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Useful Clamps for Fully Framed Models (and other models) by Dan Vadas

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Hi all,


I've had several requests to show how I built some special clamps that come in particularly useful if you are building a Fully Framed hull. They could also come in handy for other more "conventional" builds.






There are three types of Clamp :


1. The first goes between Frames to hold internal or external planks.

2. "Spreader" clamps that hold internal planking.

3. Parallel clamps that don't pull two pieces out of line like normal spring clamps have a tendency to do.


Full Credit for these clamps goes to EdT (Ed Tosti) - I'm only showing my method of copying his ideas. Ed's are probably of superior quality to mine - I've used a more simplified approach that can be done fairly easily by most builders using common Right-Hand threaded screws.


"Between the Frames" Clamps



In Use : Floorhead Thickstuff 011.jpg



These are made from 3/4" x 5/32" (19mm x 4mm) brass machine screws or threaded bar and matching Wing Nuts - I found them at Bunnings, but they should be available at any reasonably good Hardware Store. The other brass part is some thin brass strip - I used 0.5mm. Note that you can use any sizes of screws and strip - I just used whatever I had "on hand" or could buy easily. I wouldn't go much thinner than the 0.5mm strip though - it's plenty strong enough and will fit right down into very narrow gaps between frames.


I cut the heads off the screws, cut a 4mm deep slot into the cut-off end and Silver Soldered the two pieces together. Then I drilled a 2.5mm hole to accept the 2mm Pin. A bit of "oversize" makes it a lot easier to push the pin through the hole.


The wooden pieces are made from a good hardwood - I used Australian Cherry Ballart because I had quite a bit of it in stock, but any other close-grained hardwood would do the job. A 2mm hole was drilled for the pin - this needs to be a good but "easy" slide-in fit.


The only item of note not shown in the pics below is some extra bracing I glued to one face of the larger block - this prevents the wood from splitting when pressure is applied. It strengthens the saw cut (these pics were taken before I had my first "Block Failure"). Note the direction of the grain in the large block.



Clamps 002.jpg


Clamps 001.jpg




Spreader Clamps



In Use : Floorhead Thickstuff 003.jpg



These Clamps are particularly useful when you need to clamp planking etc and can't use one of the "Between the Frames" clamps, although they can be used in combination with one of them as shown in the pic above. They work very well anywhere inside a hull. I made these in 4 or 5 different lengths depending on the position in the hull they were to be placed. All parts were interchangeable, so a lot of length combinations could be used - the only difference is in the lengths of the brass tubing, the "heads" and "tails" of the clamps are all identical.


I used 4mm x 25mm RH-threaded Stainless Steel Machine Screws, Washers and Nuts (again because I had a lot of them in stock - any other combination around that size would be OK). The "swivels" are made from 1/4" (6.5mm) brass round bar that have been drilled and tapped to accept the screws. 5mm brass tubing of various lengths is the only other thing needed.


Again, the wooden pieces are made from a good hardwood. The "head" is drilled to accept the swivel, the "tail" is epoxied to the screw to prevent it from falling out when the clamp is tightened. I sanded the end of the "head" to allow it to pivot when necessary.



Clamps 006.jpg


Clamps 005.jpg



Parallel Clamps



In Use : Parallel Clamps 003.jpg



These clamps are particularly useful when you need to clamp two pieces together without distorting their faces from each other. They also avoid the twisting effect that you can get with G-clamps, but are usually used in similar situations to them.


They are made from two pieces of hardwood, 8mm x 11mm x 65mm. The same size Swivels as the "Spreader Clamps" are used, with the same size screws as the "Between the Frames" clamps. Again, use any sizes close to the mark that you can get - it's not all that vital.


Here's an Exploded View of the Clamp :



Parallel Clamps 005.jpg



And a description of how it goes together is below. Two Swivels are threaded to accept the screws, one is a "clearance" hole drilled right through, and the fourth is a clearance hole drilled part-way into the swivel to act as a "stopper". This one is glued into the timber with Silicone or Epoxy.



Parallel Clamps 008.jpg



I made about 18 "Between the Frames" clamps, 10 "Spreader" clamps and 6 "Parallel" clamps - that seems to be adequate.


:cheers:  Danny

Cheers, Danny

Current Build :    Forced Retirement from Modelling due to Health Issues

Build Logs :   Norfolk Sloop  HMS Vulture - (TFFM)  HMS Vulture Cross-section  18 foot Cutter    Concord Stagecoach   18th Century Longboat in a BOTTLE 

CARD Model Build Logs :   Mosel   Sydney Opera House (Schreiber-Bogen)   WWII Mk. IX Spitfire (Halinski)  Rolls Royce Merlin Engine  Cape Byron Lighthouse (HMV)       Stug 40 (Halinski)    Yamaha MT-01   Yamaha YA-1  HMS Hood (Halinski)  Bismarck (GPM)  IJN Amatsukaze 1940 Destroyer (Halinski)   HMVS Cerberus   Mi24D Hind (Halinski)  Bulgar Steam Locomotive - (ModelikTanker and Beer Wagons (Modelik)  Flat Bed Wagon (Modelik)  Peterbuilt Semi Trailer  Fender Guitar  

Restorations for Others :  King of the Mississippi  HMS Victory
Gallery : Norfolk Sloop,   HMAT Supply,   HMS Bounty,   HMS Victory,   Charles W. Morgan,   18' Cutter for HMS Vulture,   HMS Vulture,  HMS Vulture Cross-section,             18th Century Longboat in a Bottle 

Other Previous Builds : Le Mirage, Norske Love, King of the Mississippi

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Danny, thanks for your information on the various clamps. I shall have to make myself some.



Current builds  Bristol Pilot Cutter 1:8;      Skipjack 19 foot Launch 1:8;       Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 14 1:8

Other projects  Pilot Cutter 1:500 ;   Maria, 1:2  Now just a memory    

Future model Gill Smith Catboat Pauline 1:8

Finished projects  A Bassett Lowke steamship Albertic 1:100  


Anything you can imagine is possible, when you put your mind to it.

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Thanks Danny, a very useful collection for the scratch and kit builder alike.



Edited by BANYAN

If at first you do not suceed, try, and then try again!
Current build: HMCSS Victoria (Scratch)

Next build: HMAS Vampire (3D printed resin, scratch 1:350)

Built:          Battle Station (Scratch) and HM Bark Endeavour 1768 (kit 1:64)

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Thanks Dan for creating this thread. It's bookmarked.

Regards Christian


Current build: HM Cutter Alert, 1777; HM Sloop Fly, 1776 - 1/36

On the drawing board: English Ship Sloops Fly, 1776, Comet, 1783 and Aetna, 1776; Naval Cutter Alert, 1777

Paused: HMS Triton, 1771 - 1/48

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." Salvador Dali

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