If you’re the kind who frequents the garage and love to build crafts – wood, metal works, but has no formal training on it, you might initially find more than a fair share of difficulties in handling tools. One of the rather common challenges met by beginners is how to clamp round bar and other odd-shaped materials. For someone without much experience in this stuff, you might get into ingenious ways of executing the task, where some might work, and some will teach you how to do it better next time. But to avoid second-guessing, we’re here to share with you a rookie’s guide in clamping materials and which simple tools are best for the job.
When to Use Clamps
Before we discuss how to clamp round bar and other materials, let’s first find out which instances necessitate clamping.
The primary purpose of a clamp is to grip and hold materials together. They work in maintaining or gluing objects such as wood, metals, and plastics, keeping them tightly in place. Specifically, this tool is employed to join objects at an angle, hold hefty materials in place, apply pressure when gluing parts, tighten particulars, or position parts as you work on them.
The mechanism behind clamps is the application of inward pressure adjoining pieces together.
Basic Types of Clamps and Their Uses
If you’re working on furniture-making and other woodworks, or construction and metal works, then chances are you’ll find the need to use a clamp somewhere. To equip you with the knowledge to proceed with the task more efficiently, here are the basic types of clamps that you can use in your workshop and how they work.
- C- Clamps- This type of clamp is one of the basics in a woodworker’s toolbox. Most C-clamps are for light-duty clamping needs. It’s a pretty versatile tool, and it’s often sufficient in getting most of the simple clamping tasks in your home or shop done. C-clamps are available in different sizes, which also denote the clamp’s highest capacity. There are simple and advanced C-clamps out there.
Three-way C-clamp- If you’re looking to use C-clamps for somewhat tedious tasks such as holding pieces of hardwood to a cabinet door’s edge or on countertops, then the 3-way edging clamp is the more suitable device. It has three adjustable holding screws, while the basic C-clamp only has two.
Double-headed clamp- This C-clamp also has three clamping points, which works better than just having two screws. It supports three crucial points in objects being held and works like bracing your thumb on top of an object with the two other fingers below. It provides superior support and pressure.
- Ratchet-Action Band Clamp- When working with pipes and round bars, you’ll find that most clamps don’t work; hence, you’ll need specialized clamps. To solve the problem of how to clamp round bar, you’ll need a band clamp, which also works well in clamping odd-shaped pieces. Instead of having sturdy frames, band clamps have long, stretchable nylon strap that tightens around the object using a ratcheting device. There are also non-ratcheting band clamps that use a tiny open-end wrench to secure the band. But tightening can be cumbersome.
- DIY Clamp for Round Objects- If you don’t have your tools with you and you’re in the middle of an urgent job that requires bonding round objects, keep your calm and know that you can improvise. Here’s how to clamp round bar with a DIY clamp.
Take the rubber from a bicycle’s interior or just any rubber that can do the job. Secure the parts of a round object that has split in two, apply wood glue in between the pieces, and then join them. Apply the rubber band outside while stretching it so out pressure, as what clamps do. Wrap it around a few more times to achieve enough binding force. Use a spring clamp to hold the end of the rubber.
Tips for Seamless Clamping
Starters will often find the simple clamping task daunting. For you to proceed with more grace, here are tips for seamless clamping that you can employ.
- Make sure you get the right tool for the right job.
- Do not clamp directly at the pieces. Always use a shield in between the clamp jaws and wooden parts so as not to damage the material. Clamping exerts pressure and when done in wood and other soft objects. This may cause denting and scratching. A rubber, plastic, or another piece of wood can serve as a barrier.
- Position the clamp perpendicular to the object. Do this to prevent the material from slipping.
- Employ at least two clamps instead of just pushing one end to a stationary object. Doing do prevents rotation.
- Adjust the screw to accommodate the materials.
- Make sure your finger or skin isn’t pinched in between the jaws before you start tightening.
- Turn the screw or release the handles to close the lever.
- Apply just enough pressure. Exerting too much stress can damage the clamp or the material.
It usually takes time to be skillful in a craft, but with the right tool, proper guidance, and perseverance, you’ll eventually be a pro one day. If today you’re still learning simple tasks such as how to clamp round bar, you’ll be troubleshooting more complex workshop problems in the future, and you’ll once again trace your way back to how you were so eager to learn as a beginner. And if you work with the same vigor, you’ll ace whatever complex job you have at hand. Find out more about round bars.