Gluing and clamping go hand in hand. In a previous
article, I covered gluing strategies and techniques. This
article is about clamping solutions for both typical and not-so-typical
Assembly table: I use my workbench for most assembly
work. However, sometimes a pair of sawhorses is enough, such
as when working on large cabinet projects. In such a case, sawhorses
allow you to place clamps without the interference of the assembly-table surface.
Clamps (of course!): In addition to general-purpose clamps,
a good collection should include specialty clamps, such as miter
and band clamps. Also, don't overlook other means of exerting
pressure on joints. For example, you can sometimes use your
hands, bungee cords or heavy objects, to name a few.
and jigs: Clamps alone are often not enough. I use both
commercial and shop-made accessories and jigs to make glue-up
easier. Some examples include clamping and alignment blocks,
cauls and bandsawn cut-offs.
can never have enough clamping helpers, such as cauls,
blocks, jigs, etc.
Under clamping: Using too few clamps for the job can
result in joint failures and gaps between boards.
Over clamping: Applying too much force can deform or
bend some of the parts, throwing the assembly out of square.
Out of square: Placing clamps incorrectly or applying
too much pressure can cause the joint to be taken out of 90°.
Even well-fitted joints in case-and-frame assemblies can be
clamped out of square.
Out of alignment: Mating pieces, for example, can shift
against each other when glue and clamping pressure are applied.
In winding: If an assembly rocks back and forth when
placed on a flat surface, it may be in winding (twisted).