Tutorial: Shop Made Cauls

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Forum topic by Mike_Henderson posted 1719 days ago 4629 views 18 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mike_Henderson's profile


18 posts in 1731 days

1719 days ago

I recently did a tutorial on making cauls. I’m sure many of you already know how to make cauls but new woodworkers often do not.

For those of you experienced, I’d appreciate comments and suggestions – especially on better ways to make cauls.


15 replies so far

View noblevfd's profile


39 posts in 2081 days

#1 posted 1719 days ago

nice tutorial Mike I’m kind of new to woodworking I’ve used cauls before but just used jointer to S one side This should help next time to get better results thanks noblevfd Bob

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 2516 days

#2 posted 1719 days ago

Good tutorial. I use the Rockler clamps because I get vertical caul and horizontal clamping functionality together. They are a little pricey, but reduces my number of clamps.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View lew's profile


9990 posts in 2379 days

#3 posted 1718 days ago

Thanks, Mike! Some how I missed this tutorial. This will be my next project.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View charlie48's profile


248 posts in 1794 days

#4 posted 1718 days ago

Thanks Mike,Very good tutorial! I’ll put it in my favorites, and make some when I finish the shop.

-- Charlie............Only time will tell if it was time well spent.

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2273 days

#5 posted 1718 days ago

Fantastic tutorial! thanks for the post.

You mentioned that you can use premium 2×4s. another option is to go straight for the 2×12s which usually have straighter grains, and lesser knots than the 2×4s as those are supposed to perform as support beams which should have more structural strength and require better quality lumber. then you can rip the 2×12 to size which allows you to also completely get rid of any knots, and achieve a clear board for the cauls.

just my $.02, and Thanks again. Cauls are so simple, and provide such great benefit that we all need

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14721 posts in 2300 days

#6 posted 1718 days ago

That was pretty good. Nice webpage.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Mike_Henderson's profile


18 posts in 1731 days

#7 posted 1717 days ago

Reply to notottoman – The cauls will have a curve on them if there’s full contact all along the joint when you clamp one caul down, or clamp two cauls together as I show in my tutorial. The specific curve is a catenary curve, which is the same curve you’d get if you hung a rope or chain between two anchor points.

But you don’t need to worry about the mathematics – you can get full contact with a hand plane and trial and error.


View Gibney's profile


8 posts in 568 days

#8 posted 528 days ago

very helpful tutorial! thank you.

View nwbusa's profile


1016 posts in 910 days

#9 posted 528 days ago

Here’s an example of an old post that I’m glad got bumped, even though it looks like the OP isn’t active here now. I’ll be adding this to my list of projects-to-do, with many thanks.

-- John, BC, Canada

View waho6o9's profile


4821 posts in 1201 days

#10 posted 528 days ago

A plethora of info and great ideas on this site as well.

View Mike_Henderson's profile


18 posts in 1731 days

#11 posted 528 days ago

I’m still here but I tend to hang out at SawMill Creek. I have a bunch of other tutorials on my web site I hope some people find them interesting. I also have some of my tutorials on


View MrFid's profile


515 posts in 528 days

#12 posted 525 days ago

Oh thanks for posting this. You are right as a newer woodworker your post was especially helpful. Automatic bookmark and I’ll be following your work!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Randy_ATX's profile


672 posts in 1066 days

#13 posted 159 days ago

Great tutorial I just came across referenced from another member (waho6o9). Also bookmarked your personal website as it has a lot of good info. Thanks.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View jdh122's profile


351 posts in 1442 days

#14 posted 159 days ago

Nice tutorial.
Another approach, using a jointer:

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View gamygeezer's profile


137 posts in 209 days

#15 posted 159 days ago

I have a number of “natural” cauls from all the crooked lumber that seems to breed in my shop. I try to only keep the symmetrical ones, but I see now how I might tune them up a little.


-- What's a vibrant young guy like me doing in a broken down old body like this?

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