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Forum topic by Don Butler posted 05-28-2016 03:37 PM 1016 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don Butler

1086 posts in 2862 days


05-28-2016 03:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip trick resource jig clamp

It has occurred to me before concerning this problem that comes up occasionally.
I was fitting a hand made loose tenon in its mortise and got it stuck.
Here’s how I got a firm hold on it without causing any malformation.

The method involves a wooden hand screw clamp used backwards.


First, set the jaws so they will just fit the piece you want to get a really hard grip on, but use the back end of the clamp. To tighten you’ll need to turn that screw counter clockwise.


Second, use the back screw and turn it counter clockwise until its really tight. Sometimes that’s good enough, but for a super tight grip go to the front screw and turn it counter clockwise and turn it hard.

The way this works is, first, the clamp is wooden, so its like wooden jaws in a vise.
Second, the back of the jaws are very much closer to the fulcrum (Pivot point) which is the back screw and the front screw acts as the force applied.

I found I could smack the little tenon with a mallet and not move it in the clamp. The tenon was extracted from the too tight mortise with no trouble at all.

This also works well if you want to bring a small piece to a sander or even a table router. It holds the piece and keeps your valuable fingers safe.

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.


15 replies so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3964 posts in 2631 days


#1 posted 05-28-2016 03:59 PM

I don’t have any clamps like this, but I understand the problem and your solution. Like you note, I have used a vise to help with stuck or difficult to hold wooden parts. I use quick clamps quite a bit to hold items for the drill press and table router. However, the wooden clamp jaws undoubtedly hold better than my quick clamps.

Recently I made a little jig for holding some small parts that I was making a number of. It uses a cam as the force applicator to keep the item in place, and I was impressed by its leverage.

Thanks for the post Don. Good food for thought….....

I am finally retired, but so far, honey-do’s are keeping me kind of busy…........(-:

Later…............

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5731 posts in 2834 days


#2 posted 05-28-2016 05:49 PM

I have a couple of those clamps and I am going to try your idea!
Thanks for sharing your insight.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2862 days


#3 posted 05-28-2016 07:38 PM

Jim, It’s curious that you’re now retired. My own Doctor is retiring in just a few days.
I’m looking around for someone else because the one they hired to take his place is too young. My old Doc knew my whole history and this new one only knows what they taught him in the last few years. You might infer that I’m a little grumpy about it.

I hope you’re taking it slow. I just had a big M.I. in February. Today is the first time I’ve been able to do anything in my shop.

As for the clamps, I believe using that back end of the wood screw clamp provides 6 or 8 times more pressure, depending on the size of the clamp.

Don

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1981 days


#4 posted 05-28-2016 08:31 PM

Boy, in the DECADES that I have owned those “I hate those clamps and avoid them whenever I can”, you come along and give me a whole new perspective on how to make them more serviceable and useful.

I guess I am glad I didn’t toss them when I was tempted!
Will try that out for a variety of things, whenever I need to keep a smaller piece tight and flat to a workbench, or on a drill press, or as you say in a variety of uses. Thanks!

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2862 days


#5 posted 05-28-2016 09:03 PM

Paul,
I have quite a variety of wooden screw clamps and I would hate to do without them. They remind me of my old ShopSmith. I’ve bought stand alone tools to do some of the things the SS does but I use it every day I work in the shop.

I particularly like them (the wood clamps) for the clamping tasks where the sides of the work aren’t square or parallel. The wood clamps can be adjusted to quite a wide range of out-of-square positions.
They’re quick to use too. I can whip one off the rack and adjust the jaws far faster than most of my other clamps.
Hold the clamp with the back screw handle in your right hand and the front screw in your left. With a motion like pedaling a bike you can quickly open and close them in amazing fashion.
The other thing about them is that they are the least marring of all my clamps. The wood jaws almost never dent the work.
Give them more of your time. Look up some videos of folks who use them. You might just change your mind about them.
Don

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#6 posted 05-29-2016 12:07 AM

I use handscrews only once in awhile. One of my
favorite uses is to clamp other clamps in the handscrew
to make work-holding fixtures out of clamps.

Using this sort of idea for example I can make a fixture
to hold a guitar with a vacuum clamp sucking on
the guitar back. I use the clamps to hold the vac
clamp… etc.

Example: http://lumberjocks.com/Loren/blog/35682

I didn’t use a handscrew in the above example but its the
only picture I have of the sort of setups I make,
sometimes using a handscrew or two.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#7 posted 05-29-2016 12:11 AM

One can also clamp the back of a handscrew to a table-edge
for example, and clamp a workboard or other jig
with the jaw so the jig is sticking out off the side
of the table.

I clamp one to the leg of my workbench sometimes
to support a long board held at the other end in
my vise… stuff like that.

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2862 days


#8 posted 05-29-2016 12:44 AM

Here’s a page with some good tips on using these old fashioned but extremely useful clamps.

By the way, you know, they still make them and they are in great demand by some.

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#9 posted 05-29-2016 01:04 AM

Another thing I read about once was drilling holes in the
ends of the handscrew jaws and putting some dowels
in the holes so they stick out. If two parts that need
clamping can be marred with a dowel hole, the clamp
can be used to draw the parts together. I did it and
have used the hand screw that way a few times.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1063 posts in 1456 days


#10 posted 05-29-2016 01:54 AM

Use them all them time to hold parts for the drill press and router table. HF has some that are one or their “gems”.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3964 posts in 2631 days


#11 posted 05-29-2016 03:08 PM

OK, you guys have almost convinced me I need some of these clamps. I might be able to find some for sale in Anchorage, but in their are more resources in Washington near my vacation home. I remember using them somewhere over the years, but I haven’t owned them myself.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3695 posts in 1732 days


#12 posted 05-29-2016 03:22 PM

Jim, Check out Cripe Distributing on Ebay. He’s got the bit #2’s for under $20. Best deal I’ve found on them.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3043 days


#13 posted 05-29-2016 03:27 PM

I’ve found these type of wood clamps take some getting use to but can be very helpful in some operations because they’re wood you can even modify them when needed.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2388 days


#14 posted 05-29-2016 05:09 PM

I also have used these clamps to hold very small parts and toys as I run them over a router. Slow but safe.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3964 posts in 2631 days


#15 posted 05-30-2016 12:20 AM

BurlyBob
Thanks for the info. I’ll check locally, but I am pessimistic of the result, and then look at Cripe.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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