Tools that I like (Clamping Square)

I have a couple of clamping squares – they are useful for making sure that corners are perfectly square when I do glue-ups.  I have one from Woodpeckers Precision Tools.  It is a beautiful piece of machined aluminum:

Woodpeckers clamping square

I love the the tools from Woodpeckers.  All the ones I have used are high quality and precise.  Not the cheap tools one can get from the local stores.

I have two larger plastic clamping squares from Rockler.  They are plastic, and of course don’t have the fine feel of the machined aluminum.  However, they are a little larger (and easier to clamp), and work just as well for the projects I have needed them for.  They are also a little cheaper:

Clamp-it square from Rockler Woodworking

I only have 3 total clamping squares and have been able to get by with that many.  Another 2 would be useful at times.  I might recomment starting with a pair of the aluminum ones, on sale now at Woodpeckers.  The Woodpeckers tools are made in the USA as well.

Never Enough Clamps (or Bookshelves Part 3)

It seems in the workshop one either needs one or two clamps at a time for a project, or two shops worth of clamps for a glue-up.  Never anything in-between.  I’ve had to glue the face frame to the bookshelves in individual pieces because of my limited number of clamps.  However, the current arrangement of the workshop makes it nearly impossible to walk all the way around the case when it is on the saw horses.  So maybe it is good that I didn’t have enough clamps to attempt a big glue-up at once.

Attaching one side of the face frame to the shelves

The project overall is coming along pretty quickly.  It is amazing how quick a project can be done when using sheet goods (can you say no milling of lumber).

On the down side, the top that I glued up isn’t deep enough with the face frame attached.  Luckily, I have a spare piece of cherry milled and ready (hey, I do eventually learn – to mill up extra lumber) to cut and glue to the top to get it deep enough.  Now if I had more clamps to do the glue-up while the face frame dries.  I guess it doesn’t matter – I can’t get to the table saw with the case in it’s current location.  And I don’t want to move it with the glue drying…

I was able to finish two of the shelves (build, glue edging on, one coat of shellac, and 2-3 coats of spray varnish).  They turned out pretty nice.  Cherry is pretty light colored right after finishing.  A couple of months exposed to light and hopefully it will turn darker.

Shelves after spray finish (plus a table leaf that had been sitting in the basement for years just waiting for me to finish).

Writing in my blog – a good way to spend filling the time between the glue-up and when I can take the clamps off (and move the shelves).  I think it may be time to get more clamps.  Maybe a pack of 24-inch clamps from USA Clamp Company.  I have 5 clamps made by them, and I love them.  Plus they are way cheaper than the bar clamps purchased at most woodworking supply stores.