Norm frequently uses a straightedge clamp that looks like it is self
aligning 90 degrees from the edge it is clamped to. He uses it to saw
straight lines using his skill saw or to make dado cuts using his router.
Where can these things be purchased?
As someone else said, Tru-Grip. Clamp 'n Guide is the sub name on the
same product. I've always just referred to them as Tru-Grips because
trying to call them Clamp 'n Guides is just too cumbersome.
All of the woodworking suppliers carry them.
One warning; they are NOT self aligning. You can swing them several
degrees as you clamp them, so always true them up with a square for
right angle cuts. Sometimes the clamping process can shift them just
off square, so check after you have tightened them.
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
Woodcraft carries them. (Both were Birthday presents from the kids.) I
have the 50" and 26" guide and use them frequently. (I, also have cutboards
set up for my two circular saws.) But the aluminum clamps are IMHO, better
to use with a router. They have a very positive lock (and quickly
adjustable to desired width), and will not move even with the sideways
pressure used to keep a router base against a guide.
In other words, they're neat but they're not indispensible.
HINT: They are GREAT presents. Not terribly expensive and useful for just
about any woodworker.
here is a tip if you use them to guide a saw or such. on a scrap piece of wood
set up the clamp and a piece of clear plastic as wide as the saw base push it
against the guide and then use the saw to make a small cut. go both ways. now
you can use the spacer to set the guide the right distance from the saw mark
every time. just slide it along and you can check the whole cut very fast.
Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
This is the tool:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
I have two of these things but I would recommend you make
a cutting jig that is quicker and more accurate:
You need two of these:
A 96" version for full rips on plywood
A 50" version for cross cuts of plywood.
As others have pointed out, these are nice, handy little tools, but
don't trust them to be self-aligning.
All brands are not strictly identical, however. I have two of two
different makes, and one is thicker than the other. This became an
issue when I tried to use them to rout a dado -- the router would not
straddle the two guides properly because they were different
I bought one to use as a router guide. Maybe it is my noob technique but
when you get much over 36" in length I find it gives significantly from
router pressure. I get more then .01 " flex which doesn't sound like much
but for edge to edge glue ups of long boards it can be a problem.
A little look up in the engineering books shows a beam deflects as the CUBE
of the distance between the two support points. I.E. if you cut a a 16"
board with the clamp and pressure causes a .001 deflection, it will be .008
on a 32" board with the same clamp.
But then maybe I just push too hard with the router against the guide...
Any woodworking supply house.
I have a 24", a 36" and a 48" one which work after a fashion; however, back
up the clamping mechanism with a C-Clamp on each end.
Still prefer the 2"x2"x1/8"x96" aluminum angle and a couple of 3", C-Clamps
for all but the short cuts.
Not only is it more functional, it is less costly.
S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
I have the Tru-Grip brand "Clamp 'N Tool Guide", 50" long. Works
very well WITHOUT need for C-clamps when guiding a router or
circular saw. I would NOT call it "self aligning", but "close." I always
measure and mark where the clamp is to be placed at both ends. I like
it a lot.
Rockler carries them ($39.99 for the 50", a little less for the 36" and 24")
and I "think" I've recently seen it at Home Depot. I first saw one in a
Rockler store in suburban Detroit, bought it, and it was "carry on"
baggage on my return to Dallas/Fort Worth. Since then Rockler has
opened stores in this neck of the woods.
<<you can get one of those straight edges at
"rockler.com". I works great and sure beats c clamps. I hope that
On the episode of NYW I watched tonight, Norm was using the straight-edge
clamp on the miter saw banch he was making. He mentioned that they had
gotten lots of e-mails inquiring about it and said that the information was
contained in the "Shop Notes" section of the New Yankee Workshop website.
Sure enough, thre it is:
To e-mail, replace "bucketofspam" with "dleegordon"
Amazon has them at a discount.
Do a search of Tools at Amazon for Griset, and the results will include
listings for the 50", 36" and 24" models of the clamp.
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