The Cleverest Way to Make a Clamp When You Don’t Have One

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Photo: Piotr Wytrazek (Shutterstock)

Clamps are an important tool for temporarily securing wood together during carpentry, woodworking, furniture making, and other projects—and there are as many different types of clamps as there are uses. fusing pieces of wood together and making a strong bond. If you don’t have the right clamp for the job, though, there is one alternative you can try to secure your wood.

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How to create a simple DIY clamp

Clamps are often used to keep materials together while the adhesive bonding them together dries, or to keep them in place while you nail or screw them together. (Occasionally, screws can force planks apart as the teeth make their way through the wood, which a clamp prevents.) For simple projects that require clamping two boards on top of each other or side-by-side, handyman Ron Hazelton uses something not from his tool box but from his medicine cabinet: elastic bandages. Here’s how:

Elastic bandages are most commonly used as splints to keep injured bones and tendons in place—but they can do the same for wood. Simply place the two boards so they are flush and in the correct position and then wrap the bandage around them as tightly as you can to keep them secure. The tightness of the bandage is the key here.

Tools to repurpose as clamps

An elastic bandage works best when you need to clamp two wood planks together, but it may not work as well in other situations. For other projects, lifestyle site Apartment Therapy has a few other simple ways to use home improvement tools as clamps. To emulate a bench clamp, you can use two pliers fixed to the wood planks with rubber bands around them. Old jumper cables make great spring clamps when you need them, and a caulk gun can hold two corners together like a quick grip or vise clamp.

  

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