Low-cost band clamps from ratchet straps
I teach shop to nearly 200 middle-school students; favorite projects include small mitered jewelry boxes and picture frames. Buying enough band clamps to get that many projects glued up just wasn't in the budget, so I bought a bunch of inexpensive ratchet straps and made those work. To make the conversion, simply cut off and discard the hook and short strap. Then, cut off and discard the hook from the longer strap, singe that end with a lighter and tie the strap onto the ratcheting mechanism.
—Shane Burk, Lubbock, Texas