Sash Clamps

Sash clamps are used to hold together projects for an extended period of time, this is usually when gluing up to ensure the parts don’t move while the glue dries. They can also be used for temporary assembly (dry assembly) and to hold the components in the vise and on the bench top. As wood glue is water based, when applied the surface fibres of the wood swell, the clamps are there to stop any movement occurring. They can be tightened to create the desired amount of pressure and the length can also be adjusted.

 

Note: Paul recommends always putting your project together with a dry run first, this ensures that your parts fit together before you apply the glue.

Setting Up

Oil the threads with 3 in 1 oil to stop them rusting and to keep the mechanism easy to adjust.

 

Add pads to the shoes, Paul recommends using plywood as this is sturdy and won’t mark the wood. You can fasten these using double sided tape or contact adhesive. If using contact adhesive, make sure to coat both the surfaces before, if only one is coated it will not stick. With double sided tape, press firmly then clamp the feet together to apply more pressure.

  • P2033731
  • P2033751
  • P2033756

 

The lightweight aluminium clamps have a tendency to twist, you can add a piece of wood down the core of the beam to help reduce the amount that the clamp twists. You are after a snug fit so it does not require any fastening. When finding the internal measurements, make sure to measure from the indents as you don’t want your wooden beam to catch on these. Use a chisel hammer to ensure the beam goes down all the way, then secure it by denting the stem with a nail punch and hammer.

  • P2033760
  • P2033767
  • P2033769
  • P2033779
  • P2033778

Buying

When buying a sash clamp, you want it to be lightweight and strong. You can add things such as pads and a rod down the core for strength (see ‘setting up’).  Sash clamps are rarely used alone so it is wise to buy several of these. By having more than one, you can apply equal pressure to your project.

Paul recommends buying 2x 48” (122cm), 2x 36” (90cm) and 4x 24” (61cm). We purchased these Silverline Sash clamps from Amazon:

600mm for £8.85*🇬🇧

900mm for £12.11*🇬🇧

1200mm for £16.02*🇬🇧

🇺🇸 Available on Amazon.com

*Prices correct as of July 2019

Further Reading

To read more on this we recommend the following from Paul’s blog:

Screwfix Sash Clamps

Sash Clamps Lightweight Work

Sash Clamps- Oomph

4 Comments

  1. Raymond Eade on 28 December 2018 at 10:57 am

    In the US you can go to Harbor Freight and get similar clamps and do the same thing that Paul did to his.

  2. canito79 on 28 December 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Hi Paul and Crew,
    I have found when using double stick tape (several different brands) the pad (both plywood and leather) will slide up with pressure applied. I have found this happening on different brands on sash clamp and assumed the “jaws” were out of parallel. Any suggestions how to keep the pads from sliding?

    • Izzy Berger on 3 January 2019 at 9:55 am

      Hi,

      I have passed on your query to Paul and below is his answer:

      Yes, not all double sided tapes are created equal. I have been fortunate to have access to extra strong double sided tape. If you want to, you could use contact cement.

      Kind Regards,
      Izzy

  3. Ghal on 6 March 2019 at 7:31 am

    I appreciate Paul introducing me to this kind of clamp, as I’ve really struggled using the regular bar clamps that seem to be sold everywhere. I recently purchased a set of ‘universal bar clamps’ from Dubuque Clamp Works (made in my home state of Iowa) which are the same style as the sash claps shown here, from Tools for Working Wood: https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/dept/CDC/item/MS-ABAR.XX

    I was introduced to them by a commenter at Paul’s blog.

    They are very sturdy, with a much higher build quality than others on the market, featuring much thicker aluminum as compared to the claps shown, and very robust Acme threading. They cost a bit more than the overseas-produced clamps, but I’ve come to believe the quality trade off is worth it. A comparison of the build quality between these clamps and Dubuque’s: https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/blog/1053/Clamp%20Vs.%20Clamp

    I cleaned the clamping surfaces with rubbing alcohol and then applied plywood pads with a high quality double sided tape, so the hold in place just fine.

    They are available from Lee Valley as well.

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