Augmenting existing clamps with??

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Forum topic by DragonLady posted 03-05-2010 03:09 AM 1420 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 3031 days

03-05-2010 03:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: clamping

I will not have enough clamps of the right size to laminate the entire 30” width of my workbench top.

I am thinking of using some of my MANY ratcheting tie downs that I have to supplement the few clamps I do have.

Can anyone see any issues that I should watch for? Besides gluing the straps to the wood!

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

14 replies so far

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3313 days

#1 posted 03-05-2010 03:45 AM

put blocks where the straps hit the wood of if you put them too tight thay will indent the wood other than that you can also hook pipe clamps together jaw to jaw or get a pipe extendor so you can screw a pipe end for end. You can also do the same jaw to jaw with bar clamps too.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 3031 days

#2 posted 03-05-2010 03:47 AM

Jaw to jaw with bar clamps? I can’t visualize that at all. Because I do have some 24” bar clamps, too.

Can someone explain how to join bar clamps together?

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3093 days

#3 posted 03-05-2010 04:18 AM

If you have pipe clamps with threads on both ends, you can get threaded couplings at any hardware store and make two (or more) short pipe sections into one long section. (I can make up 1/2” pipe clamps up to 8’ long.)

I’m not sure if the tiedowns would work very well. They might make your glueup try to curl up as they’re tightened.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 3031 days

#4 posted 03-05-2010 04:36 AM

I did think about the curling up. I thought I could solve that with a board across the top to prevent the boards from bowing up in the middle?

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3080 days

#5 posted 03-05-2010 04:39 AM

I had the same issue last year and my solution was to buy some 4’ long clamps. I now seem to have enough clamps for a team of woodworkers, but just the other day I was thinking about more. Can one person ever have too many clamps?

Sawkerf has a good point about pipe clamps. I also needed some clamps that reach over 60 inches and I just bought longer sections of black pipe and exchanged the pipe clamps. I’m keeping 4 long ones for some future unknown need. I’ll probably die before needing 6’ foot clamps again.

-- Glen

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 3031 days

#6 posted 03-05-2010 05:09 AM

unfortunately, buying more clamps is not a possibility right now.

I’ll make it work, somehow, I’m sure :) Even if I have to sit on the stupid thing overnight!

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3318 days

#7 posted 03-05-2010 05:21 AM

Perhaps glue up the boards in sections? If you have any smaller clamps at all you could use those to do what fits in them and save the straps for the final. That would give your final glue up less glue lines to keep together with the straps. Otherwise I see no problems unless the boards are warped enough to keep the straps from having enough strength. You would be able to see that if you do a dry fit.

-- LAS,

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 3031 days

#8 posted 03-05-2010 05:46 AM

Yes, I was already planning on gluing up in segments, so I could use the smaller clamps where I’m able.

thanks for all the good feedback!

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3099 days

#9 posted 03-05-2010 05:53 AM

I don’t think I understand your situation well enough to give a good answer but I will offer an idea that might work. You might consider not using clamps and putting a LOT of weight on top. Perhaps you would make some kind of contraption out of plywood and 2×4s and fill it with bags of sand, bags of salt, cement blocks – - – whatever. I’ve actually done this when I had a large area to laminate.

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

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3365 days

#10 posted 03-05-2010 06:43 AM

your idea to have a board to keep it flat is good ,
they are called ’ cauls ’ .
you want them in pairs , one over and one under ,
about 1/4 from each end , so you need 2 sets ,
clamp them to each other with wax paper between under them .

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

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3029 days

#11 posted 03-06-2010 12:42 AM

Jaw to jaw with bar clamps? Lay two short pipe clamps next to each other across the project with the screw end of each hanging down over the opposing edges you want to clamp together. Rotate the other end of each clamp 90 degrees on the pipe so one clamp’s pad can hook on and press against the other clamp’s pad. Tighten them being careful they dont slip off each other.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 4014 days

#12 posted 03-10-2010 07:18 AM

Caught this one late DragonLady so I hope you’re still watching these replies. Here’s my two cents worth. The tie downs will work great if you have enough. If you don’t have enough, you can also get yourself some good but cheap nylon rope. Wrap the rope around the top at regular intervals of perhaps six to twelve inches apart so that when the ropes are tightened, it will pull the boards together. Use a dowel or something to twist the rope to create tension. You will be surprised how tight you can pull the boards using this method. Take precautions to not mar your top with the ropes or tie downs like wooden cauls etc. If that’s no clearer than mud, let me know and maybe I can draw a picture and post it.


-- Jim

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

508 posts in 3914 days

#13 posted 03-10-2010 04:55 PM

If you’re willing to invest in the cost of about 4 or 5 new parallel clamps, but get the functionality of probably 4 times as many clamps, look into the product called The Bowclamp. You only need one clamp on each end of the bowclamp, which comes in 2ft, 3ft, and 4ft lengths. It puts pressure along the entire length of whatever you’re clamping. If your workbench is, for example, 8ft long: Two pairs of 4ft bowclamps would cost about $170 + shipping, but would require you to use ONLY four of the bar clamps you already own. Could $170 worth of Bessey or Jet parallel clamps do that?? I doubt it. You’d only get 4 or 5 clamps for that price.

Just another idea. I hope it helps!!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#14 posted 03-10-2010 05:50 PM

Here’s one way

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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