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Shopsmith clamps

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Review by richgreer posted 1181 days ago 4554 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Shopsmith clamps No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was using these clamps today and thought to myself that I have never seen a review of these clamps on LJ.

These are my favorite clamps for gluing up panels (like table tops or chair bottoms). What you see in this picture will be a chair bottom by the end of the day. When you tighten these clamps you are applying pressure to the edges and the sides. This does a great job of keeping the boards aligned.

I particularly like these clamps when I am making something that is too big to go through my thickness planner.

Be advised that you can buy the hardware and make clamps like this yourself (i.e. make the wood part). I have done that and I do not like them. That hardware does not have any springs built into them and without the springs these clamps are hard to use. The springs put pressure down from the top and up from the bottom. Note – my bungee cord idea did not work out very well.

You can, and I have, make your own wood parts if you need something longer than what the standard clamps can reach. As an FYI – I try to make the wood parts with a very slight convex curve to increase pressure in the middle.

Some may find these clamps a little awkward to use because you slide the boards in from the side of the clamps while holding them open. This is something you will get better at the more you work with them.

I have tried to use wax paper to keep any glue off the clamps and I have stopped doing that. It is too awkward to do easily.

These clamps look well used – because they are used a lot.

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




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richgreer

4522 posts in 1698 days



16 comments so far

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Gene Howe

5499 posts in 2052 days


#1 posted 1181 days ago

Thanks for the review, Rich. They are said to be the very best of the 4 way type on the market.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1698 days


#2 posted 1181 days ago

FYI – Because I was curious about what these clamps cost now, I went to the Shopsmith website and with the 2 larger sizes I see the notation “quantities are low”. With the smallest one I see the notation “may be backordered or made after ordered”. I translate this to mean that these clamps may be hard to buy new.

Here is the website -http://www.shopsmith.com/ownersite/catalog/mvclamp_doublebar.htm

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

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shipwright

4896 posts in 1422 days


#3 posted 1181 days ago

I got four of the larger ones with my Mark V 510 in Green Valley and I agree. They are excellent clamps and very well made.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

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BigTiny

1664 posts in 1512 days


#4 posted 1181 days ago

To keep glue squeeze out from sticking, give the parts a good coat of paste wax and buff them up nicely. A couple of coats may be needed for best protection.

I’ve seen an all wood version of these i n an old cabinet shop back east many years ago. They looked older than time and were well worn from use, and I never visited the shop (it belonged to my best friend’s dad and wasat the side of their home) that there wasn’t something in a set of them. Wasn’t into wood back then, so the only reason I took notice was the fact that I had never seen anything like them before.

Where these are metal, his were wood, even the threaded rod. His had an end lever similar to those you find on a bench vice, a sliding dowel with round knobs on each end. Instead of having notches on top to fit the pieces in for adjusting, his had holes drilled through the long rails (cauls?) that were fixed in place with dowels. They were obviously shop-made and looked to be rosewood or something similar in colour.

I wouldn’t mind trying to make a set some time, just for the challenge.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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wiswood2

1092 posts in 2320 days


#5 posted 1181 days ago

Rich, About 10 years ago I went to an auction and there were 4 of them that went up for bid, every asked what are they, I said I dont know but I will bid 4.00 , I got them . Then I said they are clamps for glueing up panels. I got the last laugh on them. They are very nice clamps.Thanks for posting.Chuck

-- Chuck, wiswood2 www.wisconsinwoodchuck.com

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1698 days


#6 posted 1181 days ago

For the record, I bought mine used also, but mine were in like new condition. I don’t recall what I paid, but it was a lot more than $4.00 and a lot less than the price for new ones.

I wish that Shopsmith would sell their hardware only.

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

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11643 posts in 2312 days


#7 posted 1181 days ago

I was / am also going to recommend waxing them : )
It works very well , even on metal clamps. Found out after staining the heck out of my Bessey’s.
Thanks for the review.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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docholladay

1286 posts in 1683 days


#8 posted 1180 days ago

Rich,

Do the wooden cauls (wooden part of the clamp) have a slight convex shape to them on the edges that contact the project. I would think that a slight convex shape would help in appying an even pressure across the project to keep the boards aligned similar to the way a typical clamping caul works.

Doc

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1698 days


#9 posted 1180 days ago

Yes, the cauls have a slight convex shape to them. I have also made my own custom cauls when I needed some extra long ones and, with a hand plane, I put a slight convex shape on them.

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

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Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2819 days


#10 posted 1180 days ago

I’m glad for your review. While I have a ton of Shopsmith stuff (duh) I haven’t come across these when I’ve gone Shopsmith hunting. I wouldn’t have known what they were for if I had. I will definitely keep me eyes open for them in the future. Based on what you’ve said here, I want some. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View dragondncr's profile

dragondncr

38 posts in 2053 days


#11 posted 1180 days ago

I have a set of these and they work great. I bought some hardware from woodcraft and made my own. They worked, but not as easy as the shopsmith ones.

Rich, you said you slide the boards in from the side. I remove the top part of the clamp and glue up my boards, then slide that part back in. Too me, alot easier than sliding the boards in.

-- dragondncr

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1698 days


#12 posted 1180 days ago

dragon – - I’ve done it both ways and, to me, they take about the same amount of effort. My point is that this is not like setting a pipe clamp down on the panel and tightening it.

As an FYI – - If I am doing a longer panel, I still only use 3 shopsmith clamps in the middle and both ends and I fill in between these clamps with more conventional pipe clamps or something similar. I like to have a clamp every 6-8”.

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

View AlBCuttnWud's profile

AlBCuttnWud

502 posts in 1314 days


#13 posted 1178 days ago

Woodcraft has these clamps on sale for $19.99 currently. I agree that these are fantastic clamps and only wish I had used them years ago…

-- -Al, Patuxent River, MD

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1504 days


#14 posted 1176 days ago

I have a set of these clamps from shopsmith that were my dads. I have only used them once so far but was very happy with how they worked. I know my dad liked them to.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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WayneC

12260 posts in 2721 days


#15 posted 1172 days ago

These the same clamps? Impossible to tell from the photos.

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/tls/2420788392.html

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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