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For holding miters together while gluing, reader fred recommended the Clam Clamp as an alternative to spring miter clamps.   The Clam Clamp holds the work pieces together so securely that you can pick them up and carry them around while the glue is still wet.

Chestnut Tool designed the Clam Clamp specifically to make the assembly of door and window casings faster and simpler.  With one half-turn of the handle the unique cam design secures the miter joint.  But how does it stay in place, you ask?  Little nickle-plated alloy pins perpendicular to the jaw bite into the wood to keep it in place.  It does leave a few easily filled dimples in the edge of the wood, but so would spring clamps or nails.

Chestnut Tools machines the Clam Clamp from stainless steel and solid brass right here in the US.  The  rustproof and rugged construction ensures these clamps will be reliable for a long time.

Buying directly from Chestnut Tools, you’ll pay $75 for one clamp, $65 each for two Clamps, $60 each for four clamps, or $55 each for eight or more clamps.  They don’t specify what the shipping and handling charges will be.

Clam Clamp [Chestnut Tool]
Clam Clamp [Burns Tools]

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4 Responses to Get Perfect Miter Glue Joints With The Clam Clamp

  1. Kelley Nelson says:

    These clamps are MONEY. (In the good way.) They’re not cheap, but you will be able to make perfect miters that don’t open up later. Cross nailing through the miter helps, but it’s not even close to as nice as glued miters using these clamps.

    I’m using them on a project right now, total retrim project. I pre-measure all the openings, add in the reveal measurement as needed, and then cut the pieces.

    I assemble the entire door or window casing on a table near my saw. I use a biscuit joiner on both ends of the cut, apply yellow wood glue to the joint, then clamp. After about 15 minutes the glue has cured and I can actually take off the clamps and carry the whole assembly to the door or window opening holding it by one leg. The joint is STRONG!

    At that point, assembly is just a matter of standing the glued pieces up in the opening, centering them so the reveal is even, then shooting some nails. No more fidgeting with the pieces to make sure they’re square and even.

    The drywall near these openings almost always throws off the angle between the two casing pieces by a little bit, making it very hard to make a perfect miter if you don’t pre-assemble.

    The resulting joints don’t need any caulk or filler, and when you turn on the heat in the winter, your joints won’t open up.

    If your openings are slightly out of square, I’ve found you can bend the casing enough to make it look right. Just place your first nails thoughtfully so you can bend the casing as you need, working your way out from the corners.

  2. fred says:

    While we use and love these clam clamps – there is an alternative:

    http://www.coastaltool.com/clamps_vises/hartford/hartford_miter.htm

  3. Eli says:

    I’ve got four of these and they do kick ass. Really good solid product worth every penny. You can even clamp up frames with no assembly table.

  4. bruce stratton says:

    could you tell me the shipping costs to Earlville, new York for 2 of the chestnut tool miter clam clamp?

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