Author Topic: Bowclamps  (Read 11164 times)

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Offline Per Swenson

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Bowclamps
« on: August 05, 2008, 09:35 PM »
Ok,

Disclaimer.  Craig is my buddy.

This in no way reflects on his character.

With that out of the way, you could not make these cheaper or nicer.

Do I use them?  Of course.

Do I hope he sells a ton of them?  You bet.

But, take a minute and go to The bowclamp page and take a look.

Shamelessly posted by

Per
« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 09:35 PM by Per Swenson »
Party like its 1929. It's the American way.


There outta be a law banning sesquipedalianism on

internet forums.

www.swensonz.com

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Offline Dan Rush

  • Posts: 569
  • Trim carpenter
Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2008, 09:50 PM »
Per,

And I mean this in the best of ways,     YOU    SUCK!!!    What am I gonna tell my 500+ clamps?
"Sorry, you've been replaced by a chunk of wood"

And who's gonna dust  my clamp wall? 

Actually, I am going to give them a try.  Going to order this weekend, when I'm back in town.

Thanks, Dan
« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 09:52 PM by Dan Rush »

Offline Per Swenson

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Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2008, 10:02 PM »
Here is a shameless publicity picture.

Well it wasn't a publicity picture then...

Here is the deal, two long boards, two clamps, two bowclamps.

Yes thats Craig with the DFH ::)

10466-0
Party like its 1929. It's the American way.


There outta be a law banning sesquipedalianism on

internet forums.

www.swensonz.com

Offline Justin F.

  • Posts: 311
  • Louisiana, USA
Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2008, 10:07 PM »
Per --- so the main advantage of this product is it frees up clamps?  Or maybe is it better than an assortment of clamps as far as uniformity of pressure?

Hope your buddy does well with these.


Justin
" The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding. "

Offline Per Swenson

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Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2008, 10:15 PM »
Justin,

Yes to both.

But the key to all clamping projects is speed.

When you are playing beat the glue or find one more clamp...

the utility of these babys becomes apparent.

Of course part of gluing and clamping is also the ability to make cauls.

Usually tossed at the end of a project.

Well, you will never throw these away or burn 'em when #2 home heating earl

goes to 6 bucks a gallon.

Per
Party like its 1929. It's the American way.


There outta be a law banning sesquipedalianism on

internet forums.

www.swensonz.com

Offline Les Spencer

  • Posts: 487
Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2008, 10:25 PM »
Here is a shameless publicity picture.

Well it wasn't a publicity picture then...

Here is the deal, two long boards, two clamps, two bowclamps.

Yes thats Craig with the DFH ::)

(Attachment Link)

Per,

In the pic I can't tell if you were able to pull the cauls flush to the piece on the ends? I have the bow clamps but have had a problem pulling the cauls parallel to the work piece the full length. Should I be able to?
Les (near Indy) XL

Offline Per Swenson

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Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2008, 10:43 PM »
I am on th bb,short answer yes
Per
Party like its 1929. It's the American way.


There outta be a law banning sesquipedalianism on

internet forums.

www.swensonz.com

Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2008, 12:25 AM »
Yep, I reviewed and used them a year ago BUT today used them as part of new panel glue up for new project - a side board.
They are very nicely made.



Here is story: http://www.woodshopdemos.com/nprod-21.htm
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 08:31 AM by woodshopdemos »
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3394
Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2008, 09:00 AM »
Les, you're probably running out of tread on the clamp handle right? Just use a pair of clamps short of the ends as in John's picture to take up the slack, then use your clamps at the very ends to close the final gap and you can remove the first pair for another use. You end up only using one pair of clamps for a 4 foot joint.

The milled slots are made for bar clamps.


If you have a lot of stuff of the same size to join this is very cool, no clamps at all.


Offline Bluenose

  • Posts: 40
    • The Not So Big Shop
Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2008, 01:05 PM »
Could a pair of these be used with the Festool clamping elements on the MFT? Or are they too thick.

Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2008, 01:27 PM »
Good Afternoon,
Per raised the subject of Bowclamps about a year and a half ago (click here).  In that earlier discussion, I mistakenly believed that I could make these myself.   I've learned, after trying, it's not as easy as it looks!
Thanks,
Matthew
FOG Designer and Creator

Offline Roger Savatteri

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Bowclamps & the MFT ........Go BOWCLAMPS !!!!!!!!!
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2008, 02:17 PM »
Could a pair of these be used with the Festool clamping elements on the MFT? Or are they too thick.


To Everyone that should have these for the ready........

I was actually going to submit these photos as part of a much larger archive for a bookcase / showcase project in an upcoming projects/contest section,

but thanks to Per's above post  ;) I "had" to dig into the "file chest" & pull out some Bowclamp photos.

I'm showing these particular shots at the moment to show the MFT compatibility with the BOWCLAMPS.

I love these guys, their quick & clean,

And you don't need to reach for the aspirin before you contemplate a clamping strategy for your project.


10479-0

In the above photo I'm gluing up a 1/4 inch panel to a 1''1/8 for a bookcase and didn't want (or need) to
fire up the vac. bag. And yes I did add another bowclamp over the middle to give an extra "umph".
Sometimes I find it necessary, sometimes not, I'm very anal about the "right" amount of squeezeout.



10481-1

This is a before photo showing the rift cut 1/4" white oak strips that are going to be used as edging around the bookcase.




10483-2

I seem to recall that the length of this unit is about 5' something. I used the 4 footer Bowclamp in conjunction with the
2 footers for the ends, with some Bessy's to fill in the gaps. The view here is from the "bottom" of the middle unit.



10485-3

Here I'm using the 2' Bowclamps with some "stretch" clamps to add the 1/4 inch edging to the ends of this panel.
Could I have used 2 clamps?, yeah, and have done so with other projects. I also don't go to the gym as often as I should,
so it helps to lift and crank those puppies. ;)





This bookcase element is part of a three part 10 ' long modular system that was assembled on site afterwards.


Disclaimer... I have not received any "promptings" for this mini review from Per or Craig.

I believe the "set" I got at the time (about a year ago) had two 2 footers, two 3 footers & two four footers.

I also paid full price for the two sets of complete Bowclamps (plus shipping),

and they are on my list of the best money spent on "shopstuff"


all the best,
Roger




« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 05:00 PM by Roger Savatteri »
Los Angeles, California

Offline Steve Baumgartner

  • Posts: 98
Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2008, 04:01 PM »
Curious minds want to know...

I can see how they spread it evenly, but do Bowclamps really give adequate pressure on an edge joint when you use only one clamp at each end?  The old rule of thumb used to be to put a clamp every 8 inches or so.  The infamous article in Fine Woodworking a few months ago said you need something like 25 Bessey's per inch (well, not quite, but a lot more than you'd think ;)  Anyone have experience with long-term survival of joints glued with these?  I'd run out and buy some in a heartbeat if I was really confident they work.

Offline Roger Savatteri

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Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2008, 04:16 PM »
Curious minds want to know...

I can see how they spread it evenly, but do Bowclamps really give adequate pressure on an edge joint when you use only one clamp at each end?  The old rule of thumb used to be to put a clamp every 8 inches or so.  The infamous article in Fine Woodworking a few months ago said you need something like 25 Bessey's per inch (well, not quite, but a lot more than you'd think ;)  Anyone have experience with long-term survival of joints glued with these?  I'd run out and buy some in a heartbeat if I was really confident they work.



Steve,

Well, the unit above is about 7 months old and it sits under the heat of a long window, gathering southern Californian sun all day long, and nothing's moving.

Also keep in mind that if you overpressure a joint or a glue up you will starve it of glue, and that's not a good idea.

Look at the above photos again, how many clamps do you think i would have had to use to accomplice the same glue-up?,

in the same amount of time?

And keep in mind that (depending on the adhesive) if your fussing with too many clamps your adhesive could start kicking off,

before you have equal pressure along your glue up.

I've also used them with one clamp at each end with no problem.

But then every situation could be different, you could tell by the consistency of your glue squeeze-out.

Remember the  two R's...... three R's.....

Using the Right adhesive for the Right situation for the Right amount of time helps.

R.

« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 04:53 PM by Roger Savatteri »
Los Angeles, California

Offline Les Spencer

  • Posts: 487
Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2008, 12:04 AM »
Les, you're probably running out of tread on the clamp handle right? Just use a pair of clamps short of the ends as in John's picture to take up the slack, then use your clamps at the very ends to close the final gap and you can remove the first pair for another use. You end up only using one pair of clamps for a 4 foot joint.

The milled slots are made for bar clamps.


If you have a lot of stuff of the same size to join this is very cool, no clamps at all.


I tried Jorgensons F clamps in the slots and also tried 12" Bessey like John shows. I was using the 2' cauls. Gluing solid maple fronts on bookshelves make of ply. I may not be the strongest person but I know I'm not the weakest either. I probably just need to email Bow Clamp and find out what they say could be the problem. I haven't tried using since but need to try again.

Your suggestion of starting in the middle and working out makes sense. Just thought I should have been able to clamp from the ends.
Les (near Indy) XL

Offline craig feuerzeig

  • Posts: 18
    • Bowclamp.com
Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2008, 09:11 AM »
Wow... where to begin.

I'll have to start with a big thank you.  All.  It's an honor to be in such good company.

Les,  I knew as soon as I read your first post that it was the 2 footers you were fighting with.  You see you are a very early adapter... At some point, I reduced the amount of curve on the 2 footers due to too much pressure. 

Truth be told when I first started, I didn't think anybody would really be interested in the 2 footers... I was trying to find a way to get rid of the defective 3's and 4's. ;) :D

Then I found out that people build small things too.  ???  :D  And since I started demonstrating them for use in a veneer press, I've gone from always having a surplus of "deuces"...   now I"m running out of them first.

Of course I'd be happy to exchange them for you.  Many have had no problem, some even have both, and haven't noticed a difference.

But then of course as Roger beautifully demonstrated... (Roger thank you...wow)

Some times you want even more pressure.  I've known people to add a third clamp in the middle, but another bowclamp in the middle is really a slick idea.  Why not if you've got 'em. 

I've been making on a custom basis, and been toying with adding to the line-up...a heavy duty version.  The "bone-crushers". :D

But you won't be able to close a pair of them with f-clamps however.

And thank you for showing me how they work with the MFT.  I've been asked about they're compatability numerous times... but as I'm not really a Festool guy  :o...

I gotta say though... this is some yummy kool-aid.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2008, 09:12 AM by craig feuerzeig »
Bowclamp "good caul"

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1120
Re: Bowclamps
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2008, 06:26 PM »
I have a pair of the two footers.  So far, I have used one of them to glue up an Incra Style cutting board.  I did notice this version puts a lot more pressure in the middle than on the ends, enough so that it caused a deflection and created a bowed board!  I don't think I used a thick enough regular caul opposite the bowclamp and it simple bowed out along with the boards I was gluing.   I think my answer for the next time I try this would be to use both clamps as Roger and John showed earlier to offset that tendency.  However, should I be using a longer Bowclamp, maybe 3 footers instead on the two footers on an 18" glue up so the pressure is more evenly distributed towards the middle of the clamp? 
Howard H
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