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You can join corners a lot easier if you have some sort of guide to help you. Most hardware stores carry a few of these corner clamps. For small to medium-sized projects, they’ll definitely save you some time.

Just glue up two pieces of wood along their seams, and clamp one in each arm of the corner clamp to form a perfect 90 degree angle. With four of these clamps you can glue up a box in no time flat, without nails or screws.

The best thing about ’em is they’re cheap. At about $3 a pop the three inch versions pictured here will get the job done. Just be careful not to screw ’em down too tight — you don’t want to leave clamp marks on the wood.

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7 Responses to Corner Clamps: Box-Building Made Simple

  1. Eric says:

    I have a pair of these, and I have found them to be very useful when building boxes, particularly when working by myself. I can clamp 2 sides of the boxes together at a 90-degree angle, freeing my hands to grab a nail gun and/or drill and screwdriver to make a permanent joint. Once those 2 sides are together, I simply remove the clamps and go to the next corner of the box.

  2. Mark says:

    Here is a more sophisticated version (at 50% off)

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=18114&filter=jet%20clamp

    But is it better?

  3. Fred says:

    There are many variants of this type of clamp around.
    Woodcraft sells several – some under the Pinnacle Brand (woodcraft 14529) (see Woodpeckers for OEM versions) that are called box clamps.

    Bessey Clamps – have corner clamps that come in varieties for both woodworking like their WS-6 and WS-9 and for welding – like their WSM-9.

    I’m guessing that Gross Stabil and Adjustable Clamp Company (Pony-Jorgensen) also make someting.

    If you do casing work like I do – take a look at the Chestnut Tools Clam Clamp – a very special purpose tool – but pulls up window and door casing in place – nothing that most other clamps do well.

  4. MikeP says:

    I’m reaching a bit here, but I’m a cabinet maker and as a consequence, build a LOT of boxes! I don’t have any corner clamps of my own, but I’ve been seriously wishing for some recently. The one that is pictured here is more for smaller pieces (like picture frames), but lots of larger ones exist, as Fred pointed out above.

    What I am really looking for is a clamp that will go over a ‘T’-joint, like where the shelf comes into the side of the bookcase… If I can find something that does this nicely, I will marry it! (just don’t tell my girlfriend…)

  5. Fred says:

    In response to MikeP

    Take a look at Universal Clamp Company’s line of clamps. Their Model 76-A is marketed as a shelf clamp. Their model 76 as a face-frame clamp. Bothe work on the sam principal. They are made out of aluminum and steel. You need to apply some painters tape to bearing surfaces to keep them from leaving grey/black marks on the wood.

    Here is a link.

    http://www.rockler.com/findit.cfm?page=5154

  6. Zathrus says:

    HF also has a right angle clamp that looks awfully similar to the Rocker one (they’re rotated 180 degrees, so you can’t tell for sure) for $8.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=2712

    Saw it in the most recent catalog actually.

  7. dave says:

    Harbor Freight specializes in cheap Asian knockoffs, legal or otherwise. If you know your tools, you can flip through their catalog picking out clones of name brand tools. Some are patent violations – I know because I know one inventor who has an ongoing issue with them over one of his patented hand tools.

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