If you have missed it up until now, Paul Sellers is in the middle of a three-part series on making cam clamps. Start with the blog post and work your way over to Woodworking Masterclasses. It is a simple process and he lays it out step-by-step. So with a few basic materials and tools you can knock together cam clamps until your heart is content. We can never have enough clamps after all.
So I made a trip to the local Lowes and purchased a couple of strips of steel and a box of 16d finish nails. Paul recommends using roll pins, but I’m frugal and opted for the finish nails. Now a little story about the wood that I’m using.
Apparently, the gentleman who once lived in this house was a union carpenter at a steel mill. Sadly, he passed away many years ago, but I venture a guess that he either worked in or had access to, the pattern makers shop. Why do I make this guess? My attic is full of off-cuts of wood. Ranging in thickness from 3/4″ up to 2-1/2″. There is a good bit of pine and judging by the very fine grain, I’m guessing it may be sugar pine. There is also a good bit of maple. The real treasures are the piles of mahogany. That’s right, you read that correct, mahogany! None of this wood is much longer than 24″, but there is a lot of it. It will take me a full day at least to drag it all out of the attic and take stock of what I actually have. That will be a post for once the weather warms up a bit. Still pretty dang cold in the attic.
Anyway, five minutes in the attic and I had enough mahogany to make six cam clamps. Paul demonstrates a cam clamp with an 8″ clamping capacity. I’ll be making two of those plus two with a 12″ capacity and two with a 16″ capacity. I’m also lengthening the heads as the capacity increases. In other words, as clamping capacity increases, so does the reach.
I’m not going to go into anymore detail than that. I encourage you to go and watch the videos for yourself.
Head stock prepped and ready.
Made a little progress. I lost my focus and drilled a couple of errant holes, but no real harm done. I filled them with bamboo pegs and they will serve as a reminder.
I’ll be busy working on the rest of the heads this week and anxiously awaiting the third and final video in the series.