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Exiled to Missouri
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Discussion Starter #1
I was pricing 12" handscrew clamps, and though they are still cheaper than other types of clamps, I didn't want to pay $18 a piece and I wanted 4. So it was going to be $56. I decided that I could build 4 of them for the same price as one. So it was off to Sketchup and the shop.

Here is the design (nothing innovative here)



I decided to make them out of scrap 2x4s I had lying around (cost: FREE). And cut them according to the plans.



You might notice that the middle set is slightly different, the angle at the end of the jaws. As part of "Get Woodworking Week," (February 2-8) I am making one by hand and filming it. The miter box I was using didn't have a 60-degree angle, so I settled for 45.

Also the top set has a hole through it. I shoved a dowel and glue into it. (N.B. It is scrap 2x4s and the dowel was also FREE scrap)
 

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I bought some 1/2" steel rod and I will tap them with a 1/4" thread. I did have to go and pick up a left-handed tap so the pieces will pull together.
Where will you find left hand threaded rod? :icon_confused:
 

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If I am understanding correctly, he will be starting with round steel stock and threading it himself using left hand and right thread cutters.

Cool project!
 

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Exiled to Missouri
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Discussion Starter #8
If I am understanding correctly, he will be starting with round steel stock and threading it himself using left hand and right thread cutters.

Cool project!
Yes. I was originally thinking that I could get away with purchasing pre-threaded rods, but it just won't work. I suppose if I had better welding skills (haven't picked up a welder since high school shop class freshman year) and access to one, I might try putting together a left and right handed rod together. It cost $17 to get a left handed tap and tie, but now that I have it I can use it to make plenty more clamps in the future.
 

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So far, so good.....

Be interesting to see them in use as I can see no way for any pivot of the rods. My pair of clamps have threaded collars that pivot in the wooden part allowing for both threaded bars to twist inside the wood just a tiny bit.
 

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Exiled to Missouri
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Discussion Starter #11
So far, so good.....

Be interesting to see them in use as I can see no way for any pivot of the rods. My pair of clamps have threaded collars that pivot in the wooden part allowing for both threaded bars to twist inside the wood just a tiny bit.
There is a little play in the holes so it will allow for some movement, but in the pictures I've seen of the earliest clamps they didn't use pivots.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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As long as your threading both handles in and out at close to the same rate......the pivots aren't totally needed.....

Interesting project by the way.....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Besides the easier traditional style for Get Woodworking Week 2014, I am also making the modern-style with the swiveling screws.

I was able to cut the threads on three rods, one side (right in photo) is left handed and the other (left in photo) is right handed. Not sure why, but the left-handed threads were difficult to cut. Perhaps it was the die I was using, though it was brand new. I still need to cut threads on three more rods, I had the rods but they were the wrong type.



I also finished up the clamp jaws, drilling 3/4" holes for the barrel nuts and 1/2" slots to allow room for the screws to adjust. I also cut and tapped the barrel nuts from a piece of 3/4" dowel.


 

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Every time I've cut left hand threads it was much more difficult than cutting plain old right handers. I've used new dies and even fancy thread cutters in CNC lathes. Something about the lefties takes more effort.

The biggest thing is to get good clean threads and your photos seem to show that you did a good job.
 

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Cool project. For future reference, I bought clamps like these at big lots for $6 each. Of course now you'll just want to make them but if you decide to be lazy and buy them in the future, don't forget that option.
 
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