Anybody Use These 4-way Clamps?


Anybody ever use these? How do you like them/How well do they work?
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid21
I'm thinking about using a few of them when I glue up my workbench top. The top will be 1-3/4" wide hard maple (thickness 3").
The Acorn Workbench plans show a rudimentary drawing of a tower clamp that uses wedges to provide 4 way clamping. It is pretty much custom made for the size of the top you are gluing.
Any other thoughts on the best way to clamp it?
-jj
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I have a set of the clamps. Rockler brand. Not worth the time it took to go to the store, let alone the cost. The pads at the end of the screw bend easily, assembling the whole thing while you have glued up boards between them is a trick. Hard to get even. Don't really apply sufficient down pressure to do much. I went back to pipe clamps, they work better.

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Had them, tossed them. I found them to be so awkward to use that they were a help rather than a hinderance. I normally just edge glue one or two seams at a time so that I can just tweek alignment by hand.
When I did a benchtop (like yours) I just cut the pieces a little wide and (the 3" way) so that I could send roughly 3x6 ubassemblies back through the jointer and planer to true up any misalignment.
-Steve

What he said.
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I have had these for about 15 years. I use them with oak 2x2's. They work fine. Some of the things I don't like about them are that they are somewhat challenging to get around the work in a speedy timeframe as the glue is setting. That is because they are cumbersome to get placed in the right notch setting. I also usually use wax paper under the clamp boards to keep them from bonding to the work through squeeze out. That is also somewhat difficult to get set up quickly. Also, I almost always use them with my Jorgies or pipe clamps as well because a pair is never enough for most of my projects.
They do an adequate job of keeping the boards flat. In an ideal world I would glue up my work and then thickness it to the final dimension using a sander or planer. As I live in a workshop that is budget and space constrained I usually dimension the lumber to final thickness first and then scrape or sand the boards to remove any trace of glue line.
Make sure you make the board that forms the clamp face with a piece of wood that is no more than 1/2" or so in thickness. That way when you clamp something less than 3/4" you won't prevent the clamps from giving you the benefit of clamping in four directions.
JJ wrote:

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IMHO gimmicky. You can easily and more cheaply use a straight board and clamps to accomplish the same thing.
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