Clamping is a big part of woodworking whether it's part of clamping and gluing wood together, assembly or just some temporary holding that needs to be done. There are so many different kinds of woodworking clamps, I loose track of what is available and, believe it or not, I don't have every conceivable woodworking clamp available ... but some days I wish I had.

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For me, clamping and gluing boards together is probably my most common kind of clamping and for this, I use the old style bar clamps. I guess I could upgrade to something more modern, but these work for me, they are somewhat inexpensive and I have them in different sizes so they are pretty convenient for me, except for one problem ...  
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 Yup ... when I am gluing up boards and they are sitting on the opened clamps, how many times have these clamps rolled over on to their side. This is very frustrating because I am often using some form of carpenters glue that only has and "open time" of a short peroiod and when it starts to set up, and you try and clamp them together, the "hold" is not as good. 

To solve this problem I made, what I call a couple of "V" stands that the clamps sit in and they won't flop over on to their side. I first made some rounded stands a few years ago but I found that the rounded clamps still didn't sit well in them, so tried the V  clamps and they work well with the V part at about 60 degrees, I found that 45 degrees were too wide that the clamps still flopped around in these.

Another part of clamping that has made my life easier it the holding racks that I keep my clamps in, the bar clamps sit on a rack on the wall that stands our far enough from the wall that the crank tops don't bump the wall, no matter what position they are in. The top of the rack I lined with that anti slip rubber material (the same stuff they sell at the Dollar Stores, as place mats. They are inexpensive, easy to cut and they work great and last for years and years. 

woodworking clamp rack

I also keep my spring clamps on a handy board that also sits in proximity to the bar clamps but they sit on their own board that can easily be lifted off so I can tape all my spring clamps to the workbench easily.
spring clamp storage

A very slick solution to keeping all my clamps in one place, easy to find, easy to put away and easy to store.

The other clamp I use a lot is the simple "C" clamp and I have them in a few different sizes. The most common one that I use is the 6 inch and I keep 2 of these with custom round handles. Most C-clamps have a little metal cross bar that floats back and forth through the main tightening thread and these work well until you need to get the clamp into a tight space, then they are annoying.

To solve this problem I used some 1.5" dowel about 3 inches long, whacked off about 1/2 inch near the bottom them hand cut a dado for the slightly trimmed sliding tightening bar to be epoxy glued into and now I have a couple of C-clamps with round wooden handles that work great in tight spots.
C Clamp extension

Some time ago I needed a "pushing" clamp to align some legs on a small table I was making. To solve this I simply made a couple of small wooden blocks with 3 holes in them so I could joining a pair of the popular "quick clamps" that are on the market and thereby joining them together in a fashion that allows them to push instead of pull, it's a perfect temporary fix to give these clamps some double duty jobs to do. 

Copyright Colin Knecht

Clamp Hacks


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