I am always amazed at all the different kinds of clamps there are and now combinations of them can do so much. For me, my old style bar clamps are among my most used and they show it. They work well but dripping glue from joints that falls on the clamps makes them hard to use.

Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Tg41SPamdqc

This is even more frustrating when you are doing glue ups and you already have limited time before the glue starts to set and harden. It's always best to take some time in the workshop to do some tune-ups to the tools and this is one easy one that can save you some frustrations later on ... 

Wood clamp tips

One solution that can help a lot is to give the tops of the bars on the clamps, a nice coating of wax. This can be a past wax (my preference) or you could use one of the liquid versions, they all work by making it hard for the dripping glue to adhere to the bars. This makes them easy to clean and ready to go for the next clamping job.

Clamp grease

I have collected a very usable supply of "C" clamps over the years and have a nice variety of sizes. The problem has been, how to store them. Until recently they resided in a plastic basket under my workbench. They were handy, but every time I reached for one, invariably it would get hooked on one or 2 more as I pulled it from the basket. The solution to this was to fasten a piece of flat bar to the lower legs of my Reciprocating Sander stand. This did 2 things, it makes the stand a bit more stable by adding a little bit of weight, and it's only a step away from my workbench so clamps are easy to get, easy to store and I can easily pick the size I need at a glance ... and they only come off, one at a time. 

Clamp Hanger

And still with C-clamps, sometimes I am using these to glue up wooden leg parts, and I don't want to mar the wood with the clamps. The solution is some way of adding padding to the C-Clamp faces ... that was easily solved with some self-sticking little pads from the Dollar Store. They have little clear rubber one, they have cork and they have felt. I don't really like to use the felt in the workshop but the cork and the rubberized one work great .. easy and handy to stick on, and if I need to take them off, that's easy too. 

Clamp Pads

I often find I need a bit longer reach with my clamps and there are a few ways of adapting clamps to achieve this, making extensions like this is one quick and easy way of making the jaws of you clamps reach a bit deeper. All I did was drill a few holes the same width as the bar, then chip out the center with a chisel and presto ... now I have clamp extensions that I can put on or take off at any time. 

Clamp Extension

Not long ago someone emailed me about clamps for attaching veneers to the edge of the plywood. The only clamps I use for this is plain old blue painters tape. First of all, give the plywood edge a thin coating of glue, let it sit for 15 minutes, then give another thin coat of glue to the plywood and the back of the veneer, then just tape it on. It's super easy and works like a charm. I have never had one fail. 

veneer clamps

Colin's Workshop Wooden Watch ... available from his Amazon Store

 

 

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Copyright Colin Knecht
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 clamp lifehacks

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