The jewelry box was obviously intended to be made using some machine tools, since it is suggested to use box joints. I don't have machines. In fact, I don't even have a proper bench! This should be fun.
I'll write more about the jewelry box in a follow-up post, as what you really came to this blog post was to learn about my clamps that I made.
Well, here they are:
I'll be honest about the reason I made these clamps: I would have bought some, but there were none in my area that were long enough. I would have even ordered them online and waited a day or two for delivery, but clamps are expensive. I would have spent at least 80 Euros for some quality clamps new, and I didn't really want to wait for some to become available in Spain on eBay.
With none to buy locally, and spending eighty bucks and waiting a few days for them online, I looked to making my own.
I found two good videos on YouTube about making bar clamps: one by Izzy Swan, and one by Shannon Rogers. Rather than doing what I did, you are better off building clamps like theirs.
Shannon and Izzy's clamps both are adjustable and are much more heavy-duty than these. I took inspiration from those videos for mine, and I suppose if I want to use them again for something, I can drill more holes.
I need some light clamps for a quick and dirty glue up. Let's get started!
|I pulled this oak out of the Golden Dumpster, too. It's a little over 1/2" thick oak skirting.|
I needed a dowel for the clamps. I happened to have a couple of broom handles that I bought a while back that should be perfect. I thought they were about 7/8" in diameter, so I bought a 22 mm spade bit from the local Chinese Crap store for about 3.20 Euros.
I used my electric drill (I think it is my only power tool I have here in Spain) to drill holes with space between them a little longer than the length of the clamp I needed.
So far, so good.
Well, it turns out the broom handle was quite a bit bigger than the hole, so I used a gouge to whittle down the dowels to fit in the holes. It was a bit of effort, but I got them all to fit snugly.
|All the dimensions are just right.|
It turns out that the holes the 25 mm bit gave me were a bit oversize, but that didn't matter. Once the wedges are in, everything should hold nicely.
|Blue Tape use #974, keeping dowels from dropping through.|
The only thing missing is some wedges. I sawed eight wedges out of some scrap that I had laying around, and lined one face of each with packing tape so they won't stick to my jewelry box during glue up.
|Wedges? We don't need no stinking wedges! Well, maybe we do.|
|I did a dry, test clamp to make sure everything would work as I hoped..|
It all went pretty well. I wound up putting the wedges on opposite sides where I had two, and on the long ones I put the wedges on the inside.
|Clamp in place with wedges.|
I think it would have worked better if I had made a flat on the dowel for the wedges, as every time I whacked a wedge with the hammer the whole clamp moved a little. Or, perhaps using two wedges together so it eliminates any lateral forces.
Tomorrow I'll take the box out of the wedges, and I'll see how I did. From what I can see now, all the joints are nice and tight.
I figure I've saved 75.30 Euros making these clamps. Perhaps they will come in handy again later.
Good luck if you try making clamps like this, I'd love to see them. (Believe it or not, #ghettoclamp had entries on Instagram on it before I posted!)