How to Make Your Own Wood Clamps

What You'll Need
4 pieces of 3/8 inch threaded rod
2 pieces of MDF board, each 12 x 12 inches
4 T-nuts
4 Washers
4 Nuts
Crescent wrench
Tape measure

Wood clamps are vital in every workshop and have many different uses. Some will hold glued wood together so it dries nice and tightly while other clamps are designed to hold wood on place so it can be worked on without moving. It’s simply not possible to build all the different types of clamps yourself. Some are quite complex and require specialized tools. However, it’s perfectly feasible to make a single clamp that will work for most simple jobs ithin your workshop and it will save you quite a bit of money. When you’ve glued pieces of wood together, you’ll be able to insert them into the clamp and tighten it like a press. The clamp will hold the wood securely until the glue dies. 

Step 1 - Making Your Clamp

The first step is to actually create your clamp. To do this, use a tape measure and pencil to mark spots 1 ½ inches in from each corner on both the MDF boards. Drill a 3/8-inch wide hole through each of these four marks on both boards so that when the boards are placed on top of each other, these holes line up directly with each other. This is vital for the clamp to work effectively.

Now select one of the boards as the bottom board of your clamp and insert threaded 3/8-inch T-nuts into each of the holes, making sure they fit snugly.

Screw one of the threaded rods into one of the T-nuts on the bottom board of the clamp until it’s tight. Repeat in the other 3 holes. You’ll now have a rod standing up at each corner and your clamp will be ready to use.

Step 2 - Using the Clamp

Take the item you’ve just glued and wish to clamp. Make sure the glue is evenly spread over the surfaces you want to bond together. Place the item on the bottom board, centering it as much as possible. This will help the clamp to exert even pressure on the object.

Now, take the top board of your clamp and push the threaded rods through the holes in the corners. Lower the top board onto the glued object so it rests on top of it. Put a washer over each threaded rod where it appears above the top board so the washers sit flush on top of the top board. Screw down one nut on each of the threaded rods until they’re all hand tight and pressing down on the washer.

To tighten further use the crescent wrench, tightening each nut in turn as far as possible. This will clamp down the wood. Leave clamped for several hours to give the glue chance to dry. To remove the glued object, loosen and remove each of the nuts before taking off the washers and lifting off the top board.