Veritas - Panel Clamps
These clamps are used with shopmade wood battens of any length keep boards flat and aligned when gluing up a panel.
It’s not always easy to get a flat panel. You have to alternate pipe clamps on either side of the panel and apply equal pressure to prevent bowing and twisting. These problems are exaggerated with large panels, which is why I decided to try the Veritas panel clamps to glue up the top for a 7-ft.-dia. dining table.
The Veritas clamp consists of two clamping blocks: a fixed tailpiece and an adjustable head on a threaded screw. Both blocks are attached to serrated posts that fit into 3/4-in.-dia. holes. To use these clamps, you have to make wood battens that go above and below the panel. As the clamps are tightened, they produce inward tension in the battens, which keeps the panel flat and the boards aligned and minimizes the planing, scraping, and sanding needed to flatten the glued-up panels.
I made 3-ft., 5-ft., and 8-ft. battens of 8/4 maple. After milling the lumber to size, I drilled holes along the center of the battens. You can use tape, or several coats of polyurethane, to protect the battens from glue squeeze-out. It’s easy to center the clamping blocks on the edge of the workpiece, and I was able to apply sufficient pressure by hand-tightening the adjustable blocks. The battens are far more stable than my pipe clamps, which tend to tip over. These clamps can be used to glue up panels from 5/8 in. to 2 in. thick.
Editor’s Note: Prices for this item were updated on 2/25/2009.
—David Bedrosian is an electrical engineer who enjoys doing woodworking projects for friends and family in Waterloo, Ont., Canada