In Tricks of the Trade

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Difficult glue-ups are troublesome enough without having to position clamp pads as part of the process. I’ve tried using hot-melt glue, double-sided tape and various other methods to hold pads onto clamp jaws, but they always seemed to fall off at just the wrong moment. I recently tried using rare earth magnets, and they work very well. One of the best things about magnetically attached clamp pads is that they can be removed in an instant for use on whatever particular metal clamps you need for the job at hand.

The easiest magnets to use are those with a countersunk hole through the center. The 1″-diameter magnets are large enough that you can just screw them directly to a plywood pad. However, if you want to use the more economical smaller sizes, it’s best to flush-mount them into a recess drilled with a Forstner bit. Craig Bentzley

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