A clamp is one of the essential tools needed in woodworking operations. It is one of the most understated tools that you can find. However, it is next to impossible to make a single wooden item without using a clamp of some sort.
When you are trying to join two pieces of wood together, clamps can be your lifesaver. It has been said that in woodworking, you can never have too many clamps. There are many variables, such as the size and shape of a workpiece, desired clamp pressure, and joint angle, all of which dictate the type of clamp that you need to use.
Types of woodworking clamps
In this article, we have provided details of the different types of clamps and the purpose of each type. With this information, you should be able to select suitable clamps for the job at hand. So, let’s take a closer look at the types of clamps that we usually use for woodworking.
This type of clamp is beneficial in large glue-up jobs. It comes in different lengths depending on the size of the workpiece. The jaws are parallel to each other but are 90° to the bar. We use these clamps to make square assemblies.
If you need to clamp mitered pieces together while making a mitered corner as in a picture frame, you will do well to use this clamp. The jaws sit at 90° to each other, thereby ensuring a square fit to the structure.
Carriage Clamp or C-clamp
You would need such a clamp while working on a narrow workpiece when you need to apply a lot of pressure at multiple points. A good example is if you are gluing laminations to a curved workpiece like the gunwale of a boat. C-clamps are further subdivided into different types, like the double anvil C-clamp, locking C-clamps, quick release C-clamp, and deep reach C-clamp. In the light of these different variations, there are various ways of using C-clamps as well and you need to be a bit creative about how you use them.
Another clamp that you can use for clamping the mitered sides of a picture frame is the strap clamp. It has a function similar to that of the corner clamp. The difference here is that it can accommodate odd angles, other than 90°, and for frames with more than four sides.
The clamp resembles a clothes clip and can be manipulated with two fingers of one hand. It is a quick and easy way of clamping two pieces together, where only light pressure will suffice. You can use this clamp to stick two small, flat pieces of wood to each other.
Trigger-Activated Bar Clamp
This clamp helps you to free up one hand to hold a workpiece while using the other hand to operate the clamp. The clamp has a trigger which you squeeze with one hand periodically to close the two jaws together.
This clamp is similar to the parallel jaw clamp. You need to buy a pair of jaws, and then assemble them onto a length of pipe, typically ½” or ¾ “ in diameter. One jaw is fixed by inserting a wedge between the jaw and the pipe. The other jaw slides up and down the pipe through a threaded shaft, which has a handle for rotating the threads.
Wood Screw Clamp
These clamps have been around since ancient times. Two opposite-facing screws project into wooden jaws. The jaws open and close with the rotation of the screws, which have handles to turn them quickly. The advantages are that you can clamp surfaces that aren’t entirely parallel, and then, because the jaws are wood, they won’t damage the surface of a wooden workpiece.
Kant Twist Clamp
Here’s another clamp that is a favorite among woodworkers. We use the Kant twist clamp in metal and welding work as well as in woodworking. The construction of this clamp makes it possible to avoid twisting while you tighten the handle.
Quick Action Clamp
The quick action clamp has gained popularity in recent years. As the name suggests, you can clamp the workpiece instantly. Similar to F-clamps, these help you to clamp two pieces together quickly, and with only one hand.
Another word for the bench clamp is bench vise. It is a general-purpose clamp that we use to fasten a workpiece onto the work surface. It is a popular fixture in machine shops and welding shops, and often loosely referred to as a “bench vice,” as it is often fixed to the base of a workbench.
Deep Throat Bar Clamp
This clamp integrates the deep access of a C-clamp with the power and stretch of pipe clamps. You get these clamps in two inches to four inches in-depth, and the length can reach up to 80 inches.
The miter clamp helps you to hold two pieces of wood together at a specific position. The two screw heads sit at right angles to each other, and the two clamped parts come together at right angles as well. The entire assembly sits within a frame.
If you are familiar with a “mole wrench,” then you will see that this clamp is nothing but a modified mole wrench. The body of the locking clamp has an almost identical resemblance to a mole wrench or “locking pliers” as they are also called. However, the jaws of the clamp have an enlarged profile, shaped to form two opposing jaws. This type of clamp has two advantages – firstly, you can adjust the grip, and secondly, you can engage and disengage the clamp with one hand.
As we stated earlier, the woodworking clamp is one of the most understated tools in woodworking operations. Although extremely essential and widely-used, many of us are not fully aware of the variety of clamps that we can get to make our work easier.
It may be that you are looking for a fixture to hold your job in place, but you are unable to identify which clamping fixture would be most appropriate. We have done in-depth research into the various types of woodworking clamps and the purpose of each one. It is our endeavor that this article helps you to select a suitable clamp for whatever woodworking project you may undertake.
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