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Never Enough Clamps


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I just took these pictures a few minutes ago. Here you can see all of my clamps in use, just to glue 2 pieces of wood together! :D


other side:


I've also used the services of my bench vise for this job. We're looking at bookmatched maple top and mahogany back. Two sides to every guitar. The reason for this setup is because one of my maple bookmatches developed a slight transverse warp, slightly cupped on one side, but it went in a diagonal direction. I tried and tried to straighten it by wetting and laying weights down but she just wouldn't happen. So I said 'screw it" and decided to force the pieces together. There shouldn't be enough internal stress to force those faces apart, better not be anyway. Its funny because the other wing's components were perfectly flat. I just laid them down on a flat surface and used 60 lbs of dumbell weights for clamping pressure. I just wish it was always that easy.

Anyway, can you identify all the different clamps? For anyone who is just beginning, this should give you a good idea on what you might need. Remember those clamps that have solid contact areas, like the steel C-clamp (the yellow one), need some wood spacers so they don't depress the "good" wood. The spacers also help to distribute clamping pressure more evenly over the objects being clamped. All of those clamps you see do a very good job when applied the right way. I especially like the quick release variety, they have padded jaws and apply just the right amount of pressure. :D

Edited by Southpa
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No smartness here, rich, as usual :D . For about $160, you can get a pretty decent kit to build your own air compressor powered venturi type vacuum pump. The only other stuff you have to buy is some pvc and a lightswitch. After that you need the vinyl or polyurethane bags, which aren't cost prohibitive. Here's a link to the kit I'm planning on ordering soon.


I think I'll spend the few extra bucks to get the 3.2 cfm model, in case I feel like doing some fiberglassing, which will require some bigger bags.

I think this vacuum press will make gluing braces to backs and soundboards quick and easy.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Vacuum is all well and good, but you can apply more pressure with real clamps, and it's less fussy. Not that I don't want a vacuum system, but I'll still be using my trusty cam clamps and handful of big F/bar clamps for most solidbody glueups...The thing I really want a vacuum system for is gluing down acoustic bridges and as a vacuum workholding setup; go bars work just great for bracing.

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I'll stick to my clamps as well. However, I can see the vaccuum system being ideal for conforming thin veneer to a curved, carved top and similar applications. The same principle is used in forming fibreglass parts (vaccuum infusion molding) for boats etc. And you could only use glues (epoxys) that cure by chemical reaction and not evaporation.

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