Introduction: Homemade Edge Band Clamps
If you work a lot with plywood or particle board, eventually you’ll need to apply a banding to cover the edges. Some people use iron on edge banding, while others like to make their own. Today, I’m going to show you how to quickly make a cool clamp that allows you to securely clamp your homemade edge banding to your plywood panels.
You don't need a lot of materials for this project.
- Scrap wood blocks
- Wooden wedge
- F-style clamp
Step 1: Cut Rectangle Blocks
These clamps do not need to be a specific size. I would recommend that they be thicker than 3/4” because that’s the typical thickness of plywood. The length of the block is up to you. I made mine approximately six inches long and three inches wide.
Using a saw, cut at many blocks as you want clamps.
Step 2: Drill a Relief Hole
Using a drill press or handheld drill, drill a hole approximately 4/5th down the length of the block. I drilled a hole around 1/8” in diameter. The size of the hole just needs to be wider than the kerf that you will cut in Step 3 so it’s okay if you want to make a hole slightly bigger or smaller than I did.
Step 3: Cut a Kerf
At the bandsaw, or by using a handsaw, slice the block from the end to the hole that you drilled. Don’t cut beyond the hole. The relief hole allows you to drive a wedge into this kerf but the block won’t split.
Step 4: Make Wedges
Now, you need wedges to fit into the kerf that you just cut. I used some scrap wood to make some thin wedges. They don’t have to be very big. I would recommend that they are longer than the length of the slice that you cut.
Step 5: Cut a Notch for a Clamp
To hold the block onto your plywood panel, cut a notch to hold a F-style clamp. The brand and size of the clamp really isn’t important. Cheap clamps work great for this! At the midpoint of the block, cut a notch so that the bar of your clamp fits inside it. Make the notch as deep as your like. Just make sure that the clamp can reach past the block so it can clamp onto the plywood.
Step 6: Use Your New Clamps
You can now put your new clamps to work. Push your clamping block against your edge banding and tighten the F-style clamp. The edge banding may still wiggle if you touch it. Now, tap your wedge into the kerf of your clamping block. The wedge will push open the wooden block and apply a lot of pressure against the edge banding.
People often use blue tape or spring clamps with a rubber band on them when they apply edge banding. But with these blocks, you will get much more clamping pressure across the entire surface of the edge banding, in turn, getting much better results!
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