Period Clamping Techniques
Did traditional workholding involve fewer gadgets? by Bob Rozaieski pages 20-22 In my fledgling years as a woodworker, I had a large collection of clamps. I literally bought in to the belief that you could never have too many clamps. I had pipe clamps all the way up to giant 5 footers. I had multiple F- style clamps, boxes of spring clamps and about a dozen wooden handscrews (with metal screws). Several years ago, I reassessed my clamping needs, wanting to free up as much space as possible. To do so, I looked to period shops and inventories for guidance. I wondered how early shops handled the tasks that we do today – tasks that seem to require so many clamps. Clamps & Period Practices There is historical evidence that clamps made of iron and/or wood have been used since at least the 17th century (I haven’t researched the topic any farther back than that). Several period texts and paintings speak of, or picture some kind of clamp. It is unlikely, however, that clamps as we know them were as heavily relied upon for assembly as they are in today’s modern shops. Blog: Read Adam Cherubini’s Arts & Mysteries blog. Blog: Read Bob Rozaieski’s blog. In Our Store: “The Arts & Mysteries of Hand Tools” on CD.