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Shop-Made Small Clamp
Recently, I was gluing up some small assemblies and needed a way to hold them together until the glue set up. I soon ran through my collection of small clamps. That’s when I came up with the shop-built design you see in the drawing above.
The clamp is made up of two hardwood jaws joined with a hardboard hinge. The clamping pressure is supplied by a carriage bolt, washer, and wing nut, as in the drawing at right.
Each of the clamp jaws is made from two ½″-thick blanks. Before gluing them together, I cut a dado and a rabbet in each blank, as shown in the drawing below. The dado is sized to create a slot to hold the carriage bolt. (Note: the upper jaw has a larger slot to allow the clamp to open wider to grip thicker parts.) The rabbet is sized to fit the hinge.
When gluing the jaw blanks together, I inserted a waxed “key” in the dadoes to keep the pieces aligned, as you can see in detail ‘b’ above. Then you can cut the jaws to shape on the band saw and sand them smooth. Because this curved clamp is so easy to make, you can build a bunch of them in a short amount of time.