||Workshop Clamps - Overview
Among the basic tools for every homeowner
are clamps for temporarily holding
together while the glue dries
or while you
line up the nails or screws that
the work pieces together. Hardware
and home centers sell a wide
variety of clamps,
and some basic information about
will guide you in picking clamps
fit your needs—and making sure
that you are
getting the quality that you
Follow these links to learn more
types of clamps:
- C-clamps are the traditional workhorses of the shop.
- Spring clamps are at the opposite end of the squeeze spectrum,
but they are very convenient for light holding.
- Pipe clamps have long been popular with woodworkers
because nothing else works as well when you
need to clamp over long distances.
- Light duty bar clamps are similar to pipe clamps, but they come
with a rectangular steel bar with notches
on one edge that allow you to easily adjust
how big a clamp you want.
- Ratchet clamps are an improved version of the light duty
bar clamps and they have become very popular.
- Band clamp—which in concept is nothing more
than a ribbon of webbing (like a narrow car
seatbelt) with a mechanism for drawing the
ribbon tight. For work on chair legs, bookcase
carcasses and the like, they often work better
than pipe clamps.
Clamps with any major amount squeezing force
are likely to mar the project surfaces when
they are tightened. The most significant
factor is the size of the clamp pads, with
larger pads spreading the crushing force
over a wider surface area. Almost invariably
you will need to use scraps of wood between
the work piece and the clamp to distribute
the clamping force, so don’t overestimate
the significance of whether the clamp you
are buying comes with rubber or nylon pad