Clamps, Cauls, And The Mother Of Invention

If there’s one thing you need in a woodshop, it’s more clamps. There are bar clamps, pipe clamps, spring clamps, and trigger clamps, but for one task in the workshop, no clamp does the job just right. Gluing up panels – a few wide pieces of wood joined on edge – either requires more clamps than you have or cauls, devices that press down on the boards vertically while the clamps press the board together horizontally.

[Andrew Klein] has just invented a new type of clamp for this task, proving once again that not all problems are solved, and there’s still some places where an invention can pop out of mid-air.

The new clamps are a modification to traditional bar clamps that allow for two clamps to interlock. On each of the ‘working’ ends of the clamps, there are two adjustment handles. The first screws the clamp horizontally, just like any bar or pipe clamp. The second adjustment handle moves a bearing up and down. When this bearing meshes with a riser on the mating end of another clamp, the two clamps are pressed together vertically.

The new clamps are effectively clamps and cauls, able to push material together from side to side and top to bottom. The new clamps work, too. In the video below, you can see [Andrew] gluing up a panel. When the vertical adjustment wheel is loosened, the boards come apart vertically. When the vertical adjustment wheel is tightened, the boards are perfectly in line with each other, both edge to edge and face to face.

16 thoughts on “Clamps, Cauls, And The Mother Of Invention

  1. > The second adjustment handle moves a bearing up and down. When this bearing meshes with a riser on the mating end of another clamp, the two clamps are pressed together vertically.

    His new design does away with this, it’s linked in the video you embedded, cool to see how the design evolves though.

    1. Hey You!
      If Brian wanted you looking at the updated revision of this dude’s design, he would have posted that instead, or at least mentioned it in the article! But he didn’t, so quit talking about it! And don’t even think about clicking the link in the guy’s video where he clearly says that there is an updated design!

      Thanks Brian,
      Love AC

      1. I get it, I get it. I’m just saying this seems like a missed opportunity to show the evolution the design took to become more final, like a lot of the hack-a-day talk videos they’ve been uploading lately. It would really tie the room together.

  2. Just as a technician/engineer believes that you can’t have too many power supplies, voltmeters, connectors; wooddorkers believe that you can’t have too many clamps! B^)
    (if you like working with wood, “wooddorker” is a term of affection)

  3. Not really a new design and I don’t really understand how this specialty clamp is less of a specialty clamp than the cheap 4way jack clamps that he dismisses as to expensive in his video, but his workmanship appears to be excellent and I wish him the best of luck. Anyone who actually builds things always needs more clamps than they have.

    1. It gets even more ironic when you consider a 60″ Bessey Clamp, like the ones he modifies, go for ~60USD on amazon. The 4-way clamp he gaffaws comes in at 32USD. So, one could buy a 4-way clamp AND an ‘H’ style clamp set that fit over standard plumbing pipe for less than one of his modified clamps.

      Then there’s all the custom jigs you can build out of scrap, the wagon vise/holdfast combo on the work bench his business partner has, or just tilting a bar clamp so the bar puts pressure on the panel.

      Definitely a tool that can be forgone for the weekend wood worker, and undercut by the right tool for the job for the dedicated panel maker.

      1. But if you can buy the the new design Bessey clamps and not need to buy additional clamps then you just saved yourself the hassle of buying those clamps you mentioned.

        But good job on showing what pointless negativity looks like guys.

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