Corner Clamps? Recommended?

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Foresty_Forest
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Corner Clamps? Recommended?

Post by Foresty_Forest » Tue 24 Nov, 2020 11:20 am

Which corner clamps are recommended? I've been looking at Brax corner clamps. They appear to look good, simple and are economical too, but would they work well? I'm leaning towards economical, so that I can afford to glue several frames at once. And what about larger moulding? I can handle up to 4" (10cm) moulding. Are there clamps for this size? btw. I'm not happy with my underpinner's performance and prefer to pre-glue my mitres.

Thanks

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Re: Corner Clamps? Recommended?

Post by vintage frames » Tue 24 Nov, 2020 11:59 am

Personally I'd go with a band clamp. Once on, you can wiggle the joints until you have the perfect fit and then tighten up as needs.
You're not tying down a shipping container, so a cheap £10 band clamp from Axmister or somewhere else is more than adequate.
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Re: Corner Clamps? Recommended?

Post by prospero » Tue 24 Nov, 2020 12:07 pm

This is a bit of a sore point to me. :lol:

I use strap clamps made by Stanley and they are brilliant. Problem is, they don't make them anymore.
stanleyclamp001.jpg
I have searched far and wide and have been unable to find anything that comes up to scratch. I did come across some
Rockler band clamps which looked the biz and were relatively easy to use. But they don't take much welly as I managed to
sheer the winding spindle off one.

Those plastic Brax ones look like a waste of money to me. They really aren't man enough for professional use. You would be
better off buying some webbing and cinching it up by twisting a stick in it. Car trailer tie-downs work, but they are very irksome
to use.

** You don't really need the corners. I use them mainly on plain wood so corners aren't really necessary. They don't work well
unless the back is square.

For big mouldings you might consider a biscuit joiner. They add a huge amount of strength. V-nails are not really sufficient on
big mouldings. I typically biscuit and glue all four corners at once, throw a strap around and tighten up. Once in this state it
cannot move. The biscuits allow movement laterally, so you can align the join, but keep the pieces dead even up-and-down.
I then usually take it to the underpinner and fire a few points in - outside the biscuit slot. I sometimes add a steel 'L' plate but
this is not always necessary.

*** I have never been an advocate of pinning after the glue has set. Seems a bit strange to me. If you are not very careful
you can actually weaken or even break the glue join doing this.
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Re: Corner Clamps? Recommended?

Post by Not your average framer » Tue 24 Nov, 2020 2:03 pm

I use a variety of clamps according to what I am doing. Really large frames need to be clamped extremely well, but some profiles are not always the most suitable profile to work very well with a band clamp, so what do you do then? I like to have a good mixture of different sorts of clamps, so that I can always find something that works really well in every situatation. Do I like band clamps? Yes, very much so, but sometimes only onr band clamp is not always enough. It is certainly worth having a multiple number of band clamps. Some deeper mouldings are worth tightening both at the front face of the moulding and also at the rear. Even for something really deep you might wand an extra band clamp in the middle as well.

Old cabinet makers have often said that you cant have too many clamps, maybe a lot of us might not agree with that. I did not at one time, but these days,I've probably got not far off about fifty clamps of various types. Maybe you think that's excessive, but many of these were bought by the box full at a special price. Perhaps it is a bit excessive, but I have not so far regretted getting them. Yes band clamps are great and well worth having, but there are mouldings which don't always clamp up so well in a band clamp, so have other options for when you need them.

I have recently bought a box of 20 x 100mm clamping squares and also a box of 10 x 200mm clamping squares. I have not got round to using them yet, but I will do. Are they a great idea? I need to use them a bit to answer that one, but I don't just do picture frames. Instead I my lots of things out of wood and I no doubt will use them in conjunction with various different clamps. Have a good look around at what's on offer, some sets of clamps are really cheap and maybe, cheap enough to be worth getting some just in case. Old school cabinet and box makers, like my self find the a good stock of clamps is a good thing.
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Re: Corner Clamps? Recommended?

Post by Foresty_Forest » Tue 24 Nov, 2020 8:01 pm

Thanks. I'm just looking at a Stanley band clamp. It's up to 4.5m, but is still too short for some of my bigger frames. Is it possible to have a 6-8m band clamp?

Edit: I just found a 7m band clamp. So yes.

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Re: Corner Clamps? Recommended?

Post by Not your average framer » Wed 02 Dec, 2020 10:18 pm

If you are using clamping Squares and individual clamps, there is no limit to how big a frame you can clamp. It also gives you a considerable degree of flexibility how you clamp things up. I've bought a whole lot of clamps in the last few weeks to add to the ones that I already had and I'm guessing that I may now have about 70 -80 clamps of various sorts. I'm not suggesting that most framers will need anywhere near that amount, but I make allsorts of other bits and pieces as well and sometimes, I've various jobs being glued and clamped all at the same time.

I do have a band clamp, but it does not always fit in with the easiest ways of working for me, there are times when I prefer to glue and clamp the corners one at a time as I work round from one side of a frame to another. I am also a bit of a fan of having one bench with a sacrificial bench top, so that I can drill holes in the bench top and in the clamping squares to make a clamp jig to simplify gluing up and clamping some more difficult jobs. When the bench top is getting to full of holes, it's time to make a new bench top.

It may sound crazy, but it works for meI Some jobs get a spline across mitred corners for extra strength and avoid other fixings being use in unhelpful places. I also use hidden dowel joints as well, I buy dowels in bags of 200. I like to cut my own veneers and veneer over the cut ends of plywood, just to make thing look nicely finished. Unfinished cut edges of plywood just don't look right and can severely affect your sales potential and the perceived value of your workmanship. Nice things nearly always find a buyer, people really appreciate obvious high quality workmanship.

I will be at sometime be setting up to make batch of hexagonal frames, the our friend, who is the lady who runs the interior design shop just across the road from my shop and I shall be making some gluing and clamping jigs, so that I can make these four at a time and the jig shall become a permanent jig to help me make more as she needs them. Why am I telling you this? It's just to show that flexibility in how you are able to clamp some things can open opportunities to make some fairly difficult jobs, really simple and easy to do and this can produce extra sources of income!
Mark Lacey

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Re: Corner Clamps? Recommended?

Post by fitz » Mon 31 May, 2021 10:10 pm

I think I paid £70 odd for a Bessey clamp which is great and I use it every day but I’ve just seen it on Amazon for £18. 😩

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Re: Corner Clamps? Recommended?

Post by Justintime » Tue 01 Jun, 2021 12:21 am

I have half a dozen of these atm
Screenshot_20210601-012020_Amazon Shopping.jpg

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Re: Corner Clamps? Recommended?

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 03 Jun, 2021 6:04 pm

I think there are times with band clamps, when you either love them, or hate them. When you need access to corner joints to wipe away glue squeeze out, before it can set the band clamp often gets in the way, but on the other hand very little beats a band clamp. I've got a set of these springy clamps with sharp points that dig into the wood and to be honest, they are not that bad. Do they beat a band clamp on difficult to clamp large frames? Not always! Band clamps still take a lot of beating. Is there a perfect clamp for all situations? I'm not that sure that there is! With larger moulding profiles, you can end up with a light between to strengh of the clamps vs the stiffness of the frame moulding, when trying to pull everything together. Those little spikey springy clamps only tighten up as much as the level of force exerted by the spring. If you want more, sorry, but that's it'. At least the band clamps have a bit of adjustment. I don't always use band clamps, be instead I like ratchet luggage straps, they are pretty strong, there not unbreakable.

I from time to time, produce some really substantial looking stacked mounding frames. These can be less of a problem, if you glue and join them layer by layer, or one frame at a time inside each other. Do stacked moulding frames try to wrap out of being flat as you join them? Well, it can happenn! Fixing the problem when it happens can be hard to do something about, if at all. Flattening the rear sufaces on slightly twisted mouldings can be a good move, but sometimes this does not help much. Making corner joints meet properly if there is a slight twist it the moulding, needs some careful thinking about. Joining a corner and trying to pull it round in to an untwisted position does not work. It is easier join it flat and tidy it up afterwards. Assembling a frame compete with internal stresses, does not usually produce a nice flat frame and that's a recipe for wasted materials, wasted time, wasted money and endless agrovation. My advise is never to waste time trying to use warpped, or twist mouldings to make a frame, it simply is a pointless waste of time and never produces a perfect result.
Mark Lacey

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