Trying to figure out what are the most versatile clamps? Check out this DIY tip project where I walk you through all of the clamps I’ve learned to use over the years!
Hand Screw Clamps have been used for hundreds of years yet I never fully appreciated how versatile they were in a shop until this year. Let me show you 9 useful ways you can put them to use.
Most Versatile Clamps Tip #1:
Hand screw clamps can just as easily be used as a big adjustable wrench. For example, I needed a way to lock my grinding wheel in order to remove the nut and change the disc. I bought this used and didn’t have the right size so I used a large handscrew clamp to hold onto the wheel and a smaller one to tighten down onto the nut. I’ve never bothered buying a large wrench since this trick works so well.
Most Versatile Clamps Tip #2:
Have you ever had something too long or maybe awkward to clamp up with bar clamps? If your project has a bottom or back that won’t be shown then try this: drill one 1/4” hole in each piece at the connection point.
Now drill a 1/4” hole in the end of the hand screw clamps.
Cut the head off two 1 1/2” 1/4” bolts and thread this into the holes of the hand screw clamps.
Tip: If you use two nuts at the top of the threads, you can use a wrench to quickly and easily thread these in.
Now we have created a pinching device, so that you can place the protruding ends of the threads into the parts holes and as you tighten down on the hand screw clamp, it will bring the joint together and apply pressure as the glue cures.
Most Versatile Clamps Tip #3:
If you have something you can’t put holes into, then try this. Attach a hand screw clamp to each work piece you’re trying to join together.
Tighten down on them pretty good so that once you have your boards aligned, you can use another clamp to squeeze them together. Again, applying pressure to the joint while the glue sets up. You can flip the board around to repeat not the other end as well.
Most Versatile Clamps Tip #4:
With these clamps always being made out of wood, you can quickly extend them to meet any far reaching clamping needs. Simply grab some scraps and use screws to attach them to the jaws.
Now you can reach the inside of a project where the normal jaws, or other traditional clamps, don’t have the throw.
Most Versatile Clamps Tip #5:
If you’re needing to work on the edge of a board, take two hand screw clamps and clamp them to your board on their side.
They have such a great footprint when laid over, they make a quick and easy stand. Then if you’re doing something really aggressive like planning the edge, then you can always clamp down the clamps.
Most Versatile Clamps Tip #6:
Now lets say the board you’re working on is too large to be on top of a workbench. Grab a sawhorse, or any other flat surface at the correct height, and clamp a hand screw clamp down.
Now use it to reach out and grab whatever you’re needing to stand vertical so that you can get to work on it’s edge.
Most Versatile Clamps Tip #7:
Those two are for holding onto something flat, now for holding onto something round. You can make some simple attachments for the jaws that has a V cut out.
When you need to use them, pull out some double sided tape and stick them both on.
Cut the strip down the middle then peel and stick each one to the inside of the hand screw clamp.
Now you can tighten down on anything round and either use a variety of clamps to hold it sideways (lets say if you want to cut it or paint it) or you can use it’s large footprint to make it stand up straight so you can access the ends.
Most Versatile Clamps Tip #8:
Have a small part to work on? Handscrew clamps are always a great answer for getting the job done. Whether it be on the drill press where you can clamp the clamp to the deck
…..the bandsaw, where you can easily move the part close to the blade while your fingers stay away
……or even on the router table where no part is too small to add some detail to the edge.
Most Versatile Clamps Tip #9:
Then don’t forget a major area where the unique design of the hand screw clamp really shines is holding down angles. Having the ability to move the front independently from the back means clamping onto awkward angles a breeze.
Hopefully this has helped you out and given you ideas for your own shop. If I have left out any of your favorite tips, please leave a comment below for myself and others. I’ll see you on my next project!
Things I Used in This Project:
- ISOtunes Ear Protection
- Hand Screw Clamps: https://amzn.to/2K4rxjn
- Quick Clamps: https://amzn.to/2YZ0Dxk
- Double Sided Tape: https://amzn.to/2P8QyYx
- Wilker Do’s Plywood Workbench
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I have to be honest: I never really considered these for my shop…until now. I could have used these earlier in the week with small parts and never thought of it. Thanks!
(and unrelated but a good reminder: I love Ariat boots and clothes and am shopping now) 🙂
Very idea provoking! Thanks!
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