Introduction: Wooden Bar Clamps - Steel Parts Edition

Picture of Wooden Bar Clamps - Steel Parts Edition

I recently had a collaboration on YouTube with Wood by Wright to make these wooden bar clamps. If you see this before Christmas of 2016, you even have a couple chances to win a pair.

Here is the Instructable Wood by Wright has created of making the wood pieces to go with the metal pieces in this project. https://www.instructables.com/id/Wooden-Bar-Clamps/ I'll embed my video of the project at the end.

I'm new to Fusion 360 and this is my very first project, but it shows all the metal parts for the clamps....

http://a360.co/2hb6k9s

Onto the project!

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Tools

  • Metal cutting saw - At minimum a hacksaw, but in the video I use a metal cutting band saw and a metal cutting circular saw.
  • Drill & bits
  • Center punch
  • File, sander or grinder
  • ½"-13 Thread tap
  • Welder
  • Tape measure

Materials

  • 1" x 2" x 0.065" Rectangle tubing.
  • 1½" x ⅛" angle iron
  • ½"-13 Allthread coupler nut
  • ¼" Key stock
  • ½"-13 x 12" carriage bolt
  • 7/16" flat washer

Step 2: Cut the Metal!

Picture of Cut the Metal!

This project requires three 45° angle slices of 1" x 2" tubing. The fact of the matter is you can use any size tubing that is available. 1" x 2" just seemed to be a good size for this use.

The length is up to you, but I used two strips 1½" long and one 1¾" long. These lengths are to accommodate the 1½" angle and the 1¾" coupler nut that will be welded onto the top.

Also cut two slices of angle iron slightly wider that the rectangle tubing you're using. This gives you a little shelf for your weld. At some point, drill a hole into the clamping face of these angle iron pieces because we'll use a small screw to hold a wooden soft jaw onto the clamp face.

Cut two pieces of key stock. One to fit inside the narrow dimension of the rectangle tubing, and one the same length as the coupler nut.

Finally, cut the head off the carriage bolt. These are all the easy cuts. There is only one complex piece in this project and we'll deal with that next.

Step 3: Build the Screw Interface

Picture of Build the Screw Interface

There may be a better way to do this, and I'd be interested to hear about it in the comments, but this is what I came up with. I'll describe this in reference to the materials I used, but you can adjust the sizes if necessary for your project.

Begin by inscribing a line 1⅛" from the end of your rectangle tube. measure from that line 7/16" toward the end of the tube and center punch for a hole to be drilled. Drill a pilot hole, then a ½" hole.

Cut from the end of the tube two straight lines to intersect with the edges of this hole to form a "U" shaped slot in the narrow edge of the tube. Finally, cut at the inscribed line, then take a ¼" slice to free the part from the tube.

Remove all the burrs and round over the bottom corner to mate with the rounded inside corner of the angle iron.

Step 4: Weld It Together!

Picture of Weld It Together!

Head stock

I found it easiest to clamp the key stock onto the coupler nut and weld them together first. Next weld that assembly onto the top of your longest 45° slice of rectangle tubing. Make sure the carriage bolt, once installed, will be centered and parallel to the wooden beam. I forgot to mention it earlier, as I did when I was actually building it, drill a hole on the bottom side of this piece to anchor it to the wooden beam. A #10 screw will be plenty.

I run my welder pretty hot so it warped the coupler nut a little. I had to chase the threads with a tap before installing the carriage bolt. Run the carriage bolt into the coupler nut so the rectangle tubing slopes down and away from the handle end of the bolt. Plug weld the 7/16" washer onto the end of the bolt.

Movable Jaw

Clamp the screw interface from the previous step onto one of the pieces of angle iron and weld it in place. Make sure it's centered. Next, weld this onto one of the remaining slices of rectangle tubing making sure the angle of the tube slopes down and away from the face (clamping edge) of the angle iron.

Tail stock

This is the easiest part. Weld the last piece of angle iron onto the last piece of rectangle tubing. Make sure the angle of the tube slopes down and away from the face (clamping edge) of the angle iron. Weld the key stock into/onto the bottom edge of the tubing. I say into/onto because you want the key stock inside the tubing, but you want the weld outside the tubing. The objective is a nice, clean square key to drop into the square notches in the wooden beam. I put a gusset on mine, but it's probably not necessary.

Step 5: Ready for Assembly!

Picture of Ready for Assembly!

Reference this Instructable for how to make the wooden beams... https://www.instructables.com/id/Wooden-Bar-Clamps/

Apply a coat of paint if you like and if you've done this right, your clamps should look like the ones in the photo above.

Also, here's my video of the project I've described here.

Lastly, I'm giving away a pair of these clamps complete with handles, wooden beam and soft jaws fully assembled. All you need do to enter is subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave a comment on the video of this build. The drawing will be Christmas day 2016!

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Bio: I'm an environmentally conscious experimenter who loves to bring people together, build things, and when possible...blow things up! See us on YouTube too ...
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