For all mitered joints and budgets, there are clamps to get the job done right
Synopsis: A clamp won’t solve problems of bad geometry, but if the math adds up, a good clamp should accurately position stock and firmly close the joint, writes Anatole Burkin of Fine Woodworking. Nothing is more maddening than trying to get by with a clamp that won’t bring a joint home or won’t hold it securely while the glue sets. Here, he analyzes 20 miter-clamping devices and describes 16 of the winners and why they succeed. He assesses ease and precision of alignment, ergonomics, and pressure exerted (measured by using a feeler gauge in a joint and tightening the clamp). He rates the clamps as light, medium, or heavy duty, depending on their grip strength, and he gauges their overall performance.
A good miter joint begins with an accurate cut and ends with a precision clamp. Errors made along the way—a cut that’s off a degree or a clamp…