Introduction: The Clamping Squares

If I was a superhero, my weakness would be glueups. Thankfully, those aren't really needed in the crime fighting business ... yet.

Maybe I don't plan ahead. Maybe I'm too impatient and just desire instant gratification. Maybe I'm just not that good at woodworking. I'm not sure, but tons of people are really bad at driving and they just keep doing it.

I'm making some games for Holiday gifts and they all have mitered sides. I have a shop made clamping jig for picture frames, but it isn't good for taller sides like these. I tried a band clamp, but there was some sliding. I moved up to some pin nails, but there was still some racking. I want this thing as square as possible (I know it won't be 100% square because life taunts me).

To the scrap bin!!

Step 1: The Material

I have a bucket of corner cut offs ... left over from a project which required discs. The dics were cut from plywood squares, so these corners are already square. I also checked them to make sure.

Step 2: The Layout

I need holes large enough for my clamps and far away from each other to give room for afore mentioned clamps. For me, this was 3" from each squared corner and then 1 1/8" in from the edge to intersect that mark.

Step 3: The Hole Drilling

I made my holes 1 1/2" with a forstner bit.

Step 4: The Clamping

Put your square in the corner and add your clamps. The only thing left is to smack yourself in the head for not making a stack of these years ago (my head still hurts).

Step 5: Update: Cleanup and Modification

Using a temporary stop block on my miter saw, I trimmed the square side lengths to be even and then trimmed the front straight. All cosmetic.

Lastly, as suggested by a member of the community (good call dimtick), I nipped off the back corner to allow for any glue squeeze out, which would otherwise make these blocks part of your project. Non-Super Hero Teamwork!


Comments

author
vincent7520 made it! (author)2013-12-17

I smacked myself in the head for not thinking of it myself.
Simple thus brilliant.

author
richwar50 made it! (author)2014-02-02

very nice probably one of the easiest made corner clamps ive seen.Nice work

author
nexsad made it! (author)2014-01-25

great idea.

author
Tupulov made it! (author)2013-12-30

Well done! Such a simple and easy solution to a vexing problem. THANK YOU!!!

author
SuzukiDHP made it! (author)2013-12-20

Thank you for sharing your awesomeness!!!

author
dimtick made it! (author)2013-12-17

nice project. I've always just used a speed square but I only have a couple of those. I could see how having a stack would really come in handy.

author
-BALES- made it! (author)-BALES-2013-12-17

Funny you should mention that. I have one speed square, which I clamped in one corner. Then I have a broken combination square so I used that in the other corner. That was when the, "I'm an idiot" moment hit me and I made these.

author
dimtick made it! (author)dimtick2013-12-18

:)
one thought: that it may be a good idea for you the knock off the inside corner or the triange. just enough so that if you get any glue squeeze out, the triangle wont get stuck to your piece.
fyi
for frames I would also recommend using a strap clamp. it can be tricky to get all the miters perfectly aligned so use it in combination with the triangles.

author
-BALES- made it! (author)-BALES-2013-12-18

Good call on nipping off the corner.
I have some Bessey band/strap clamps and they come with the corner things. Then I have a clamping jig I made for frames. You can also make a wedge style jig, which work well.

author
dimtick made it! (author)dimtick2013-12-18

A friend of mine swears by using his router table to make locking miters. he even likes the way they look when visible but my wifes, way to Martha Stewart for that :)
my crappy craftsman router table is not up to doing lock miters so I haven't done them myself.
http://www.rockler.com/45-lock-miter-router-bit-1-2-shank

sorry....off topic....rambling......Great idea with the clamping triangles!!!

author
-BALES- made it! (author)-BALES-2013-12-19

Love the banter ... and the router bit ... I'm gonna get one. I cleaned these up a bit and added your corner suggestion. I think they can double for wooden knuckles now, which I might need if my shop pals get out of line.

author
molarin made it! (author)2013-12-18

Brilliant. Do you only need them in two corners or do you usually have one for each corner?

author
-BALES- made it! (author)-BALES-2013-12-18

I took the picture after clamping on two, but I also had pin nails in the joints so I was only worried about squareness at that point. I did end up using four. I see them sold in pairs and sets of four on the good ole google.

I've seen a cabinet maker use a large version of these to hold the carcus square as the glue dries. He only used one, but he also had screws holding everything together.

Personal preference maybe?

author
mrcope5 made it! (author)2013-12-17

Fantastic idea!

author
mrcope5 made it! (author)mrcope52013-12-17

p.s. how about an instructable on the games you're making.

author
-BALES- made it! (author)-BALES-2013-12-17

One is a stripped down version of Shut the Box and the others are Quarto sets. They might not be very helpful or interesting as instructables, but maybe I'll take a shot.

author
dkrall made it! (author)2013-12-17

great idea. instead of cutting holes, could you just cut flat spots where your curve cut is?

author
-BALES- made it! (author)-BALES-2013-12-17

Definitely. That is how the pro/store bought models are fabricated - like Woodpecker who charge $32 for a pair. I went with holes for a few reasons.

1. I was in mid glueup and needed something fast.
2. I can't cut a straight line on my bandsaw to save my life and any setup on my table saw with the sled (for safety) would take me some time.
3. I feel having the triangle(ish) shape gives it more rigidity - like a speed square vs. a combination square.
4. My clamps fit right in the hole - no overthinking from my over active brain.
5. The holes automatically give me a way to hang them on the wall and if I don't have a way to hang things on the wall, I will clutter up every horizontal surface in my shop, which is annoying and creates more work.

author
jessyratfink made it! (author)2013-12-17

so smart!!

author
Gh0stT0wnC0wb0y made it! (author)2013-12-17

Such an awesome simple idea!

author
smitty500 made it! (author)2013-12-17

Wish I would've seen this earlier, just bought some clamping squares..

author
kevgrn114 made it! (author)2013-12-17

Simply Awesome!!!

author
pholt3 made it! (author)2013-12-17

I don't know which bit I enjoyed more, your innovative solution to a common problem , or you comical narrative throughout!

author
BG_instructs made it! (author)2013-12-17

I can see you hovering above a woodshop, in a flashy MDF colored suit with a capital G on it,

serious, this is my worst nightmare, square glued cabinets, and this simple, yet superhero class aid, just fantastic, i can't wait to get home and build me some of those.

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Bio: Desktop Support Technician by day. Rock Drummer by night. DIY Home Improvement Enthusiast. Maker of whatever I can imagine in between it all. Professional level ... More »
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