Woodpeckers Flat Bars

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Forum topic by mramseyISU posted 06-13-2014 04:54 PM 4095 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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534 posts in 1571 days

06-13-2014 04:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: clamp

Anybody else seen these flat bars Woodpeckers is peddling?

Looks like a fancy overpriced set of clamping cauls. At first I thought they looked like a great idea but the more I stared a them the more I wondered why couldn’t you just buy a hunk of Unistrut and cut it to the length you want and be done with it. So I think I’m going to buy some unistrut tonight and make my own.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

18 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#1 posted 06-13-2014 05:08 PM

You might consider, for the money, investing in a pair of 8”
deep throat clamps.

I never used cauls and seldom used bicuits or anything like
that in the past. Sometimes I would hammer a waxed wedge in
under a pipe clamp over an area where a board was bulging.

Now I have a plano clamp which makes all this clamping
panels easier.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5705 posts in 2839 days

#2 posted 06-13-2014 05:19 PM

Yes, they look like clamping cauls to me. I use hardwood 2×2’s that have a slight crown. I set the cauls convex side against the panel to be glued up. That way clamps placed at the edge of the cauls can exert force evenly across the panel. I put duct tape on the side of the caul that will contact the panel to keep it from sticking to the panel. Works great.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View MrRon's profile


4795 posts in 3269 days

#3 posted 06-13-2014 06:32 PM

I’m sure the Woodpecker bars are not crowned, but simply a 1×1-1/4×24 or 36” piece of 6061-T651 aluminum bar. The retail price from a metals supplier is $15.26 for a 24” long bar and $21.48 for a 36” long bar. Multiply that by 2 for two bars and the material costs $30.52 and $42.96 for the bars. Of course they get the bars at wholesale. The price sounds fair as the raw material constitutes a large % of the overall cost. If you wanted to make your own, you could buy the bars yourself at and save half.

View Ocelot's profile


1981 posts in 2664 days

#4 posted 06-13-2014 06:56 PM

This is interesting info. Thanks MrRon. We’ve got a mechanical engineer here, but I wouldn’t want waste his time asking about materials. It looks like 6061 is the right stuff at the right price.

I wonder if Woodpeck machines theirs flat or just uses what the supplier sends.

View JohnChung's profile


410 posts in 2100 days

#5 posted 06-13-2014 07:01 PM

I won’t buy them. Easy fabricated with scrap wood.

View MrRon's profile


4795 posts in 3269 days

#6 posted 06-14-2014 08:15 PM

Ocelet; I can’t be positively sure, but I work with these sizes of aluminum all the time and find they are as straight as it is possible as shipped from the supplier. If you want to make your own, get some 1×1x1/8 steel angle and drill holes in the ends for bolts and nuts. You will need an assortment of hole spacings because you want to place the bolts as close to the edges of the wood you are clamping. Too far apart and you will end up with bowed members

View mramseyISU's profile


534 posts in 1571 days

#7 posted 06-14-2014 08:25 PM

Ron; that’s exactly why I think buying a 10’ stick of unistrut would be the way to go here. It’s pretty rigid as is and you’ve got the holes already. One 10’ chunk goes for about $15-$20 and you’d have enough to make a pair of 2’ bars out of it with a bit left over.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View ducky911's profile


237 posts in 2815 days

#8 posted 06-14-2014 10:01 PM

why not put mult. holes so the long ones could do any width??

When I have felt rich and bought woodpecker stuff I have been happy…really like using my small t square

View Matt Rogers's profile

Matt Rogers

110 posts in 1996 days

#9 posted 06-15-2014 01:57 AM

Unistrut is a great idea. I have some long pieces that have holes every few inches and got them used for cheap. They are seem to be very stiff. I also have a set of wooden cauls – 2×3 ash with one set dead flat and the other crowned. I place the flat ones down on the bench and lay out the material, then sandwich the panel with the curved ones after the clamps are lightly tightened.

-- Matt Rogers, and

View MrRon's profile


4795 posts in 3269 days

#10 posted 06-15-2014 07:31 PM

“Ron; that s exactly why I think buying a 10 stick of unistrut would be the way to go here. It s pretty rigid as is and you ve got the holes already. One 10 chunk goes for about $15-$20 and you d have enough to make a pair of 2 bars out of it with a bit left over. ”
- mramseyISU
I didn’t think unistrut would be strong enough, so I suggested solid angle.

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

10537 posts in 3454 days

#11 posted 06-15-2014 10:21 PM

I bought 20’ of Unistrut and made several pair of clamps for face to face laminations, and to keep edge glued panels even.
I have only one complaint. They are heavier than he!!.

-- 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

View poopiekat's profile


4356 posts in 3760 days

#12 posted 06-15-2014 11:23 PM

And don’t forget, with Uni-strut you can use those spring-loaded, captive nuts for quick assembly with threaded knobs. You can put something together really fast, using 5/16” or 3/8” hardware. Perfect for keeping large glue-ups completely flat.

A perfect fastener for fixtures like Gene Howe made above.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2909 days

#13 posted 06-15-2014 11:32 PM

I use cutoffs of plywood with packing tape over it so the glue doesn’t stick and a couple of F-clamps…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View mramseyISU's profile


534 posts in 1571 days

#14 posted 06-16-2014 02:56 AM

That’s what I’m talking about Gene. Do you have any problems with it splaying out on the lips?

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2386 days

#15 posted 06-16-2014 03:11 AM

never would have bought them from wood pecker, but I will be giving my plumber buddy a call to see if he’s got any scrap unistrut laying around his shop :)

-- Steve

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