I’m sure you’ve read in one blog or another that “you can never have enough sergeants”. And the truth is that sometimes we have to glue furniture in “stages” because we don’t have all the furniture we would like. When I watch videos of professional and not-so-professional woodworkers I am always struck by how many clamps of all sizes they have hanging on the wall (and how tidy they keep them), although I guess that order is maintained between projects. The truth is that it is very difficult for me to keep order in the workshop, and if I keep it, more or less, it is to avoid giving a bad image in my Spanish carpentry videos on YouTube.
I am building my collection little by little, buying them when I find them on sale at a DIY center. Personally I prefer the traditional screw ones, although I also have a pair of clamping straps that are very good for large parts and frames. Lately I bought some quick-tightening ones, but they don’t convince me.
Well, the thing is that before making a piece of furniture to hang on this blog I think it would be good to make some wooden sergeant. I am going to copy a model made by theteenwoodworker(thiswoodwork.com). It is the same model, but using the box and spigot joint system that I use. And to compensate for copying, I leave you some plans of the sergeant.
Searching a bit on the internet I found another sergeant made of wood that looks very good, but seems more difficult to make(here you can download the model in SketchUp). And at woodgears.ca Matthias Wandel makes a model that I wonder how well it will work with the box and tenon joint system I use.
I admit that I am not very happy with the result. I already imagined that when tightening the plugs would lift up, although I think that with the help of the small clamps this problem will be solved when using these wooden ones.
Another thing is the mistakes I made when manufacturing them:
– The 8mm threaded rod is too thin and bends when tightened, better to use one of at least 10mm.
– The length of rod I use is excessive, with 200mm we will surely have enough.
– If we don’t have the right diameter wood drill bit and it’s a holiday, it’s better to wait until we can buy one. Using a metal drill bit may result in a small botch job (chipped holes).
Now it’s time to make room for them in the workshop. The easiest way is to fabricate a bracket to hang the sergeants. With a piece of ribbon and some 6 mm tubing we make a “hanger” that we fix to the wall in a place that is handy and where it will not get in the way. All that remains is to drill a hole 6 mm in diameter (the 6 mm tubing has to fit very loosely in the hole) in each of the clamps as shown in the photograph so that they can be hung on the bracket without fear of falling out. It is very convenient to store them like this, I will have to do something similar for the rest of my wooden sergeants.
You can see my other experiences with carpenter’s clamps, making different models, improving them, and showing how I use them.