Shopmade Cam Clamps
Inexpensive, easy to make and handy
Synopsis: Steven Cook uses cam clamps for jigs and fixtures, for anchoring a workpiece to a bench for routing, and for laminating. Rather than using a screw to exert pressure, the clamps use a cam; the sliding jaw is kerfed, allowing the jaw to flex when the cam is rotated. These clamps can be made quickly and inexpensively from scrap material. A drawing shows precise measurements and dimensions.
A while back, I was hired to replace the veneer on a Steinway grand piano that had been damaged in a fire. Veneering the sides required more clamps than I owned or could afford. But I remembered facing just such a situation when I was an apprentice to a pipe-organ builder. Armed with a Swedish-made cam clamp as a prototype, we churned out a batch of 50 clamps before quitting time.
I was working alone, so it took longer to make the clamps…