How to Clamp Wood: A Guide for Beginner Woodworkers

How to Clamp Wood

If you are planning on taking a woodworking job yourself, there is a huge possibility that you may need to join two or more pieces of wood together. Hence, knowing how to clamp wood becomes essential. Depending on the kind of project and the kind of clamp you have, the process of clamping wood together will differ.

In fact, several woodworking projects are actually within reach of the average man. All you need are some of the best tips and tricks of the trade, along with some special tools to get everything done. To help you out, we decided to write a detailed article on how you can easily clamp wood using different kinds of clamps.

How to Clamp Wood Using Different Kinds of Clamps

For several woodworking projects, knowing how to use a clamp is a basic skill. A clamp is available in a variety of sizes and shapes, but its main purpose is to hold pieces of wood or steel in place so that they can be joined together to make one piece. Aside from that, you can also use clamps to secure wood when you saw.

In order to use a clamp, you will first need to know what kind of clamp you will be working with. In this article, we will talk about four different and commonly used clamps. These include the bar clamp, pipe clamp, right angle clamp, and C-clamp. Each of these clamps has a unique approach to getting the work done.

Using Bar Clamps

Step 1: Check how clean the clamp is.

Before you even begin your project, you need to ensure that your clamp is fully cleaned. For a clamp that is used often, you are likely to find remnants of wood or glue. If you have hardly used one, there is a possibility of it having cobwebs, or it could be rusted.

All of these factors can severely affect the performance of your bar clamp and leave the wood you will be working on to some damage. Thus, it is important to start off by cleaning the clamp with a damp rag. If there are excessive signs of wear and tear, then we would suggest you buy a new one.

Step 2: Glue the wood.

Take your pieces of wood and attach them together by applying a thin layer of wood glue in between. This step will ensure that these pieces stay together even after the clamps are removed.

Step 3: Attach the clamp.

Take your bar clamp and slide its large handle so that it extends to roughly three inches more than the newly joined pieces of wood. Place the fixed head of the clamp (the upper side that does not move) and the tail stop (the side that extends) against the edges of the two ends of the wood.

Step 4: Squeeze it shut.

Once you have securely placed both ends of the clamp, you can squeeze the lever on it simultaneously with moderate pressure. At no point must you squeeze it too tight because you could potentially damage your wood.

Remember that you will need a minimum of two hours to keep the pieces of wood clamped so that the wood glue dries off.

Using Right Angle Clamps

Step 1: Open the clamp.

To open a right angle clamp, you will need to twist the handle counterclockwise. You will have to keep twisting it until you find the clamp wide enough for the pieces of wood to fit in and join together.

Step 2: Position them correctly and glue the wood.

You now have to position the pieces of wood in squares so that the wood is meeting at a right angle. Next, secure it with a thin layer of wood glue. If you accidentally apply too much of the glue, simply wipe it off using a damp cloth once you have secured the clamps.

Step 3: Secure the clamps.

On any side of the right angle, place the clamp. Twist the handle so that it tightens and keep doing this until you feel the wood is well secured. Again, at least for a minimum of two hours, keep the clamp on until the glue is dry.

Using C-Clamps

Step 1: Make sure it is clean.

Begin by ensuring that the clamp is clean. Wipe it using a damp cloth to clean it or replace it with a new one if it is too old and rusty.

Step 2: Glue the wood.

Take the pieces of the wood together and join them by applying a thin layer of the wood glue in between.

Step 3: Open the clamp.

Twist the screw of the clamp on the top in a counterclockwise motion. Once it is loosened and wide enough, place the fixed head along with the tail stop against the edges of the two ends of the wood.

Step 4: Secure the clamp.

Twist the screw clockwise to tighten it. Keep it clamped for a minimum of two hours for the wood pieces to join and the glue to dry off.

Using Pipe Clamps

Step 1: Glue the wood.

Take your pieces of wood and secure them together by applying a thin layer of the wood glue.

Step 2: Attach the clamp.

To use a pipe clamp, begin by pressing the tail stop and side to extend it to roughly three inches more than the joined pieces of wood. Once it is extended to the necessary length, placed the tail stop and the fixed head of the pipe clamp against the edge of the two ends of the wood.

Step 3: Twist it shut.

Hold the tail stop and slide it towards the wood. Thereafter, turn the opposite head in a clockwise direction in order to keep it tightened. Make sure that you do not overtighten it as you may risk damaging the wood.

Lastly, as mentioned several times earlier, ensure that you keep the wooden pieces clamped for a minimum of two hours so that the glue is given time to dry up.


Knowing how to clamp wood using different kinds of clamps will ensure that your woodworking project goes smoothly, leaving you with a perfect piece of joined wood. We are certain that our article with all the step-by-step guides to using different kinds of clamps will prove to be beneficial to you the next time you take up a woodworking project all by yourself.

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