Home Improvements

Types of Clamps and Techniques of Using Them

Clamps are useful for holding objects together while they are being worked on, or while various adhesives are drying. They are used for many applications including carpentry, woodwork, furniture making, welding, construction and metal work.

Types of clamps:

There are different types of clamps some of them are:

C-clamp – It is the most commonly used clamp. It has a swivel head that makes the clamp self-aligning for odd-shaped pieces.

Bar clamp – It is useful for clamping extra-wide work.

Vise – It is a workbench tool and should be firmly secured before using. It is used for holding work being sawed, bored, glued, or formed in some way.

Hand screw – It has hardwood jaws which move in opposite directions due to threading of the screws. The smooth wood and broad jaws protect the surface of the work being clamped. It is useful for cabinet and furniture work.

Spring clamps – These clamps are useful for smaller bonding uses. They are also used when slow removal of pressure is needed.

How to use?

Projects that are glued together require a tight fit while the glue dries. Clamps help in achieving this. They aren’t hard to use. Follow these guidelines while working with clamps.

  • Make sure before you start glueing your project, you have enough clamps that will fit.
  • Use a level work surface.
  • Glue your project, and then apply the appropriate clamp.
  • Make sure the jaws don’t touch the work. Protect wood with felt pads, scrap wood or folded wax paper.
  • Tighten the clamps carefully. Be sure to distribute pressure evenly on the work.
  • Alternate directions of the clamps.
  • Measure the diagonals to see whether the work remained square while you were clamping it. If it isn’t, loosen the clamps and re-adjust.
  • Wipe off any glue that leaks out of the seams. Stains and other finishes won’t look right on dried glue.
  • When the work is clamped, reinforce the joints with finishing nails.

Safety tips for using clamps :

Do’s:-

  • Wear safety glasses or a face shield.
  • Select the proper clamp style and size by matching the work-holding requirements of the job with the following clamp features: strength and weight; length of reach; depth of reach; ease of adjustment; material used and size.
  • Ensure that the swivel at the end of the screw turns freely before using.
  • Dispose off clamps with bent frames. Replace bent spindles, if possible.
  • Ensure that the pressure plate and anvil parts of the clamp are in full contact with the work piece before tightening.
  • Use pads with C-clamps to avoid marking the work.
  • Remove clamps as soon as the job is finished. Clamps serve only as temporary devices for holding work securely in place.
  • Keep all moving parts of clamps lightly oiled and keep tools clean to prevent slippage. Also make sure there is no dirt or oil on any part that will come in to contact with the work.
  • Store C-clamps by clamping them in a rack, not in a drawer.

Don’ts:-

  • Do not use extra large clamps just for the sake of their large throats. Instead, use, deep-throat clamps.
  • Do not use any clamps that have a bent frame or a bent spindle.
  • Do not use wrenches, pipes, hammers, or pliers to tighten clamps. Use wrenches only on clamps especially designed for wrenches.
  • Do not hoist or pull with C-clamps. Use special lifting clamps.
  • Do not use C-clamps to construct scaffolds or platforms for workers.

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