I started with a feasibility study of making a clamp from PVC pipe here: https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-PVC-Clamp/

When I published that I'ble, I found there were other Instructables about PVC clamps, but they all required 2 hands to use the clamps. That's not always an easy option, since your other hand is holding the pieces you want clamped.

This is my third version, and it only requires 1 hand to use. Let me show you how it's made.



Hack saw, Sawzall, or chopsaw

3/8" drill

1/8" & 3/8" bit

Large bench vise


4" PVC pipe 1.25" long with 1/4" wall thickness

2 - 3/8" steel rods 7" long or longer

Epoxy or equivalent to secure 3/8" rods in holes (may be necessary if the holes are a little too big)

Step 2: CUT PIPE

Cut the 4" PVC pipe into a 1.25" band. I used a chop saw.


You can use a hack saw or Sawzall. I used an air reciprocating saw.

I have some 1/8" rotary blade air saws, but I wanted a really narrow "cut" (AKA the "center").


I measured 1" from the center and drilled a pilot hole with a 1/8" bit. I then measured 4.5" from the center and drilled another pilot hole. I repeated this on the other side of the center. I now had 4 pilot holes.

I tightened the band in the vise, aligning the pilot holes drilled on one side of center with the top of the vise. OK, that's rather confusing, but I needed to align the hole drilled !" from center with the hole drilled 4.5" from center, so I could insert one rod for a handle.

I then drilled through both holes with a long 3/8" bit. I repeated this on the other side for the other rod. No bolts, no rivets, no pop rivets......and the rods are strong.


I put a tape in the first photo for perspective on size.

2nd photo shows some metal to be clamped.

Last shows pieces clamped together.

This clamp is quiet strong, but can still be opened with one hand.

If you have any questions, just ask in comments.


I found I could add 2 - 1/2" bands to increase the clamping power of the clamps. This 2" clamp now has more holding power than a 4" clamp.

woah, that's really cool! What circumstances have you used these in? I like this idea a lot.
<p>Thanks for the reply Printy. I just made the first clamp shown in the lead photo two days ago, so I have not had any time to use any of them yet. The idea has evolved to the one pictured in the last step. They will be very useful though for holding metal in position to weld and to hold two pieces of wood being glued together. I have 16 little 6&quot; long bar clamps I use often. The commercially made clamps are expensive and the jaws are made of plastic which will melt if they get hot from welding near them. These PVC clamps are so inexpensive, it will be no big deal if I ruin one of them. I plan to make about 10 of them. </p><p>I made this dishwasher rack out of 1/8&quot; stainless steel rod and I used every clamp I had holding pieces while I welded them.. LOL</p>
<p>Great work again</p>
<p>Thanks for commenting <a href="https://www.instructables.com/member/JAYTEE-Tompkins" style="">JAYTEE-Tompkins</a>.</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Retired Firefighter 1966 to 1986; Retired Wheat Farmer 1987 to 2003. Drapery Sales 1969 to 1987. 17 year Quintuple Heart Bypass Surgery Survivor; 14 year ... More »
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