home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Got a new way of doing something? Or maybe an old method that needs some clarification.

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Mark McLean
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home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by Mark McLean » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:22 pm

So you are gluing a soundboard or back to the rims - what is the best way to clamp it?
I know some like spool clamps. I have previously used the go-bar deck, but that is a bit fiddly to get around it on all sides and chase the glue squeeze-out.
I recently saw a post to a video on one of the forums (but I am buggered if I can find it again now) with a nifty trick. It showed the workers at a small Spanish classical guitar maker using clamps that were each made from a piece of wood bent into a circle. It wanted to spring closed, but you could prise it open to form a spring clamp.

It got me thinking.
c-clamp 1.jpg
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A piece of 150mm PVC stormwater pipe, cut in slices about 30mm wide, and opened on one side. It makes a c-clamp with the right width to span the sides of a guitar, and with a good degree of spring-back to provide clamping force. You just need to put some padding on the ends. I bought a length of foam water-pipe insulation from the plumbing section at Bunnings ($1.50 per metre) and attached it to the clamps with cable ties. or elastic bands when I ran out of those (the elastic bands are probably better).
c-clamp 2.jpg
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One metre of pipe ($30 if you buy it new, but I had some lying around), 2 metres of foam ($3) made 30 clamps, which is enough to clamp the whole perimeter of a guitar. Unit cost $1.10
c-clamp 3.jpg
The guitar is sitting on a block of wood to lift it free of the benchtop. You can apply the clamps with one hand, in a matter of seconds. And I like the way that they give you plenty of clearance to wipe up glue squeeze-out (unlike a spool clamp). And the guitar can stay in the mould - the clamps wrap around.
For a uke you could probably use 100mm or 90mm pipe, which is about $5 per metre

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Craig
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Re: home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by Craig » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:34 pm

Geez ! looks like another banning :wh


Simple and effective . Great work Mark :cl
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martintaylor
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Re: home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by martintaylor » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:19 pm

And this is why I love this forum. Creative solutions to common problems. Love it.

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Re: home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by charangohabsburg » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:45 pm

That's a great alternative to the good old bed springs! :cl

(Only probable downside I can see: there will be a little problem when trying to re-heat hot hide glue with the heat gun).
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Mark McLean
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Re: home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by Mark McLean » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:53 am

I am glad you like it. They are not in the Craig Lawrence school of luthier jig artistry - but cheap, simple and effective. You are right Markus - it could get messy with the heat gun.

If anyone is going to make some, I suggest that you try a few different thicknesses when you slice off the first few. If you make them too thin they have less spring. I wasn't happy with them at 20-25mm, but they seem good at 30mm. If you want really stiff ones, go to 50. Your brand of pipe might have different wall thickness or a different plastic - so your mileage might vary.

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Re: home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by kiwigeo » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:36 pm

Those clamps would be really handy in the operating theatre
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Re: home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by Mark Fogleman » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:12 am

Elegantly simple, compact, available free at most construction sites or very cheap. What's not to like! :cl

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Re: home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by simonm » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:17 am

Great idea. Thanks.

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Re: home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by Jules93 » Tue May 26, 2020 2:17 pm

great concept however just need to clarify something

there are two types of PVC at Bunnings.
I can get 1M $30.00 which is DWV which is slightly different to Stormwater which is $79 for 6m (can’t get any smaller)
they're both PVC but the stormwater is made to handle more pressure as in gas and water pressure where as the DWV is just virtually for non pressurised tasks like a drain where gravity does the work

will that impact the effectiveness, quality or even durability of the clamp or is PVC just PVC in this situation cause obviously I’m not plumbing anytime soon

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Mark McLean
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Re: home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by Mark McLean » Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:37 pm

Hi Jules. I was not aware of the different grades. My clamps would be made from the cheap stuff. If the other one has thicker walls it would likely be stiffer. it would still do the job but you would want to cut it in thinner slices to get about the same clamping pressure. You don't need a vice-like pressure for this application - it is more about getting light-moderate pressure spread all around the rim.

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Re: home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by sleake » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:27 am

Nice work, just thought I'd add that if you ever want more pressure it is easy to stack two or more together.

They are common in timber surfboard construction, used to glue small bead and cove strips to build up the curved rails, I've got a bucket of all sorts of sizes, certainly a cheap method.
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Mark McLean
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Re: home made c-clamps for gluing plates to rims

Post by Mark McLean » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:19 pm

That is cool. I knew I would not have been the first to think if it.

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