Making MDF Clamps

So I’ve made a few more cam-clamps, out of this exterior MDF. It’s a bit rough and ready, but I’m going to assemble them now.

I’m just going to mark where I need to drill using this transfer punch. And I am making sure to tilt the top part of cam clamp a little bit forward, just so it allows for the most amount of pressure (contact) when the two pieces actually meet. I noticed with my previous attempts that it kinda tilted back a little bit – I left a bit of room between the bar and by doing that the surface which I was clamping against moved back.With this design I have extended the bottom plate here as well.

I’m just going to countersink the holes a little bit to help the pins go in.

I’m just going to finish it on the vice.

So at this stage I’m going to make sure that the solid part of the pins is going to face towards the bar.

Since the last model I have actually adjusted the cam as well. You can see it seems a bit flatter at the top and from the opening hole I made sure I followed around a circle exactly the same distance until the cam ends in this position – like this.

You can twist it around and slide it because of how smooth the surface is, but… that’s a lot of pressure.

A particular problem I’ve noticed with cam clamps is they do get jammed. Mine are not particularly brilliant but I have somehow managed to avoid that problem. By increasing the height of the clamping parts of the cam clamp I have left a gap for myself here. So if it were to ever get jammed I could get a screwdriver in there, and just knock it apart.

Essentially the movement is made easier by tilting the bottom clam, clam? The movement along the bar is made easier tilting the bottom cam at an angle a little like this. If I push it the other way, the metal on metal contact is preventing it from moving.

Ok you probably think I’m pretending, so what I’ll do…

I’ve just assembled all three, of this particular design. I wanted to have a few to play around with. I’m just going to clamp them to get an idea. So it’s still not perfect mainly because the gap varies on all three. I did sand these so I may have sanded something incorrectly. I really should make a jig to hold the bars when marking them and drilling them so they are exactly in the right position.

I’m going to put a bit of cork in them as well.

Always cut towards your audience.

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