How To Make Cam Clamps

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks author biography about me experience

Once you know how to make Cam Clamps, you will never buy them again.  For the price of one store bought Cam Clamp, you will be able to make several in the shop.  Cam Clamps are especially useful for acoustic guitar making because of their long reach.  Most clamps only grab a few inches in, but these can go much farther.

This is my video on how to make cam clamps.  It’s on the long side, but stick with it and you will know everything you need to.  Make at least a dozen or more at a time, because it saves a lot of time milling everything at once.

I have known how to make Cam Clamps for a long time, and I have been using them on my guitars for just as long.  They are also very useful around the shop.  These clamps do not create the same pressure as a bar clamp or f-clamp, however for most work that much pressure is not necessary.

These can be made from any number of hardwoods, but mine were made from Maple.  I chose this because the manufacturers use the same wood.  The rest of the parts were bought from a hardware store, and they were not expensive.  Plus, you can vary the length of the jaws and spine to create exactly the size you need.

For another quick and easy clamp, my article on Clothespin Clamps shows you how to make dozens of these.  A clothespin clamp is one of the absolute best ways to glue kerfing inside the guitar body.  The clamps grip just the right amount, and they are super inexpensive.

Once you make these clamps, you may decide to finish them.  I have both finished and unfinished clamps in my shop, but a finish is a nice touch.  The easiest way to finish these is with a wipe on finish like Tru-Oil.  My video, Finishing with Tru-Oil shows the process.

My article, How to Finish Wood with Tru-Oil is a step by step guide to finishing wood, and can make an expert finisher out of anyone.

Cam Clamps are described in detail in my book, Acoustic Guitar Making: How to make Tools, Templates, and Jigs

.  I show a detailed process on making them, as well as over 50 more tools and jigs for guitar makers.  With over 500 pages and 1600 images, there is something inside for everyone who is getting into making acoustic guitars.

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brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

  • 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
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