How to make a one handed quick clamp

DIY one handed quick clamp for woodworking

If you have been curious and one day you decided to disassemble a one handed clamp, one of those quick release clamps, you will have noticed that the operating system is very similar to that of the silicone guns. The biggest difference is that instead of the rectangular section metal bar that we have in the quick clamp, the silicone gun has a simpler metallic rod.

Still, one of the reasons I decided to do this project is that no matter how hard I’ve ever squeezed a silicone gun, none of them ever broke. However, a pair of cheap one handed clamps that I bought not long ago had the lever break as soon as I tried to tighten it with a little force.

Silicone gun for making a woodworking clamp

The silicone gun I used is the simple one you can see in the picture. At the end of the rod it has a fairly wide curve that will serve as a support for the movable jaw of the clamp. And at the top of the handle it has that metal part that protrudes upwards with a shape that I found suitable to support and glue the aluminum reinforcement and the plywood parts of the fixed jaw of the quick releasing clamp.

I use a coping saw to cut the aluminum reinforcements from glass shelf supports that I have from an old shelf. Cutting aluminum with a coping saw is a little labor intensive, but it is the best option I found in my shop to cut these pieces to the desired shape. I still needed to touch up the pieces with the grinder machine and a file to make them fit better.

Carve a groove with the Dremel multi-tool.

The sides are made of 10mm thick plywood, and using the same coping saw, I cut them to the shape I want. But I also need to cut a rabbet with a narrow chisel to fit the T-shape that the aluminum pieces have on the front. I also had to use the Dremel multi-tool with a small drum sander to carve out the rounded shape to fit the curve of the rod.

I glued all the pieces together with epoxy resin and clamped them with my cheap clamps. I waited for the epoxy resin to dry and then glued a plywood strip to the front of each jaw of the quick clamp. After a little sanding work with the belt sander I think I got a pretty decent one handed quick clamp. It doesn’t tighten with the force of metal F clamps, but it works well enough so that I think it will come in handy in my amateur home woodworking shop.

Scroll to Top