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View Full Version : clamps out of 3/4" ply and a dowel



The Curious Kid
02-23-2011, 11:37 AM
This may be useful for my fellow poor student luthiers that, like me, cannot afford to purchase the proper amount of clamps for gluing the sound board or back on their uke.

I glued the back on my near-finished uke today with a bunch of mismatched clamps I found lying around in the basement... when I used them up, I still had gaps. So I had to quickly improvise, and what I ended up with is what I plan to use in the future. It's a crude method, but it is also cheap, simple, lightweight, and effective.

I dug through the garbage bin to find suitable scraps, (3/4 ply would be more effective than scraps, however.) drilled holes in them spaced apart slightly more than the width of my uke. then I cut some short pieces off a dowel, put those short pieces in the holes drilled in the scrap piece and took that assembly over to my uke before the glue had even begun drying. I fit my assembly over the uke's side and then put some of the thin wood shims I had lying all over in the gap between the dowel and the back of the uke until the back was flush with the side.

The nicest thing about such cheap apparatus, though, is that they are not heavy or bulky like normal clamps. So when using them, one doesn't have to worry about marking their surface or accidentally over-tightening and cracking something, which I also did today.

I can post a picture if anyone is interested in seeing one, but they're pretty simple.

Pete Howlett
02-23-2011, 11:51 AM
A length of surgical tubing also works well...

The Curious Kid
02-23-2011, 03:27 PM
I'll have to try that! I found some such tubing tied to a tree in the woods one day. This sounds like a perfect application for it.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-23-2011, 03:34 PM
A length of surgical tubing also works well...

Yes, and do not overlook the use of wide rubber bands, inner tubing strips, twine or light rope. These are legitimate materials to use to do what you are trying to achieve.

Allen
02-23-2011, 09:06 PM
Twill tape (http://www.twilltape.com/servlet/StoreFront) (Herringbone tape in Australia) 1" wide and about 10 meters. Good for all kinds of things and doesn't perish like elastic bands do. I nearly lost an eye when some elastic tubing I was using snapped while wrapping the binding on a guitar. It all went into the bin after that job.

BobN
02-24-2011, 01:39 AM
The nicest thing about such cheap apparatus, though, is that they are not heavy or bulky like normal clamps. So when using them, one doesn't have to worry about marking their surface or accidentally over-tightening and cracking something, which I also did today.

I can post a picture if anyone is interested in seeing one, but they're pretty simple.
A picture would be nice.

I use a long strip of rubber that I cut 3/4" wide from a bicycle inner-tube with a pair of scissors. Using rubber rope is a good workout.

dave g
02-24-2011, 06:11 AM
I use a single "c" clamp:

http://www.wsukes.com/temp/mold1.jpg

On the right is a plywood panel the shape of the body with a foam rubber strip around the perimeter. The body goes in the mold (in the middle of the picture) and the top / back is glued and put in place. The plywood / foam piece goes on top, and is clamped down with the deep-throat clamp on the left. The foam rubber presses evenly all around the perimeter. Works great!

wheelgunner
02-24-2011, 09:22 AM
I had a few feet of left-over 1-1/2" dia. closet rod laying around. After sawing it up, drilling 1/4" holes through and inserting some 1/4-20 allthread all I needed was a few wing nuts and I had a bunch of spool clamps. They are ugly but they work.

Flyfish57
02-24-2011, 09:50 AM
I use a long strip of rubber that I cut 3/4" wide from a bicycle inner-tube with a pair of scissors. Using rubber rope is a good workout.

I used bicycle tubes as well. They worked great!! I cut 700c (road bike tubes) in half...