In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make one of the most essential woodworking tools: a bar clamp. That’s right. A tool made from a woodworking project. Doesn’t it sound great? Well, that’s why I love woodworking. It can help you to make a lot of things, even the tools required for the project themselves.
Before deciding on making the clamp by myself. I watched quite a lot of DIY videos, but found nothing special. So, after making some test projects and mistakes, I was finally able to make my own bar clamp.
Now, allow me to show you how I get this project done.
Tools and Materials
For this project, you will need the following materials:
- 18mm-thick plywood. You will the following sizes for each clamp:
- 2 M10 Nuts
- 2 M6x40 washer, nut, and screw
- 1 square tube 20x20mm, 1m long
- 1 threaded screw, M10 x 150mm
- M10 thread screw connector
- M5 screw, 20 mm
- Some screws, 40mm long
As for the tools, you can see all tools you need in the following picture.
Mill All Pieces
First, take all the pieces and mill them out. You can refer to the following picture to guide you through this step.
Clean Up and Testing
Once you are done with the milling, now it’s time for cleaning up and testing. At this step, you have to remove the fuzz, all of them. Next, make sure you have tested all parts to make sure they work seamlessly.
Once the test completes, take your M10x150mm screw and put it in position. Try turning the screw and check whether you can turn it when you have already assembled the parts. After you are done with this test, don’t forget to check the milled slots. They should have the right size or the square tube won’t work.
Screwing and Gluing
Now, take a square and use it to mark every hole free hand. After you are done with this, drill them using a 1-mm drill bit, instead of screws. Next, proceed with countersinking the holes. After that, take your wood glue and apply it on the parts. Apply just enough to hold the parts together. Then, assemble the parts together using your M10 rod and connector.
Now, let’s proceed to machining. At this step, use your drill to make a 6-mm hole. Then, take your nut and 6-mm screw, then assemble them together. This will keep the movable part at place. Once you are done with the assembly, make another hole (4mm) using your drill. Now, you should have the first position for your holes on the tube. Next, proceed with making a mark on the tube, 45mm each. Before drilling into each mark, make sure your drill bit has the sime size as the M5x20mm screw.
At this point, you should have only 2 remaining parts. Take these parts and assemble them together. Next, use a pencil to mark holes for the remaining 2 screws on your tube. Then, you can remove the wooden parts. This will keep the wooden parts from any damage while you’re busy with drilling the holes. Finally, you can assemble them. Check all parts to see if they working correctly.
Tearing It Apart
Your bar clamp is almost ready now. You can skip this step if you want to, but if you want to give your bar clamp a better look, you better stay. At this step, you can apply finish and coat to your bar clamp. Make it as the way you like. There is no limitation or rule here. Just you and your imagination. So, set your mind free!
Once you’ve given your personal touch to the bar clamp, now it’s time to assemble them together. Voila! Your bar clamp is ready now. You can use it right away for your woodworking project or store it at somewhere safe. As you can see, with just some simple steps, you can make your own bar clamp. No need to buy if you can make a great one in your workshop. That’s why I love woodworking so much 😊