My workbench project is now underway, but I’m going to avoid showing any detail or videos on the build process until it’s finished. However, I will be posting some of the methods I adopt that translate more broadly into other applications.
With that in mind I needed to laminate 2x4s together to make the legs. I could of reverted to the many clamps we have in our workshop – but decided to try out a simple solution I had seen in my joinery books, namely box cleats.
The photos really do tell the story but a box cleat is simply a robust frame that allows folding wedges to exert clamping forces onto the wood. They can be, and were, sized to suit the application. If the cleat is used regularly it would also have its joint reinforced with metal straps.
I made mine from 2″ x 3″ stud material and they worked very well. It minimized the amount of proprietary clamps I would need to invest in, meaning more funds for books and wood!
It’s also a good way to practice sawing, nailing and chiseling. I just worked to pencil lines and aimed to get the work done at a good pace. I think there is much to be said for making these types of projects when starting out. It’s not unusual to read of peoples frustrations as they try to gain the skills needed to make quite fine projects. My thoughts are: Get used to cutting some stud material, drive a few nails and get a feel for the process.
I hope this simple clamp will encourage you to review simple and effective methods contained within the pages of an old book.