2×2 are made very square. you must plan ahead carefully when doing a glue up, otherwise it can be awkward trying to get your boards aligned, it is best to not add the top part of the clamp until after your boards are laid out as close as you want them , also on the 3rd picture you can see how I have held one of the clamping mechanisms back out of the way, this makes it much easier to lay everything out, this could be done on both ends. I only gave 4 stars because, you have to make your own 2×2s, and it is somewhat awkward to use, but not that bad, one very good thing is that you can make your clamps as long as you want, I made 3/ 36” long and 3/32” long. make your 2×2s a little longer than needed, then you have more adjustment without making more 2×2s, I did number them so as to match up pairs. overall I really like them, I have had much less sanding after glue up to get flat all over. practice on your first time after that it gets easier.
one other limitation, the clamping pads are about 1/2” thick, so that limits your board thickness, to get around that I made some shims from plywood to make up enough thickness. also I finished with water based poly and used packing tape on the shims and 2×2s to keep them from being glued up to the project.
I am thinking of trying wax to see if that works .

-- Smitty!!!




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woodsmithshop

1096 posts in 2128 days



15 comments so far

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woodsmithshop

1096 posts in 2128 days


#1 posted 1480 days ago

this is posted because the full review did not post the first time.
I just purchased six of the Woodcraft clamping system clamps, they were on sale, plus if you bought $100 or more the shipping was free, I have been having trouble keeping any panels flat on glue ups, this system does a great job, though not totally perfect, you can get near and sometimes perfect if you are careful, and your 2×2 are made very square. you must plan ahead carefully when doing a glue up, otherwise it can be awkward trying to get your boards aligned, it is best to not add the top part of the clamp until after your boards are laid out as close as you want them , also on the 3rd picture you can see how I have held one of the clamping mechanisms back out of the way, this makes it much easier to lay everything out, this could be done on both ends. I only gave 4 stars because, you have to make your own 2×2s, and it is somewhat awkward to use, but not that bad, one very good thing is that you can make your clamps as long as you want, I made 3/ 36” long and 3/32” long. make your 2×2s a little longer than needed, then you have more adjustment without making more 2×2s, I did number them so as to match up pairs. overall I really like them, I have had much less sanding after glue up to get flat all over. practice on your first time after that it gets easier.
one other limitation, the clamping pads are about 1/2” thick, so that limits your board thickness, to get around that I made some shims from plywood to make up enough thickness. also I finished with water based poly and used packing tape on the shims and 2×2s to keep them from being glued up to the project.
I am thinking of trying wax to see if that works .

-- Smitty!!!

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woodsmithshop

1096 posts in 2128 days


#2 posted 1480 days ago

ok, I just found out you can’t separate paragraphs.

-- Smitty!!!

View patron's profile

patron

12947 posts in 1924 days


#3 posted 1480 days ago

now you are on .

thanks for the review ,
i been wondering if the cost was worth it ,
and how they actually work .
for the sale you got ,
i seems well worth it .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View woodsmithshop's profile

woodsmithshop

1096 posts in 2128 days


#4 posted 1480 days ago

yes David it was well worth it, they are by far the most versatile clamps I have ever had, I wish I had tried them long ago. I decided to get them after Lisa started her blog about “no stress glue ups”, and Ellen35 mentioned them, so I checked them out.
I think for those who make boards will find them to be very good for what they are doing.

-- Smitty!!!

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patron

12947 posts in 1924 days


#5 posted 1480 days ago

well you have me convinced ,
PM me some money ,
i’ll get some too (LOL) !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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woodsmithshop

1096 posts in 2128 days


#6 posted 1480 days ago

the check is in the mail, it should get there by the 2nd Tuesday of next week.

-- Smitty!!!

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patron

12947 posts in 1924 days


#7 posted 1480 days ago

i can’t wait .

they will probably all show up together .

the 32nd of the month !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2160 days


#8 posted 1480 days ago

Thanks for the Review very interesting.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2556 posts in 2015 days


#9 posted 1480 days ago

I agree with your praise and your criticism.
I use them when I have lots of patience. They work well but require a couple of extra hands!
Ellen

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1657 days


#10 posted 1480 days ago

Shopsmith sells some clamps like this that come complete with the wood. You can also make your own as you did. I’ve got both.

The big advantage of the shopsmith clamps is that they are spring loaded. That makes it much easier to hold the hardware in place while setting things up. I get quite frustrated trying to use my hand built clamps because of the lack of those springs. I have added a block of wood on the top and bottom of each clamp that lock the clamp into a particular slot. That helps a lot but you have to remove the blocks to change clamp size.

I think you should also note that when making your own, you need to incorporate a slight bow into the wood.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View woodsmithshop's profile

woodsmithshop

1096 posts in 2128 days


#11 posted 1480 days ago

I checked out the Shopsmith clamps Rich, they are very proud of them, about 3 times the price I paid for mine, if you have the clamps you could cut the notches in the 2×2s like the SS are. and by the way, to all who read this, they are WOOD RIVER 4 way clamping system. I said Woodcraft, they are sold by WoodCraft.
also Rich, mine are spring loaded, that is why I use the bungee cord to hold them out of the way.
I need to figure out how to make a slight bow in the 2×2s so it is even. I may try using a taper jig on the table saw and take off about a 1/32” off each end and just make a V, that may do it.

-- Smitty!!!

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1747 days


#12 posted 1480 days ago

Thanks for the review. Always looking for better…....and cheaper…...ways to clamp…......

Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Ingjr's profile

Ingjr

135 posts in 1599 days


#13 posted 1480 days ago

I’ve used those clamps with similar results. Very handy in the right application. I used the Rockler type where you have to drill holes in a 2 X 4 and then bandsaw it in half to make the grooves the clamps “grippers” seat into. Quite similar to the ones you have.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View Chase's profile

Chase

448 posts in 1609 days


#14 posted 1478 days ago

I picked up one of these a few weeks ago and played with a bit. Havent had a project to use it yet, but i might pick up another one. thanks for the review!

-- Every neighborhood has an eccentric neighbor. I wondered for years "who was ours?" Then I realized it was me.

View Hickey's profile

Hickey

1 post in 615 days


#15 posted 615 days ago

If you have a industrial recycling center in your area, see if they have any Bosch-Rexroth extruded aluminum or 80/20 from older machines. I’ve also seen pieces sold on e-bay. By using the clamp hardware and different lengths of extruded aluminum with some t-nuts, you can have the ease of adjusting for any size clamping situation. I bought 2”x 2” for $1 per foot. Most guys would rather sell it to see it used than recycle it.

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