Long-Reach Clamp Extensions
Updated: Jul 2, 2019
Turn your existing clamps into long-reach clamps and save from having to purchase and store more clamps. Below you will find instructions in both video and writing.
Direct link to my video on YouTube -----> https://youtu.be/7QPcCeGYUyU
This is a maker project that utilizes woodworking and metalworking.
8 ft of a 1" x 2" hardwood (I used poplar)
7/16" all-thread rod 5" longer than clamp bar
7/16" nut (3 pcs.)
Remove the sliding clamp jaw on a clamp you wish to build the extenders for. This may require altering the clamp in order to remove the sliding clamp jaw.
Start by cutting the 8 ft 1x2 into 4 equal lengths -- these are jaw-halves.
Prepare a face on each jaw-halve for joining.
Cut a dado in the prepared face of each jaw-halve, the dado being 4" from one end. This dado is the width of the bar clamp bar plus ~1/64", its depth is half the thickness of the bar plus ~1/64".
Glue up the jaw halves to make the jaws. Two jaw halves make one jaw. Make sure the Dados are lined up during glue up. Let glue cure.
Cut a piece of 2x2 scrap for a handle ~ 4" long. Plane down the edges along its length to give it an octagon shape. Drill a centered hole form end to end, use a 3/8" bit. Use the handle as is or turn it on a lathe. (see video for interesting turning method for non-lathe owners.)
Cut 7/16" all-thread to length, which is approximately 5" longer than the length of the bar clamp. Thread the handle onto the all-thread, and remove handle. Use a pair of nuts to drive the all-thread back into the handle, but apply CA glue to the handle and all-thread before doing so The all-thread should extend from the handle enough so that a nut can be added.
Clean and flatten the joint and clamping faces of the jaws. Cut a recess (with forstner bits and chisels) for a 7/16" nut in the face of one jaw, 1" from the end and 3" from the bar slot opening formed by the joined dados. Drill a through hole in the nut recess for the all-thread. Use CA glue to glue the nut in the recess, using the all-thread to adjust the nut before the glue cures so the all thread extends out of the jaw square and plum. Put a nut on each end of the handle and use thread locker to keep them from moving.
Assemble the clamp by putting on the jaw upper jaw (without the nut) and then the lower jaw (with the nut) nut facing upper jaw. Reattach the (metal) sliding clamp jaw and thread the all thread into the nut. Mark the location where the all-thread contacts the upper jaw and where the sliding clamp jaw contacts the lower jaw. Drill a shallow recess in the upper jaw to capture the all-thread and CA glue a washer into the recess so the all-thread will not cut in to the upper jaw when pressure is applied. Cut a shallow recess in the lower jaw for the sliding clamp jaw contact to also be captured.
The clamp can now be reassembled and used. Consider finishing with boiled linseed oil.