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Clamps made of scrap lumber and string

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  • mlawson@tcnj.edu
    I’ve been planning a Bolger Windsprint, but I’ve hesitated at the prospect of buying as many clamps as I would need for mast and gunwales, seldom to use
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 21, 2003
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      I’ve been planning a Bolger Windsprint, but I’ve hesitated at the prospect
      of buying as many clamps as I would need for mast and gunwales, seldom to
      use them again. The other day I stumbled across a picture-book showing
      Vikings building a lapstrake longboat with unusual clamps. I tried them
      out tonight.

      I tried boards of several dimensions but had the easiest time working with
      the following:

      two 4’ 1x4s (the ‘sides’),
      a 3 ½”scrap of 2x4 (the ‘fulcrum’),
      a 6” piece of 1x4 (the ‘wedge’), and
      4’ of braided nylon string.

      A scrap of 2x4 was chosen as the ‘fulcrum’ because I wanted to try setting
      up to glue together two 2x4s for the mast. The ‘fulcrum’ and wedge should
      vary with width of items to be glued.

      To set up the wedge, use the ‘fulcrum’ as a spacer between the sides, a
      few inches from the business end, then wrap and tie the sides around the
      ‘fulcrum’ with string. (The string becomes the real fulcrum.) Pinch
      together the boards to be glued in the business end by pulling apart on
      the long ends of the sides. Drop in the wedge to keep the sides spread,
      align the clamp, and push or hammer the wedge into place. Because placing
      the clamps is a two handed operation, I’ll use a few normal clamps to
      align pieces before placing all the clamps for a long joint like a mast.

      Now I don’t need to buy clamps!

      --Matthew Lawson
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