Rockler Pock-it Clamps

Thanks to a tip I read here, I picked up a couple of these at 9.99 apiece. I finally got around to trying them out. I was slapping together a quick utility shelf to hold a couple of battery chargers in my garage.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/8008853790/in/photostream/lightbox /
Now all of you more-experienced woodworkers would likely have figured this out on your own (and quickly), but I had a small problem, one that the photo above helped me suss out. I found that tightening the clamp made the clamp twist clockwise. This was inconvenient, as I was holding the two pieces of wood together with one hand and tightening the clamp with the other. An unfortunate biological flaw has left me without a third to hold the clamp steady, so I had to try a couple of hand positions before I got things lined up.
If you look at the far clamp in the photo, you'll notice a small gap between the clamp and the wood (see the shadow?). I re-examined the clamps. Turns out the "pin depth" is adjustable. It was evidently set too deep for the pocket hole and wouldn't allow the clamp to sit flush.
I may try fastening another couple of scraps together sometime soon, to see if the clamps are more workable when properly set for the hold depth. Oh, and having a permanent, usable home for the battery chargers is a lovely thing indeed.
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On 9/23/2012 6:35 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Successfully using any tool is proper setup ... and you also have to drill the pocket holes the proper depth for the material, which is where a lot of folks mess up with pocket hole joinery. ;)
Next time, instead of trying to hold the two pieces together, align them closely; attach the clamp loosely; then push down on the top of the clamp with one hand while tightening with the other, leaving just enough slack to adjust the fit if necessary before screwing down for final clamping pressure ... quicker done than the telling.
Once I perfected the technique of using this particular clamp, I've not needed three hands for this operation, but I'm firmly convinced at some point in the distant future woodworkers will indeed evolve to having that third hand. ;)
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I may not have explained it clearly enough. Because the "pin" was too long, there was no way to get the clamp flush with (i.e. touching) the piece of wood with the pocket holes. The pocket holes were in fact drilled to the Kreg-specified depth.

Several jokes come to mind, most of which might not be family- friendly. "Are you trying to square up a corner, or are you just glad to seem me?" is as child-safe as I can come up with.
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On 9/23/2012 9:15 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Nothing wrong with your clarity, and understood from the get go ... but you won't be the only one reading this thread and it is a common problem. :)

:)
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On 9/23/2012 7:35 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Lots of nice scenery pics there Greg.

I bought a clamp but haven't used it yet. Normally, I press the two pieces against my saw fence by hand and screw them together, no clamps, no problem. I'm thinking the clamp might be a solution to a non-existent problem.
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So even though you weren't positively sure you needed one, you bought it anyway. Now if only you could apply the same mind set to SawStop and buy one of their saws, perhaps you might save a finger or two.
(Ducking)
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On 9/25/2012 9:43 AM, Jack wrote:

Not nearly enough. :) (so many more places to see than I'll ever get to) Thanks for the kind words. Photography has been a hobby for a lot longer than woodworking.

Sounds sensible enough, although I don't have a table saw. This is what I did for my first Kreg project:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/6936141300/in/set-72157629856832523/lightbox /
The piece of black melamine was used as a spacer. Looking at the photo, it occurs to me that the Pock-It clamps might not have been of any use in that situation anyway, as the offset is large and the clamp's "throw" may not have been long enough. They were 9.99 each. I'm pretty sure I'll get $20 of use out of them.
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