Whether you are making frames or building cabinets, corners will always have to be clamped if you want to make a solid connection with glue, screws, or nails.
You can buy standard corner clamps like this one, but as a DIYer, it is always fun and challenging to make your own tools.
In this blog, I will show you step by step how to make these DIY wooden corner clamps, and how to apply them.
The DIY wooden corner clamps that you will discover below have the extra advantage that you can use them when you want to combine 2 sheet materials of different thicknesses.
How to clamp corners?
If you want to clamp corners, you want to do this in the simplest way and also be sure that there are no gaps at the connection.
You can use multiple clamps and set up all kinds of constructions to clamp corners, but then your workpiece will soon be completely full of clamps, and it will become increasingly difficult to work on it.
In addition, you will have to invest a lot of money in a large number of clamps.
A much easier solution for clamping corners are these DIY wooden corner clamps.
They are small, easy to build and use, and you can clamp different thicknesses with them, even if you want to clamp 2 different thicknesses of sheet material.
All you need to do to clamp corners is to place the sheet material in the DIY wooden corner clamps, check that there are no gaps in the connection, tighten the clamp, and you are ready to screw or nail the corners.
It’s that simple.
Do you also want to make these DIY wooden corner clamps for your workshop? Then follow the step-by-step instructions in this blog and download the free plans.
In no time you will have made enough clamps for your woodworking projects.
What do you need to make DIY wooden corner clamps?
To prepare you for building these DIY wooden corner clamps, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipments that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build these DIY wooden corner clamps.
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Safety first! Protect yourself!
Materials I used for these DIY wooden corner clamps
(power)Tools I used for these DIY wooden corner clamps
Watch the video to make these DIY wooden corner clamps here
Here you can watch the video and see how to make these DIY wooden corner clamps.
After watching the video, you can continue reading the step-by-step guide to making these DIY wooden corner clamps yourself.
How to make DIY wooden corner clamps step by step
Step 1 | Building the base
Start by attaching the wood pieces to the 4 “x 4” corner brackets with screws.
Pay attention! Only attach a corner bracket on one side, otherwise, you will not be able to insert the screws when you want to attach this part to the base of the DIY wooden corner clamps.
Find the center point on the baseplate and draw a line at an angle of 45 degrees.
Then you place the part you just made along this line with the point perfectly in the center, so you can mark the other side.
Now cut a point along these lines at the base of this woodworking jig.
To work safely i have used my crosscut sled for this.
Do you want to make the same crosscut sled as mine?
Check out the step-by-step instruction blog where I show you how to make this crosscut sled.
There are free building plans available on this page, to help you to build this sled.
Don’t miss this!
Now you can attach the part with the corner bracket to the base of this DIY wooden corner clamps with screws.
Once that has been done, you can also place the top corner bracket. This will make the DIY wooden corner clamps stronger.
There will be enough space between these two corner brackets where you can screw when you will use the corner clamps. You can see this in the video where I demonstrate how to use the DIY wooden corner clamps.
Step 2 | Building the clamping system
Now that the base for the DIY wooden corner clamps is ready, the clamping system can be made.
This requires different parts to both tighten the clamp and move the clamp to the desired angle for when two sheets of different thicknesses need to be clamped.
To make the clamping system, start by connecting the 2 pieces of wood that will form the inside of the corner. This piece will clamp the workpieces.
To join these two pieces I used wood glue. To get around the drying time of the wood glue I used brad nails. This allowed me to immediately continue working on this part.
Smaller corner brackets were placed on this piece that will later serve as a pivot point.
In my case, there was no hole in the corner of these corner brackets, so I drilled a hole myself.
To make sure that the holes at the two corner brackets were drilled in the same place, I placed the corner brackets together to drill through.
The next part to make is the piece to serve as the pivot point.
In the center of this small piece of wood, a hole was drilled with a Forstner drill bit which has a diameter that is slightly flatter than the nut. This allows the nut to rotate freely in the hole.
Do not drill all the way through the wood, but at a depth that is slightly deeper than the height of the nut.
In the video, you can also see that I am placing a washer in this hole, also provide sufficient depth for this washer.
Then you can make the part where the threaded rod goes through.
For this, I used 2 pieces of plywood that were glued together into a thicker block.
The hole I drilled for this had a diameter of 10 mm, which is needed to place the t-nut.
Unlike the hole in the hinged part, the hole can be completely drilled through.
With the vice, you can press the t-nut into the drilled hole. Do this slowly so that no cracks form.
The last part required for the clamping system is the knob.
I made these myself with my homemade jig to make small wooden buttons.
Now you can start assembling the clamping system.
With wood glue and brad nails you can attach a 6 mm MDF piece to the bottom of the block with the T-nut.
You now screw a piece of threaded rod into the T-nut.
If you consider buying a nail gun, be sure to watch my blog How to choose the right nail gun for your projects. A complete nail gun guide.
I have used my nail gun for almost every project since I bought it, so I can highly recommend buying one.
The nut and knob were fixed to the threaded rod with epoxy two-component glue.
To mix the epoxy two-part glue, I use a plastic spoon and mix the glue on a piece of masking tape. The plastic spoon is easy to clean, and the masking tape can simply be thrown away.
One small trick I use is that I leave the masking tape to check how far the glue has hardened. In this way, the glued part can cure without me touching the parts with the risk of moving and loosening the glue again. Only when I am sure that the adhesive has cured sufficiently do I remove the tape.
Lately, I have been making a 60-second video on how to mix epoxy glue. Make sure to check it out. It is a fun and educational video.
While the epoxy glue is drying, the pivoting piece of wood can be attached between the corner brackets.
In the video, you also saw that I tried a way to clamp the nut in this block with a washer. However, this did not work with this system. That’s why I came up with a different idea where I use 2 small pieces of MDF.
You can also make this while the epoxy glue is drying.
The plans that you can download for these DIY wooden corner clamps have already been adjusted with the MDF parts.
The MDF parts can be attached to the clamping system with CA glue.
A final step in making these DIY wooden corner clamps is to connect the clamping system to the base.
A simple screw is sufficient for this.
Make sure the head of the screw is countersunk and not over-tightened so that the part can swing left and right.
Now these DIY wooden corner clamps are ready to use.
Below I will describe how to use them.
How to use these DIY wooden corner clamps
These DIY wooden corner clamps can clamp plates of wood with a maximum thickness of 40 mm.
If you want to clamp sheets of wood with the same thickness, make sure that the clamping system is in the middle of the jig.
Place the two pieces of wood and clamp in place by tightening the knob.
If you want to clamp sheets of wood with two different thicknesses, you lift the clamping system to the left or right, depending on where the thinnest piece of wood is located.
Tighten the clamp with the knob, and you can screw through the gap between the corner brackets.
It’s difficult to picture a workplace without clamps.
You will need clamps for practically every job you do. Because clamps are expensive, it is advised to purchase only the clamps that you require.
But what exactly are they?
So, to assist you, I created an article — what woodworking clamps do I need?
In this article, I will assist you in your quest for the best clamps for your workshop. You’ll discover the perfect clamps in no time if you follow the guidelines in this post, and you won’t waste money on bad buys. Don’t miss out on this content!
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I hope this information on how to make DIY wooden corner clamps was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.
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I’m looking forward to seeing you soon in another blog or video.
Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration
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