wood clampWhen working with wood, at times it can be difficult due to the gluing and clamping process. There are many tips that will aid the woods worker in a wonderful project. Professionals use tips in order to provide a high quality job, and if an individual is not exposed to the professional end of this industry; they will not learn the tips of the trade.

Securing Odd Shaped Wood

There are professionals that boast about how certain clamps that they have purchased will keep the odd shaped wood in place. The clamps that the professionals purchase are not lacking in the pricing department. They can prove to be expensive. However, an individual that doesn’t want to spend that amount of money can use another system in order to keep the odd pieces together while they dry. One tip is to use gun reloading lead. It sounds strange, but the system is remarkable. Visit the local gun shop to purchase 25 pound bags of reloading lead. They range in price; however, the average price is approximately fifteen dollars per bag. To use these bags, place the piece that needs to be clamped onto the bench. Place a bag at the top. They will mold to the shape of your wood. The bags are durable. Just make sure that you take care not to puncture a hole in the bag.

Sloped Sided Projects

It is difficult to clamp a taper sided project. In order to provide and easier way to clamp during these jobs, clamping blocks can be constructed to help in fastening the wood to the clamps. In order to construct these blocks, cut some 3/4” pieces from scrap wood. The blocks will be 2” wide and approximately 1” longer than the item. Rip an angle on one edge of the block that is being constructed for clamping. Attach a piece of scrap wood or sheet metal to the more narrowed end of the blocks. Once it is dry fitted, glue and clamp the project into place.

Stop Clamp Marks

When working with clamps, there is always a risk of the pressure causing indentions of the clamps into the wood. This is not good when the part of the wood will be exposed to the naked eye. In order to stop this from happening, purchase felt pads. Chair glides work amazing for this problem. There are self-adhesive backing pads that are used to place on the bottom of chair legs. Take these and place them on the clamps. Placing these on the clamps will allow the correct pressure on the wood without leaving the marks.

Clamps for Miniatures

Finding clamps that are small and gentle enough for miniature woods work or small detailed wood working is hard and often times expensive. In order to create a good clamp with using just a few dollars, purchase clothespins and Popsicle sticks. Tightly glue two craft or Popsicle sticks to the outside of the clothespin on the opening end to almost extend the length of the clothespin opening. Use the levers to open the clothespin and place the object inside the sticks to hold it into place with gentle pressure.