Woodworking 101: What Clamps Do I Need for Woodworking? (2021)


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Clamps are a quintessential accessory in woodworking. Carpenters use the device for tightly securing objects to the workbench. This is done so that the wood does not move during drilling, chiseling, or assembling and gluing them together. 

Most newbie woodworkers get confused due to a wide variety of clamps for sale online. What are the purposes of different types of clamps? What clamps do I need for woodworking? How to select the best clamps for woodworking? These are some of the questions that cross the minds of individuals new to woodworking

If you are also new to woodworking, you will find this guide invaluable in your trek to become a woodworking expert. 

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Bar Clamps 

Bar clamps are also known as pipe clamps. These clamps are commonly used when gluing the edge of wooden boards. You can buy bar clamps in different sizes depending on the project requirements. 

Know that bar clamps are limited by the size of the bar. So, a 10-inch clamp will have a clamping dimension of about 6 inches. On the other hand, a 36-inch clamp will offer a clamping size of about 32 inches. 

Dimide Clamps

Dimide clamps are used in heavy-duty woodworking. These clamps are used for squeezing hardwood parts together. Using the clamps prevent slippage of parts during woodworking.  The claps have zinc plated plates and copper-plated screws that prevent rusting and build up of splatter.

The clamps have a hex head and a removable T-handle. The handle is used to adjust the clamp when fitting in close gaps. To avoid damage to the wooden part, you should consider placing scrap wood between the part and the clamp jaw.

Kant-twist Clamps

Kant-twist clamp is another common woodworking tool used in heavy-duty woodworking. The clamps deliver the load using parallel jaws. The handle of the clamps is positioned perpendicular to the load that prevents the clamp from twisting when it is tightened.  

The clamps allow deep reach and significant clamping power without smearing or damage to the wood. The special design of the clamp prevents jaw twist that is common in other clamp types. They are light and easy to use for different kinds of woodworking projects. 

Wood Hand Screw Clamps

Wood hand screw clamps are yet another common woodworking tool. The jaws of the clamp pivot to allow fixing at different angles. This type of clamp is also known as the carpenter’s clamp due to its use in varying types of projects. 

The special design of the wood hand screw clamp allows the performance of delicate tasks where high pressure is required. You can adjust the jaws of the clamp to its slope depending on the requirement of the project. 

The clamp has a strong jaw that is made of wood or metal with dual thread rod handles. The capacity of the clamp is generally half the length of the jaw. So, a clamp with a 4-inch jaw has a capacity of 2 inches. You should consider the capacity of the clamp when buying a wood hand screw clamp. 

Miter Clamps

You can use miter clamps to secure parts of an object at an angle. The clamps can be used for assembling T-shaped joints and picture frames. These clamps are available in simple and complex designs. 

Miter clamps feature spring pliers that are used to hold pairs of objects in woodworking. One miter clamp is generally enough for woodworking projects

Sash Clamps 

Sash clamps come with a heavy flat bar, sliding jaw, and a fixed jaw. You can move the sliding jaw along the clamp to lock it to the desired location. 

Fixed jaw remains attached to the flat bar. However, you can adjust the jaw to your preferred position using a screw. These clamps are generally used for large wood projects.

Ratchet-Action Bar Clamps 

Ratchet-Action bar clamps are generally used to work on irregularly shaped wood items. They feature a strap of metal in the form of a loop that adjusts the diameter of the part that secures the object by applying pressure. 

The woodworking clamp is ideal for working on softwood. But make sure that you don’t tighten the clamps too much to avoid damage. 

Bench Clamps

Bench clamps allow quick action and secure grip. You tighten the clamp by pushing the handle. The clamp’s opening capacity can be changed depending on the thickness of the object. 

You can use the bench clamp to easily clamp thin and thick materials. The clamps are used to hold objects together when applying pressure. Using the bench clamp will prevent separation or movement of the clamp during woodworking. 

Locking Clamps

Locking clamps are also a popular type of clamp used in woodworking. The clamps are used to use by one hand for securing objects during woodworking. The bolt of the locking clap is used to adjust the size of the clamp. 

The clamps have a strong force that allows secure clamping. They are used for holding woods securely without squeezing them. 

Sheet Metal Clamps

Sheet metal clamps appear similar to locking clamps. These clamps have a sufficiently large surface area that makes them ideal for clamping large wooden materials. 

F-Clamps 

F-Clamps have a bar similar to the bar clamps. But unlike the bar clamps, they don’t clamp as close to the bar. The clamping fixture tends to be nested about 2 inches from the bar. The extra space allows the clamps to have a longer reach as compared to the bar clamps. 

F-clamps have versatile usage. The clamps can also be used for gluing edges of the glue boards. They come with ratchet actuating systems and screw clamp. 

You can use the clamps for not only joining wood but also securing the wood to the bench for carving and sanding. These clamps are also ideal for securing belt sanders and router tables to workbenches. This allows a carpenter to use both the hands while carpeting. 

G-Clamps

G-clamps are also sometimes known as the C-clamps. These are the preferred clamps of the carpenters suitable for a wide variety of projects. The clamps have a simple construction and are easy to use. You can find different G-clamps online for varied purposes. 

Standard G-clamps are used simply for securing the objects. There is also a quick-release G-clamp that can quickly fasten and loosen the wooden objects. A quick-release push-button allows quick and easy adjustment of the clamps. 

Double anvil G-clamps are used to distribute pressure evenly. You can use the clamp to distribute power evenly across a large surface area. Using the clamps reduces the risk of damage to the wood. 

Lastly, there is the deep reach G-clamps that are ideal for wooden objects that require large throat capacity. They offer maximum possible depth support for woodworking. 

Pipe Clamps 

Pipe Clamps have a design that is similar to the F-clamps. However, the clamps have a sliding pipe instead of a sliding bar. The pipe clamps can be fitted to any size wood provided you have the right-sized pipe.  

Parallel Clamps

Parallel clamps are also similar to F-clamps. They are best for large opening throats. This type of clamp is best for woodworking since the jaw remains parallel even in high loads. The large distributions area prevents dimples or other damages on the wood. 

Features to Consider When Buying Clamps for Wood Working

All woodworking clamps have a single basic purpose of securing woods. You should consider the use of the clamp before buying one for your woodworking project. Apart from the use of the clamp, you should also consider the material and handle of the tools before making a purchase. 

Clamp Handles

Clamp handles can be made of metal, plastic, or wood. You should inspect the handles and look for any cracks.  Make sure that the handle is strong that will not break soon after use. Moreover, that handle should feel comfortable to use. 

Materials 

Another important consideration when buying clamps is the material. Clamps are generally made of plastics. Quality plastic material could last for decades. Avoid buying clamps with hard brittle plastic as they tend to break soon. Consider buying handles with softer plastic. 

Metal parts should also be strong. You should look for cracks that might have slipped the quality control check. Moreover, wooden parts in hand screw clamps should be made of hardwood such as maple or oak. 

Consider scratching the wood’s surface with your fingernail. If your nail scratches the surface, the wood is not thick enough. This will create damage to the wood during woodworking. 

You should look at the video below to gets an overview of the different types of clamps used for woodworking. 

 

 

Conclusion 

Now that you know the use of different types of clamps for woodworking, you will have an easier time selecting ones for your woodworking projects. Make sure that you look at the quality of the material and handle it before buying clamps for your projects.

A little consideration during purchase will help save you a lot of hassles and money while woodworking. 

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One last reminder, if you are also new to woodworking, you will find this Ted’s Woodworking guide invaluable in your trek to become a woodworking expert. I have absolutely loved all the plans available and it has helped me so much and I am sure it will help you too. 

TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

 

 

Steven Carroll

Thank you for reading my article. I have a passion for creating with 3D printing, woodworking, welding, and drawing. I hope you have learned a little from my mistakes and lessons learned. This article is meant to be a help to you! Thank you again for your time!

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