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Imagine using only two clamps to glue an entire panel, or even just a jig and a few wedges. The exactly machined arc of the Bowclamp allows you to do just that.

Using cauls to evenly distribute clamping pressure isn’t a new concept, but Zig Industries employs modern technology to ensure a perfect arc that spreads the clamping pressure equally along the entire length of the Bowclamp. You only need one clamp at each end.

They cut the shape of the Bowclamp on a CNC machine and also mill a slot down the length of the Bowclamp to capture the lead screw jaw on bar clamps — and it works equally well with pipe and parallel clamps.

Zig Industries sells the Bowclamp in 2′, 3′, and 4′ lengths for $20, $30, and $40 respectively. You can also buy twin-packs of Bowclamps for $35, $55, and $75, and save yourself $5. If you’re seriously into their product, you can buy the master set containing two of every size Bowclamp for $150, a savings of $30 over buying them all individually.

Bowclamp [Corporate Site]


4 Responses to Clamp More Effectively With The Bowclamp

  1. Snoopy says:

    You be *able* to use only two clamps, but it’s not a good idea. Woodworkers
    typically underclamp:


  2. Kurt Schwind says:

    I think this would be something you could empirically measure. Does this really give you the same clamping force that several clamps every x inches would do? Chuck and Sean, you should test this out.

  3. Gary says:

    Snoopy, I’ve glued up a lot of panels and joints and would be at shocked if the psi I established matched ever Taunton’s numbers. I read that article when it came out and was amazed at how high the numbers are. I’ve never had glue joint fail either.

    Adequate pressure, sufficient glue and above all flat and square glue joint surfaces (or slightly sprung if you prefer) are the key.

    Granted, I’m not an expert on what the correct clamping pressure is – just going by my personal experience.

    I’ve used my own cauls to great effect. Some day I may pick up a couple bowclamps.

  4. fred says:

    You can use a fairing board (thin piece of stock held in tension to form a long sweeping curve to mark your board and then cut the caul out on a bandsaw.
    Thes bowclamps seem to take this prcedure to a higher level – and might well be worth the investment.

    Cauls do work to spread out the clamping forces.

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