The Importance of Clamping

This story shows how several different types of clamps are used in assembling built-ins.


Clamping is as important to sound joinery as machining and gluing. Glue alone will hold two pieces of wood together, but a good bond requires pressure to force the glue into the wood's fibers. Clamping also holds a project's parts in proper position until the glue dries and anchors them.

Walk the tool aisle in a home center and you'll find dozens of clamp types and sizes. You won't need them all, but you should have the essentials shown here.

For large projects such as bookcases and cabinets, use bar clamps or pipe clamps. A band clamp is versatile; it can even bind cylinders. Spring clamps are always useful for holding small assemblies together.

You can find many more types of specialty clamps. As with all tools beyond the basics, buy clamps only as you need them.

Bar Clamps

Bar clamps do the same work as pipe clamps. Note how the clamps on this cabinet face frame are placed at the joints most likely to need support. Bar clamps can be laid flat on a surface.

Band Clamp

A band clamp holds together boxes and odd-shape projects while you reinforce joints or make repairs, such as to a shaky drawer. They are not meant for use with large projects.

Spring Clamp

Spring clamps work well in pairs or in a series for small joinery work. They are easier to adjust and tighten than the standard C-clamp, and they have a protective rubber coating that won't mar wood surfaces.

Comments (2)
trangphongsang wrote:

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8/6/2016 12:20:18 AM Report Abuse
diane84504 wrote:

pipe clamp

12/6/2013 04:46:52 PM Report Abuse
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