Sometimes, when woodworking, a person needs to work on different areas of a project or a large piece of wood and often wishes he had six or eight more hands and arms to hold the project or object in place.
That’s when one turns to clamps. Holding things in place while working on some other area of the project often requires employing the use of woodworking clamps.
The greatest advantage of using a woodworking clamp is that you get more torque than a human hand. To put it in simple language, a woodworking clamp will exert far more force and strength than a mere human grip.
Woodworking clamps come in different varieties and it is a good idea to have at least a pair of several if not all. Some of the most common clamps used are:
The C-clamp is a basic woodworking clamp that every woodworker must have. Named for its shape, the iron C-clamp consists of a small flat area at the top of the C. At the bottom of the C is a hole with a long, large threaded screw. The screw allows for adjusting to the thickness of the item which needs to be held in place. At the end of the screw is a flat end which meets the other flat end on the top of the C. The item to be held is placed between these two flat spaces.
It is important, when using a C clamp, to be careful that the, screw is not tightened too much if the item in the clamp is a delicate piece of wood. Too tight a clamp could leave marks on or damage the wood.
Another type of woodworking clamp is what is called the bar clamp. This clamp consists of a bar and two jaws. One of the two jaws is fixed. Bar clamps are used to hold thinner pieces of wood.
Another clamp which is necessary to have on hand is pair of pipe clamps. Pipe clamps have a long grip and use a pipe to get its length. The pipe clamp is used for holding very wide items. As long as the item on which one is working has the same width as the pipe length, the pipe clamp can hold it.
Add to your list of “must haves” a pair of woodworking clamps called web clamps. These are actually nylon mesh straps attached to metal ratchets which allow you to tighten the straps. The purpose of these clamps is to hold odd shaped objects.
Two pairs of corner clamps, also known as miter clamps, are another necessary purchase. These corner clamps are used to hold two objects together at a 90 degree angle. They are used when those two objects are to be joined to one another, whether with glue, fastener or bolt and nut. Corner clamps are particularly useful for precision assembly of cabinet face frames, cabinet panels, cabinet door styles and rails, door jambs and vertical bookcases with shelves.
When buying these woodworking clamps, get the best quality clamps you can afford. You don’t want cheap clamps which can break up right in the middle of gluing two things together.