Woodworking Tips Cards – Low Pressure Clamping

This woodworking tips card is about low pressure clamping. Sometimes, all you need is something to be held together for the glue to dry. In a case like this, using heavy items in the shop can be just as effective as a clamp. This technique works great for thin materials, and here is how you do it.

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Low Pressure Clamps for Veneer and Cork

woodworking tips cards low pressure clampingWhen you are gluing something thin or light weight, it can be easier to use weights instead of clamps. In the case of a piece of cork for my Heirloom Sanding Block Tutorial, I just used a couple screw and nail boxes.

For gluing operations where you need pressure for the pieces to adhere, you still need to use regular clamps. Small weights will never be a substitute for a good clamp in cases like that.

However, if you are facing something with veneer or cork, some weights can do the trick. Find a flat area and set your pieces on it. Then, pile a couple heavy items on top to keep the pieces together.

In the case of cork and veneer, all you really need to do is keep the pieces together. They do not require a ton of pressure. If you can keep the two pieces against each other while the glue dries, they will stay together afterwards. Try it out with some gym weights, boxes of screws, or anything else that you have in the shop with some weight.

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Clamping Several Items at Once

When I make sanding blocks, I tend to make several at once. In this case, I will stack them on top of one another and then apply the weight. This uses each block as weight too, and it keeps the pieces together while drying.

Once the glue has set, I remove the weights and down stack the sanding blocks. Typically I only stack three of them on top of each other. Anything higher risks them falling over on accident. This is a perfect project for smaller weights, because it’s difficult to clamp the cork to the block without using a caul to keep it flat.

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