How to use a bar clamp for woodworking
A bar clamp is most commonly used for applications involving wood. It is especially handy for projects where two pieces of wood need to be held together for gluing or nailing.
For a guide on how to clamp wood without damaging it, follow the steps below.
|Before you begin, you should select the bar clamp that's best suited for the job. Choosing one which is ideal for the task in hand will make the process easier. The wooden workpiece should be able to fit inside the open jaws without feeling as though it is being forced.|
|Also, it is important to make sure the bar clamp you are using is clean before you begin clamping, as any dirt could transfer on to the wood and leave unwanted marks.|
Step 1 - Set clamp
The first step is to set the clamp on a suitable work surface, such as a bench top or table.
Step 2 - Open jaws
Open the jaws of the clamp as wide as is necessary. Do this by rotating the screw to the left in order to move the head jaw backwards, and sliding the back jaw all the way to the end of bar.
|Alternatively, if you are using a model with a quick-release mechanism, press the lever down to free the back jaw before moving it to the end of the bar.|
Step 3 - Protect workpiece
To avoid the risk of the metal bar leaving any residue on the wood, it may be an idea to protect your workpiece before clamping. Do this by either placing a sheet of wax paper in between the wood and bar, or spraying the bar with penetrating oil and wiping it away. This will prevent any marks from being left on the wood.
Step 4 - Position workpiece
Insert the workpiece into the open jaws of the clamp.
Step 5 - Close jaws
To close the jaws, start by sliding the back jaw along the bar until it is aligned with the edge of the wood. Depening on which model you are using, either place a pin in the nearest hole, or let go of the quick-release lever to lock the jaw in place.
Next, rotate the screw to the right until the head jaw closes in on the workpiece.
|Keep rotating until the workpiece is firmly secured, but be careful not to over-tighten the screw, as this may damage and split the wood, or even bend the bar.|