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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

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