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Quick Clamp Question


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Hey guys,

Just wondering your thoughts on two things.

First, How many clamps are sufficient to glue up a three piece laminate neck 30 inches in length 4 inches in width?

Second, Are spool clamp wise for a job such as laminate necks, I know people use them for fingerboards?

Thanks for everyones help, it's really much appreciated!

Jason

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I would use 9 clamps but 7 would do it. I avoid spool clamps mostly because I don't have any. I don't think they clamp parallel like a good block clamp does. I wonder if anyone has reservations about over-clamping, as in too tight? Might depend on the glue.

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there are probably some hard and fast rules about clamping pressure but i've always just gone by the "feel" of it. you need enough pressure to get good glue squeeze out but not so much as to squeeze out too much glue and not have enough to bond properly. best way i can describe it is just a good firm clamp.

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You mean these?

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Clamps,_...es.html#details

I would not use those, I would use C-clamps.

Here is a pic of a 5-piece laminated bass neck being glued. In this pic I am gluing the two outer laminations on, after the inner laminations were glued together beforehand. The blank is 38" long.

clamped3.jpg

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I think people must be over-thinking. :D They just squeeze stuff together, ya know? That said, spool clamps just won't go very 'deep', depending on how thick your slab of laminates ends up. You don't want pressure only along the edges. If you don't have a whole rafter of C-clamps, though, I suspect that a combination of the c-clamps that you DO own, along with some spool clamps, should still do the trick.

What the heck do I know, though... I'm only going by common sense, not by experience, and common sense is telling me that as long as you are applying firm and even pressure throughout the entire length and width of your lamination, it shouldn't really matter how it's achieved.

Greg

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Thanks for the replies. I do have a few c clamps and definately could buy a few more. But technically couldn't you put a board the same width as the laminate under the spool clamps same as you would with c clamps, I know the spool clamps are on the edges but if you used a board wouldn't it solve this issue.

BTW I will be using Titebond the original, this seems to be the prefferred adhesive of this site and most woodworkers I've talked with.

Also I would most likely build my own spool clamps if I do, for better size.

Thanks again for everyones help, more opinions and suggestions are welcome! Jason

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The thing I have against spool clamps, at least with the ones in my previous link, is they simply have a wing nut to tighten them, making them very weak compared to c-clamps. I made my own spool clamps once too, and they sucked for heavy clamping.

They are fine for their intended perposes of applying clamping pressure to only the edge of violin top (and other acoustic instruments) to glue the top (or back) to the delicate rib assembly, where you DON'T want tremendous clamping pressure or you'd collapse the sides.

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But technically couldn't you put a board the same width as the laminate under the spool clamps same as you would with c clamps,  I know the spool clamps are on the edges but if you used a board wouldn't it solve this issue.

I think you would still have a hard time getting enough clamping pressure to glue neck laminates together. And also, you had better hope that each laminate is straight as an arrow, because from pictures of spool clamps I've seen, you would be very hard pressed to get enough pressure from them to correct slight warping in the wood.

I think you would be happiest with C clamps.

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I made myself some spool clamps, and I can say without reservation that you can generate more than enough pressure, as long as you use enough of them and in the right way. Just so that I'd know I wasn't just talking out of my arse, I grabbed a few hunks of scrap wood, threw some glue on them, and busted out 2 spool clamps.

I was able to easily squeeze far too much glue out. As Primal mentioned, the boards would have to be straight, but shouldn't you be using straight boards anyhow? I think in the grand scheme of things, more people would see warped wood as a cause for concern than whatever you choose to use for clamping.

Since you already have 'some' c-clamps, they'll do the bulk of the work anyhow, in conjunction with (as mentioned) boards to even out the pressure. Then the spool clamps will be strategically inserted at appropriate intervals on either side of the lamination, adding further support and even pressure.

I guess I should add once more that I can't really speak too much from experience, but it's boggling me that it should even be an issue. Enough voodoo around here with pickup mounting and so forth, do we really need to confuse Jason with CLAMP voodoo of all things? :D

I wouldn't want to use ONLY spool clamps. I'm not saying they're "as" good as a c-clamp because they clearly aren't. All I'm saying is that they could be used as a part of the clamping equation if you had some or wanted to spent 2 hours of your afternoon making a selection of them.

C-clamps aren't THAT expensive if you find them on sale at Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart or whatnot, so at the end of the day if you have a spare $30, I suppose it really would be better to add some more of those to your collection instead. I'm just rambling now, but my point was simply that they're clamps. They squeeze. They squeeze hard enough. They're cheap. If cheap is what you need, then go for it. :D

Greg

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I agree that you don't need the best-quality C-clamps for woodworking. If you don't abuse them, a few 8" hardware store cast clamps will last a long time. The only clamps I have are expensive, copper-plated screw forged clamps made for welding and the old wooden block clamps. Both are more than a person needs for laminating a neck.

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C-clamps aren't THAT expensive if you find them on sale at Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart

I didn't relized you were :D

I only buy the Mastercraft C-clamps from Canadian Tire, and only when they go on sale for half price. They are the best I've used, nice and heavy duty. Army & Navy sell the exact same ones, but with 'Mastercraft' milled off.

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I guess I should add once more that I can't really speak too much from experience, but it's boggling me that it should even be an issue. Enough voodoo around here with pickup mounting and so forth, do we really need to confuse Jason with CLAMP voodoo of all things?

Thanks Greg,

I noticed this as well. It's similar to bringing a banana on a fishing boat, it's supposedly very bad luck. This is more so in Hawaii, as they have a lot of folk lore. Some of my best fishing days I had brought bananas with me, bananas are a great nutritonal source and would be stupid to worry about some voodoo over keeping your energy and health up.

Thanks for all the info guys! I will probably end up making some eventually, but will also buy a few more c clamps. I know one of the cons some of you mentioned about the spool clamps was too much pressure in a certain area, but I was curious about using a board the stretched across the neck between the spool clamps, so the clamps would be sitting on a board that dispersed some of the pressure making it more even.

Like I said just curious, I will be buying some more c clamps for this one, but it would be worth finding out for future reference. Also how about the spool clamps for fretboard attachment, this is a smaller area and is quite delicate. Then again you need the fretboard flat and straight as an arrow.

Thanks for all help! The more info and opinions the better, whether you agree or disagree! Jason

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