When it comes to clamps for woodworking there isn’t a perfect clamp for every job. Wood clamps come in many styles and some can be used for more than just the purpose of clamping wood while the glue dries. I am sure you will find that you can never have enough wood clamps. Some projects seem to use every clamp you have and leave you looking for another.
I’m going to go over some clamps I have experience with and wouldn’t do without. Some of these clamps I use on almost every project and some I use only occasionally but they are great to have when I need them. Clicking on an image will take you to Amazon.com where you can find additional information.
Wood Hand screw Clamp
This clamp is a must. It has two handles on either side of the clamp ensuring even pressure. With its large surface clamping area it spreads the pressure on a greater area and doesn’t dimple the wood. It is also great for clamping two surfaces that are not parallel to each other and still give even pressure.
You can also take this clamp and secure it to a table. Then you can use is as a makeshift vice, holding a board vertical or to the side depending on your needs. The large handles are great for getting a nice tight grip and making sure your project is bonded tightly.
The Bessey clamp, also sometimes referred to as an F clamp is great for larger clamping needs. It has a smaller pressure area so it can be prone to leaving dimples in the wood at the clamping area. To get around this I use scrap pieces of wood under the clamping surface to enlarge the pressure area. I have a ton of these and sometimes I still run out.
There are many projects that I have done that require several pieces to be glued and clamp separately. Have a lot of wood clamps can save you a lot of time by being able to do several pieces at once instead of having to wait for one piece to dry before you start the next.
Pipe clamps are very useful for very large projects. The large pipe ensures the clamp won’t bend and can be extended with a pipe coupler for even large areas. This clamp has a medium size clamping surface but you can apply an awful lot of pressure with it.
I have used these clamps to square up a screen door that I made. By being able to reach such a long distance I set the clamp up corner to corner diagonally and then squeezed the frame until it was perfectly square and let it dry.
These clamps are rather heavy so make sure when you are using it, it doesn’t affect another aspect to your project by putting pressure somewhere you don’t want.
These little spring clamps come in so handy. You cannot apply more pressure than the spring provides but don’t think that it is weak. Even the littlest of these clamps come with a punch. I like these for smaller projects that I don’t have to worry so much about the bond.
I will sometimes take a larger clamp and use it to secure a board to the end of a table or to hold a board where I want when mocking it up. I would recommend having a couple of each size.
90 Degree Clamps
I use a 90 degree every time I am making a box or a picture frame. I will set the clamp up with the boards in place before I glue so I have it ready and am not messing with it trying to get it right when the glue is drying. On smaller picture frames this can sometimes be a little time-consuming because the clamp is rather large for what it does. Sometimes you have to glue one corner and wait to glue the other because there is not room for two clamps. That being said they do their job very well.
Is there a perfect clamp?
Like I mentioned earlier, there is not a prefect clamp for every job. You will probably use several styles of clamps for one project. Having a good variety of clamps is essential for enjoying this craft. You will save yourself time and possibly money by being able to move forward with your project faster by being able to multitask with your wood clamps.
This list of clamps is not all there is but what I feel are must haves. I have provided a picture and a link for each clamp. I thank you for reading my article and hope I was able to answer questions or make you feel better about purchasing a certain type of clamp.
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