Quick, Cheap and Quality Parallel Clamps




About: I'm a mom of 4 and I love to craft! Anything and Everything interests me and i love to create in the process of learning.

A woodworker can never have too many clamps and when you are a newbie you would be sadly lacking in that department. Especially if it's a hobby and you don't want to spend to much.

So what do you do when you need parallel clamps for gluing up and don't have any clamps available? You improvise! I always keep my eyes open when I see carpenters working to see the tricks they use. This is one trick that I am really grateful I saw!

Step 1: Basic Scrap

You can use the materials you already have and make any amount of parallel clamps for a fraction of the cost or even virtually free

It is easily made from scrap material and you can be adjustable for varying widths of material to be glued.

For each clamp you would need -

  • 1 beam
  • 2 small blocks
  • 2 screws

Step 2: Mark the Width

Place the boards that are going to be glued up together. Place the wooden beam across it and mark the width.

Step 3: Drill and Screw

Now place small blocks under the beam. The blocks should be placed a little away from the required width for glue up. Drill pilot holes and then drive the screws through the beams and into the blocks.

The distance between the blocks should be the width planks to be glued up plus about 1/4″.

Make as many wood parallel clamps as necessary.

Step 4: Glue It!

Glue the edges to be clamped.

Step 5: Join It!

Now join the glued edges and make sure to place a piece of plastic or wax paper on top. Remember, your clamps are wood too! You do not want to glue your clamps to your project!

Step 6: Place Your Clamps

Place your clamps on top of the work piece. Again do not forget the plastic sheet to be placed between the clamps and work piece.

Step 7: Tap Away

Now simply tap the blocks to create an evenly distributed pressure along the glue joint.

Step 8: Nice and Tight!

The tightened parallel clamps will give and even clamping pressure and will produce a nice, tight joint.

Step 9: The Other Side

Here is the other side still in the clamp. I can't imagine anything easier than this! As my kids say ' Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!'

Hope this helps you in your projects ! I found it very helpful as it also helps me to clamp up wood while I used my kreg jig.

Please don't forget to vote for the tools contest! I would really appreciate it! Thanks!



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    16 Discussions


    4 years ago on Step 9

    Such a simple idea and has now given me a use for the 4 bars I salvaged from my cheap quick clamps that no longer work, multiple holes for different widths.... perfect.

    Only thing I would add is gluing a patch of sandpaper to the inside gripping faces to increase the friction so they stay tight.

    1 reply

    I was thinking about this clamp- if the boards are long enough, the length of the clamp does not matter as long as it is at least the width of the boards. In other words, you can make an the clamps longer and use them on a variety of width boards.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    Yes, one side you permanently keep screwed, the other moves up and down according to the width of your project! . It's so easy that if you need more, you can make it in minutes from off cuts!


    4 years ago

    That wood you're joining has some gorgeous grain.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    It's rubber wood. It's the cheapest hard wood, hence I work quite a lot with it. This wood is very strong when it is treated.


    4 years ago

    Simple, cheep, and easy love it!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    You've summed it up perfectly! Thanks! Pls drop back here to vote. I would really appreciate it :)