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Wood Magazine

Tips for Better Gluing & Clamping


Secure odd shapes with bags of lead

Secure odd shapes with bags of lead

I've seen companies bragging about how their clamps can hold odd-shaped workpieces, but nothing holds like my "bag-o-lead" clamping system. Plus, it's less expensive than those specialty clamps.

To make mine, I bought some 25-pound bags of #9 shot (for reloading shotgun shells) at a sporting goods store for about $15 each. When I need to glue up an unusual shape, I put the piece to be clamped on my bench and put a bag or two of shot on top of it. They conform easily to most shapes.

The bags are pretty durable, but be careful not to puncture them. The shot is very small and even a tiny hole will quickly cover your shop floor with shot.

-- Rick Kling, Chesterfield, Mich.

Complete Guide to Joinery

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