Terms of the Trade: What is a Band Clamp?

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Of all clamps that can be used in woodworking, possibly the most versatile of them all is the band clamp. In gluing or fastening of materials with odd shapes and sizes, this clamp is ideal because it is effective, simple to use, and inexpensive to buy. Unlike other types of clamps you might use for projects such as gluing chair leg stretchers, you can use band clamps. If you've yet to use your first band clamp, you'll be pleased with the results. Just follow the directions below.

Choose Your Type of Clamp

Depending on the object you'll be clamping, there are a number of optional clamps you'll be able to use. Some of these include those with ratchet straps, bungee cords, ropes, nylon straps, tape, and even bicycle inner tubes. If you are uncertain about which type to use, check with advisers at the store where you purchase your clamp.

Preparing the Band for Use

Check the clamp band to see if it is attached at both ends to the metal clamp tabs that keep it attached to the clamp. If it's attached at both ends, free the long end by opening the tab that holds it in the clamp.

Fastening the Band on Strap Clamps

Press the clamp against the object you'll be clamping, with the band bunched and held in one of your hands. With your other hand, fit the band around the object. You'll find a "Y" connector on some clamps. Insert the free end of the band into this connector and bring the band through the clamp by pulling on the end you've inserted into the connector. When you have pulled it tight around the object, close the metal lock. This will hold the band in place in the clamp.

Clamping a Picture Frame

Band clamps can be used to glue a picture frame. First, cut your frame pieces to size. Apply glue to the beveled end surfaces and fit the corners together to form the frame. Wrap the clamp strap completely around the outside edge of the frame. Then, tighten the clamp. This will keep the frames glued pieces pressed tightly together until the glue is dry.

Clamping a Hose around a Fitting

Clamp a rubber hose onto a fitting, such as those used on garbage disposals, by slipping the clamp strap over the hose. Slip the hose over the open end of the pit fitting and insert the fitting into the hose. Slide the clamp down the hose until it is over the fitting, then, tighten the clamp with a screwdriver.

Clamping an Appliance to a Moving Dolly

Keep an appliance, such as a refrigerator, washing machine, or clothes dryer, attached to a moving dolly when you're moving the appliance. This way you'll be able to maneuver the dolly and appliance without the appliance falling off the dolly. To attach the appliance to the dolly, slip the dolly's support plate under the appliance, wrap the free end of the strap around the appliance, insert the strap end into the clamp, and tighten it.