what i've been doing #26: nautilus cam bench clamp

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Blog entry by Dave posted 05-20-2012 04:18 AM 5483 reads 5 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 25: Xylophone for my grandson Part 26 of what i've been doing series Part 27: New blog site »

I have seen cam clamps for benches of all shapes and patterns. I thought of the nautilus shell because of the golden ratio. Most cam clamps use a progressing curve. The shell is an easy to find curve on the internet. I have made 6. If they are used in a pair the need for a bit of friction is due. If used this way a piece of leather or some sandpaper should be applied to the edge of the pair. If you use the in a set of four they hold very well. I will apply sandpaper to two of them and keep the other four without. I like this for speed of clamping. If I am doing a lot of batch work this are a near perfect method of holding the piece. I have seen this shape used for holding rigging on sailing ships. The project is an easy build and fun to make.
I will also post this as a project for the Stumpy Nubs Jig contest.
Video as follows.

Thanks for your time!
All comments and questions are welcome.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

25 comments so far

View JL7's profile


8661 posts in 2961 days

#1 posted 05-20-2012 04:28 AM

Very cool Dave – I am kind of surprised how many power tools it took to create those hand tools clamps! :) Looks like they work great…..nice production!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10096 posts in 4048 days

#2 posted 05-20-2012 04:31 AM

That’s a unique way to make use of all of the dog holes….! LOL

Very nice…

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2836 days

#3 posted 05-20-2012 04:36 AM

Funny Jeff, I did it in a rush. No cats were harmed in the manufacture of this jig.
Thanks big guy.
Thanks Joe, master of tiny tote tool tills.
Thanks guys!

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2610 days

#4 posted 05-20-2012 04:48 AM

great video Dave ,stow and go clamps ,looks like once its locked its not going anywhere great jig ,there goes my 10,000 dang it. if you win the 10.000 will you give me your old plane .making some nice shavings :)

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2836 days

#5 posted 05-20-2012 04:55 AM

Thanks Eddie. That is my favorite smoother. It was built by convict labor about 1900.
We will split the 10,000

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View steliart's profile


2595 posts in 2684 days

#6 posted 05-20-2012 07:43 AM

Very cool idea Dave and nice video, thanks 4 sharing.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3430 days

#7 posted 05-20-2012 09:00 AM

Nice job SD. Like the way you keep everything simple.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18710 posts in 2563 days

#8 posted 05-20-2012 12:17 PM

great project Dave. I might have to copy!

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View punk's profile


181 posts in 2412 days

#9 posted 05-20-2012 01:28 PM

verry simple &plain but looks like they woork well nice job

-- Punk in PA

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15348 posts in 2614 days

#10 posted 05-20-2012 01:35 PM

These are in my future. Nice work, Dave!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3330 days

#11 posted 05-20-2012 02:28 PM

These clamps really look practical and easy to make. I imagine they could also be used for edge clamping glued up table tops and such. As usual you are right on the ball Dave.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2836 days

#12 posted 05-20-2012 02:37 PM

Thank you Steliart as always you are to kind.
Roger they are a breeze to use.
Go fer it Don, you and anyone else.
Thank you punk, my father would approve as well.
Good deal Smitty.
Mike I haven’t thought of that either. You guys have already started to use them in different fashions, now that is a good jig that is adaptable to other functions.
thanks guys.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View DIYaholic's profile


19620 posts in 2671 days

#13 posted 05-20-2012 02:52 PM

Great job. I can see these being made from 1/4” ply, for thinner stock.

I think even I could make them successfully! All I would need to do is build a proper workbench with dog holes.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2836 days

#14 posted 05-20-2012 03:31 PM

1/4 inch would work great for small items Randy. Give her a shot and tell us how it works out.
Thanks Pres.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Brit's profile


7374 posts in 2838 days

#15 posted 05-20-2012 06:10 PM

Nice job Dave. You can never have enough methods of holding stuff. Variety is the spice of life. Have you thought of putting a bit of leather or rubber on the clamping faces?

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

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