Saturday, September 24, 2016

Panel Alignment Clamps, Operational Bandsaw

My dad often glues together large thin wooden panels to make boxes, drawers, and the like. They range from 1/4" thick to around 1". With panels so thin, they are prone to misalignment while gluing. The panels are typically 3-6 feet long; any bow in the wood will definitely create a step between the pieces. Biscuit joints are a potential solution, but in our application they make more problems than they solve.

Seeing how much material and time was wasted by having to sand down the steps between boards, I decided to make him some clamps which would center the boards across the thickness. I wanted them to be strong enough to be able to bend thinner boards closer to straight, and quick to use. Time is of the essence when gluing many faces together at once.

This end (above) has a rod end which pivots up into the slot on the top, to apply pressure. The nut is temporary and will be replaced with a knob/thumb nut.

This end has a wedge, which almost instantly sets that end of the bar to the thickness of the boards being clamped. I only used a wedge on one end so that the operator can use the wedged end as a pivot and apply the most pressure with the threaded end.

You can also see the profile of the clamping faces. They have round silicone rods pushed into the grooves. This accommodates slight variations in thickness of the boards, and the glue doesn't stick to them when it dries. The sides are bevelled to help keep the glue off.

Above is clamping a few pieces for illustration, a cross-section if you will. Below, the clamp is disassembled. The rod-end end slides under the clearance below the panel to be clamped, which is held up by the beams of the 'regular' clamps. A picture is worth a very confusing description... hold tight-

Below shows how the clamp interacts with the beam clamps. It can be applied and removed without moving the beam clamps, by sliding it in underneath.

Now for odds and ends-

A dust hose clamp-

 The operational bandsaw! Not the safest but it's already being used a lot.

I attached the motor with this sliding/locking sub plate. It slides in and out to tension the belt.

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