After spending about an hour every evening in the shop and a big chunk of Saturday, my Paul Sellers inspired cam clamps are done. This project was a lot of fun. From digging in the attic for material (see part 1) to the myriad of operations involved, what is not to like?
Just to recap…the heads are made from mahogany left in the attic from the previous owner of the house, the bars are from steel stock that I purchased from the local Lowes, the pins are made from 16d finish nails, the cams are from a maple board that I salvaged from a pallet at work and finally, the contact points received cork that I had lying around. Can’t get much more frugal than that.
The dang things are almost too pretty to use. Almost. Trust me, I’ll work them like rented mules when the time comes. I had a few missteps along the way. an errant hole or two and I wondered off the gauge line a little when sawing. Nothing that warranted a remake though and I now have six additional clamps to add to the arsenal.
The Paul Sellers’ Masterclasses video series on these cam clamps is a good one and covers the making of the smallest set in the photo above. Each step is covered in detail and Mr. Sellers’ teaching style is such that you enter the shop with confidence of success. I did stray from the materials list slightly by using finish nails for pins in place of the recommended roll pins. Hey, I’m frugal (read cheap). The roll pins are a much more polished way of assembling these clamps though, I’m not sure what, if any, long-term effects the substitution will bring. I’ll find out in time. I also scaled the project so that my additional clamps increase in both reach and clamping depth.
There is a deep feeling of satisfaction in making your own tools.
Part 1 Greg Merritt