Some woodworking tools have remained under the radar and underappreciated for a long time. One such tool is the clamp, which is vital in almost all woodworking projects requiring joining and holding pieces. Surprisingly, there’s hardly any mention of the woodworking clamp.
Various types of woodworking clamps come in different sizes, styles, and capacities. As the clamps differ, so are their uses with different projects requiring specific types of clamps to hold the pieces together. Finding out which clamp you need can be challenging if you have yet to gain experience in woodworking.
To help simplify clamps and their uses, we have highlighted the popular woodworking clamps, their features, and their benefits in this article. The aim is to help you discover which clamps are helpful for your projects.
Types of Woodworking Clamps And Their Uses
There are tens of different clamps with varying features, and we’ve compiled some of the most popular. Some clamps are used for many projects, while others are suited to more specific tasks.
1. Corner Clamp
The corner clamp holds two pieces at a square or 90-degree angle. The clamps push the two pieces together, keeping them tight as you complete the joining process. There are various corner clamps, including aluminum alloy and other sophisticated clamps.
If you make a lot of 90 degrees, you may need to get several corner clamps to help your work. Due to the style of the clamp, it is easy to clamp workpieces using the corner clamp. To use the corner clamp, cut the workpiece and place them into the clamp with the parts to join touch flush against each other before screwing the clamp.
2. Bench Clamp
Bench Clamp uses the bench as a fixed jaw to hold the workpiece for your project. The bench Clamp holds a workpiece firmly on the working bench, so movement is limited, and you can work unhindered. These clamps are made of metal and feature many other forms that vary based on sizes and styles.
You’ll need to slide the drill collar into the first bench clamp neck and then attack the clamp to the edge of the bench. This way, you have the workpiece and the workbench in the clamp’s jaws. Tighten the clamps to get a firm piece ready for use.
3. Parallel Jaw Clamp
A parallel jaw clamp has a long bar and jaws with an adjustment handle under the lower clamp. Since the jaws are parallel, it’s called a parallel jaw clamp. You can hold three wood pieces using the parallel jaw clamp, with two of the wood held far away, thereby forming a rectangular or square setup.
Use the spacers in the clamp to keep the wood pieces away from the bar and ensure the pieces are flush against each other. You can then place the workpieces inside the clamp and tighten them using the adjustment handle.
4. C Clamp
The C clamp is also called the carriage clamp, with its U-shaped metal jaw and adjustment screw forming its features. It’s perfect for joining small workpieces that require enough pressure, as it can deliver high-pressure clamping setups. There’re also several other C clamps, like the quick-release and double anvil C clamps.
Use scrap wood as a buffer between the scarp piece and the workpiece when working on delicate fragments, at all times, because of the pressure a C clamp can put on the wood. Place the workpiece, bench, or other workpieces together and tighten them by turning the tummy bar clockwise.
5. F Clamp
The F clamp is also called the bar clamp and features an L-shaped bar and a slider with a screw for holding workpieces. F clamps have broad opening capacities to accommodate substantial projects, as they can extend over the length of the bar. However, this reduces the pressure it can apply to the workpieces.
Using the F clamp is similar to the more popular C clamp as you place the workpieces between the jaws and tighten the tommy bar so the screw presses against the wood. Setting scrap wood pieces under the screw will help spread the pressure evenly across the wood.
6. Bench Vise
A bench vice is a heavy-duty tool attached to a workbench with the jaws facing upwards. With the large surface area of its jaws, the bench vise offers a better grip for large workpieces. It features a fixed, moveable jaw that you can loosen and tighten to accommodate your project.
Using the bench vise is easy, depending on your chosen type, as portable bench vises will require you to attach the bench vise to the workbench first. Open the jaws by turning the bar before placing the workpiece and tightening up the jaws.
7. Cabinetry Clamp
Cabinetry clamps work as aligners holding two adjacent cabinets flush against each other and firmly in place to allow you to screw the face frames together. It has the cabinet’s edges and ensures the face frames are flush.
To use the cabinetry Clamp, line two cabinets such that the face frames are flush and then grab with the clamp. You can tighten it like other clamps by turning the adjustment bar, allowing you to screw the cabinets into the wall and get flush surfaces.
8. Wood Screw Clamp
Wood Screw clamps have been in use for a long time, featuring two facing screws and two bars forming the jaws. You can open the jaws by turning the screws using the handles, helping you hold surfaces that are not parallel. The pressure of the screw clamps, made of wood, is minimal and therefore doesn’t dent your workpiece.
Place the material between the clamp’s wooden bars and turn the adjustment bars until it tightens. You can then use a bench clamp to clamp the wood screw clamp so the workpiece and the clamp do not move.
9. Spring Clamp
Spring clamps are simple joining tools that allow you to quickly and easily camp workpieces using only two fingers of one hand. The spring clamp looks like cloth pegs in the build but features padded tips and handles. The ease of using the spring Clamp is one of the significant advantages where enough pressure is not required to hold the pieces.
To clamp workpieces using the spring clamp, press down the handle using two fingers to open the jaws. With the jaws open, you can place the small workpieces between the jaws and release the hold to tighten up the clamp.
10. Strap Clamp
Strap or band clamps are similar to ratchet straps for holding loads. The main parts of a strap Clamp are the strap, two jaw clips, a clamping plate, and a lever. The lever comes in different forms and is called the first, second, and third-class levers. You can use a trap clamp to tighten a webbing strap or firmly hold a webbing assembly.
Pull the band outwards to adjust the size and create a room, then place the band around the workpiece, ensuring the corners come in contact with the joints. Ensure there is no tension in the band and the corner before tightening the band clamp using the adjustment lever.
11. Drill Press Clamp
The drill press clamps are helpful on drill press tables to hold the workpiece to the table while drilling. Keeping the material firmly to the drill table using the drill press clamp is vital to prevent the piece from moving, which can affect the accuracy of your drills.
It is easy to use with the quick-release lever ensuring you don’t spend too much time setting the material in the clamp. Place the screw bar inside the drill press and screw the washer to hold it. Turn the screw behind to open the clamp jaw before placing the workpiece under the jaw. Tightening the clamp is done by pressing the handle to clip the material.
12. Flooring Clamp
When carpenters install floors, they require the tongue and groove boards firmly in place to be mounted easily without many adjustments. The flooring clamp is perfect for holding the tongue and groove boards, so floor installers can pull down the boards easily and install them without error. This clamp can hold up to 10 boards at a time. However, they are versatile and can be used for some projects only.
Place the strap through the clip and pull it to a short distance. Increase the tension in the strap using a ratchet motion of the bar. You’ll need to glue the first two rolls of the floor plank before placing the first end of the clamp on the edge of the first board and the second end holding the edge of the last board.
You’ll find questions about common clamp problems and their answers which will help you further understand the different types of clamps.
Ans: C-clamps are larger than G-clamps, helping them handle larger projects. Even though they have many differences and are interchangeable, G-clamp and C-clamp are slightly different.
Ans: Clamping force is the amount of pressure the clamp applies to the workpiece when you tighten the clamp.
Ans: Clamp action is the general direction and function for which a clamp is designed, with multiple styles available for different clamps.
As a woodworker, clamps are necessary to hold down pieces and join two or more components, among other uses of the clamp. With several different clamps available, the problem of knowing the suitable clamp to use becomes even more significant. Understanding the most common clamp types and their uses will help solve this problem and give you a clearer picture of which clamps you should have for your projects.