Introduction: Tie-down Clamps

Picture of Tie-down Clamps

Often, I can't find a clamp big enough to hold a project together while glue is drying or while I drive in some screws. Tie-downs are a good alternative, but can damage the edges of wood projects.

Additionally, there's often a great deal of friction when the webbing goes around a corner leading to uneven tension.

To fix this I made myself some tie-down clamps.

They are blocks of wood with rollers on the end. If you use cheap pine, they won't dent nicer hardwood when you clamp down on it.

Step 1: Cut Out Pieces

Picture of Cut Out Pieces

I made these 15 inches long with 1.25 inch spacers from a 2x4 using a miter saw.

Step 2: Connect Pieces

Picture of Connect Pieces

The hand drill was in use at another project, so I made the connections with biscuits and glue.

Step 3: Square Edges

Picture of Square Edges

Square the edges with a miter saw, and sand smooth the surface you will place against your work.

Step 4: Make/find Rollers

Picture of Make/find Rollers

I've used skateboard wheels, plain bearings, and hardwood dowels. They all work about the same. A hardwood dowel piece is probably the easiest, especially if you have lathe (link to ifabricate description of a lathe).

Step 5: Drill and Install Rods

Picture of Drill and Install Rods

Drill holes for the rods such that the rollers will not touch the ground. In my first set, the skateboard wheels extend beyond the 2x4. This is problematic because the clamps roll when you put a work piece on top of them.

I tried nails and bolts for the rods. Bolts are a bit easier.


monkeybutt777 (author)2015-09-22

I clicked on third picture down from the start and now I understand..... thanks guys

monkeybutt777 (author)2015-09-22

yea an instruction video would be great. I like the idea of tie down clamps. some times I don't have long enough clamps but I do have very long tie downs in my truck. what are the rollers for?

rimar2000 (author)2014-12-18

Clever idea. Maybe an explanatory video could improve this good instructable.

Advocat (author)2010-01-29

Could you explain their usage, or show a picture.

They look like blocks of wood with wheels on (good for skating), and I don't see how you would tighten two of these to something. Any chance of a picture and an explanation?

Thank you in advance

ewilhelm (author)Advocat2010-01-29

3rd picture in the intro step.  Also: Hardwood shelves.

ArcoSU (author)2007-09-21

its a great idea, i'd be extremely careful to make sure everything is true and square otherwise your work will end up out of square.

Trent The Thief (author)2006-04-07

Man, that is a great idea. I've been using tie-downs (aka band clamps) and found them darned awkward at best. You sure came up with a very cool method.

GMoney1 (author)Trent The Thief2007-06-24

I agree. You could also use a wider strap and a piece of Cordura. They can be purchased at ratchet strap tie downs

crapflinger (author)2006-11-28

my only what do you use to hold these together while you're gluing/screwing them up? heheh very good solution to the marred wood you usually get with just a strap clamp type deal

Cristian Lavaque (author)2006-04-25

Great tip! Thanks.

sleepydog (author)2006-03-12

Gatonegro, you can see a picture of these in action. Look at the Intro, and go to the third picture (below the large picture).

gatonegro (author)2006-02-15

i don't get it. can you post a photo of these being used? or the finished ones so I understand how they work. I need to make a huge table and these seem to be what I need. thanks.

thedarklordderfla (author)2005-12-28

These are some awesome clamps I could have used these earlier this month...and I am definitely going to make a set.

About This Instructable




Bio: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through ... More »
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