When you dive into the world of woodworking, you will realize how important clamps are and why you can never have enough of it. There are multiple types of clamps, and one of the most commonly used ones is the bar clamp. What is a bar clamp and how is it beneficial when you are working on wood?
In a nutshell, bar clamps are a quintessential accessory for a majority of woodworking projects. They help keep the wood in place to allow the carpenter to work on them. Without a proper bar clamp or one at all, you are highly likely to face a ton of difficulties with your project. The things you can accomplish will get very limited too.
Therefore, today, we have decided to talk all about bar clamps and why you need one for your next woodworking project.
What Is a Bar Clamp?
A bar clamp is a piece of equipment used in woodworking projects. It typically features a metal bar that is long and capable of withstanding a lot of pressure to hold heavy and large workpieces. Bar clamps are typically used for woodworking applications like joinery and carpentry, but they can also be used for metal working.
These clamps are able to do some heavy-duty clamping, all thanks to the strength of the steel bar that is tremendous. The length also makes a big difference, as a long clamp will be capable of holding wider or longer pieces of wood in its jaws.
You will find that bar clamps are typically used in pairs, but if you are working on a large project, then you will need multiple bar clamps. These clamps are positioned either along the length of a workpiece or across its width. It can also be used in both of these directions. In some cases, these clamps will need to cross over each other.
An ideal way to use bar clamps would be using it in furniture pieces, such as cabinets, doors, and table tops. When you are building those, you will find that several parts need to either be screwed or glued in together perfectly. The clamps’ straight metal bar and the parallel jaws will ensure that the workpiece does not taper in its grip. The clamps will securely and tightly hold the two parts together.
The Downside of Bar Clamps
There are multiple types of bar clamps use bywoodworking beginners and pros. These include sash clamps, pipe clamps, T-bar clamps, and quick-release bar clamps.
While a bar clamp is an absolute must for several woodworking projects, there are also a couple of downsides to them. For starters, a bar clamp can be quite pricey. You will have to shell out quite a bit for a good one. If you cut corners and buy a cheaper one, there is a possibility for it to bend and lose torque.
The other downside is that these clamps aren’t exactly practical for smaller clamping tasks. If you are working in a limited or awkward space, the clamp will be too large, or the bar may just be way too long, especially for fussy or delicate workpieces.
The Top Uses for Bar Clamps
Bar clamps are must-have pieces of equipment for a joiner or carpenter who works on small to large projects quite often. If you are considering whether or not you should invest in one, then allow us to help you out by providing you with a list of the top uses of bar clamps.
- Cabinetry and Joinery
All around the globe, you will find that cabinet makers rely a lot on bar clamps. This is so that their project’s integrity can be maintained, especially those that require a lot of gluing.
Certain large surfaces will require over two wood pieces that need to be glued, just to create a single finished surface. For such cases, bar clamps become essential as the top part works in conjunction with the lower part that is moveable. Together, these tighten the glued wood.
Typically, this wood isn’t just glued together. The ‘biscuit’ joints are applied within the joints so that it secures the glued surface and keeps them intact and strong. The bar clamp will hold on to these wood pieces up until the point the glue completely dries off. The end result will turn out to be a gorgeous table top or a door.
- Metal Work
As mentioned earlier, bar clamps are essential in metalwork, such as welding. If a project is in need of welded joints so that it can turn two pieces into a single one, then a bar clamp is necessary to hold the two pieces together while they are welded.
After welding, when the pieces have cooled down, and the clamp gets released, the two pieces will set and become one large piece. If the underside needs welding too, the bar clamps will also work well by holding them securely together as they are rotated.
- Other Uses
You would assume that the main use of a bar clamp is simply to hold two parts together so that they can be joined as one piece easily. However, that is not the case.
A bar clamp can also be used as a regular clamp to hold the vice grips to something, like a bench, or even a secure a lumber piece while it gets cut. You can also opt for the quick-release or quick-grip style bar clamp, which is used in different kinds of projects other than woodwork or metal work.
Furthermore, these clamps can be used for clamping down edging too, in which it is being adhered to a particle board or a huge piece of wood. However, you will have to ensure that the bar clamp will have to fit the whole width or length of the object.
We are certain that, with this article, you now know what is a bar clamp. In a nutshell, this handy equipment helps keep pieces of wood or metal securely in place so that you can join them together. It will ensure that the pieces are tightened securely so that they do not move around and cause you trouble while you work on them.
If you are considering to get a bar clamp for yourself, our advice would be only to buy one if you will be using them on a regular basis.