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  • #314240
    Ed
    Participant

    I needed long bar clamps to laminate a 60″ long glue-up, so I found a way to join two Harbor Freight clamps. The idea is to span between the two clamps with the wooden filler that Paul adds. The procedure was:
    – Remove the end plug from one of the bar clamps. Slide the moving portion off of the bar.
    – One the other bar clamp, drive the pin holding the fixed part of the clamp on the bar (the head of the clamp) and remove the head.
    – Cut a wood filler to bridge between the two bars. You want it to be a good, snug fit. It should be long enough to distribute any bending load.
    – Assemble the two clamps and wooden bar in the vise. The vise is ensuring that everything is lined up.
    – While in the vise, drill and counter sink a hole through the bar clamp and insert a countersink, flat head screw. On my clamps, I needed a 3/4″ screw on the Harbor Freight clamps to avoid hitting the other side of the bar.

    The extra hole in the photo is from the pin that held the clamp head.

    Attachments:
    #314244
    Ed
    Participant

    Here they are, holding a long glue-up. I’m recycling some old cabinet doors to make a utilitarian desk for my daughter.

    Attachments:
    #314246
    Ed
    Participant

    A couple warnings:

    – I’ve not tried to put the clamps back to their original state, so it’s possible I’ve ruined them for their original purpose.

    – Hold the clamps up to the work before you do this. There’s a section where you join the bars together where you won’t be able to put the sliding foot. So, you must make sure the foot will be in a usable place before you do all this, or you may be wasting your time.

    – I have no idea how much stress I put on the clamp when driving out the pin. The (cast?) clamp head could shatter. I wore safety glasses.

    #314250

    You should be able to put a short bolt and nut in where the pin was….Good idea here….

    Located in Honeoye Falls NY USA. The Finger Lakes region of Western NY.

    "If you give me 6 hours to fell a tree, I will take the first 4 to sharpen my axe" Abe Lincoln

    #314271
    Alan
    Participant

    To clamp a door top-to-bottom, I used three clamps in a row.
    They meet better in the centre if two of the heads can be rotated 180.

    I like the idea of those old Record Bar-Clamp Heads, you can fix them temporarily to any old length of wood.

    You could have used a loop of Nylon Rope or Chain, to bridge that gap.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Alan.
    #314277
    Ed
    Participant

    @alan141 the string-of-clamps trick is a good one that I’ve used, too. In this case, I needed the glue-up to be super accurate because there is very little material available for cleaning up. So, I was using the bars as both clamps and as a reference surface / cauls and wanted a continuous, flat bar in this case. It was necessary to shim under the bars to help keep them from sagging.

    I thought about rope and wedges but was afraid there’d be too much stretch over such a long distance. Have you used rope for such a long glue up before? if so, I’ll try it in the future.

    #314286
    Alan
    Participant

    I used 3-clamps for a one-off repair. Never needed that length since.
    Rope does work between clamps, I’d use chain for heavier tension. Horses for courses really – only YOU know your particular task. Just throwing alternatives in the mix in case it helps.

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