It goes where no clamp has gone before, or something like that.
© Frank Ford, 5/17/02; Photos by FF, 2002
Sometimes when I clamping up a top crack I want to have several clamps lined up
along the crack so I can get the crack level along its length, and clamp a variety
of things underneath, such as loose braces and reinforcement patches. That's why
I bent some of my Waverly clamps years
ago to reach around each other in a straight line back from the soundhole.
Recently I acquired a small milling machine and started making a few new items
I've always wanted. First on my list was this jointed clamp, which allows me to
reach behind another clamp from either side:
It's actually the fifth incarnation of my "take
apart clamp" so I stamped it appropriately:
I used strong 3/8" thick cold rolled steel for the main body, 1/2" wide
for the arms, and 1-1/2" wide for the back section. I made the front sections
of brass because it's fun to machine - the stuff is just like mahogany; it's stable,
cuts easily, strong and downright friendly:
I don't really intend to use both joints, though.
The idea was to have two working lengths:
Here's the back section:
I have a simple little tongue and groove to keep the sections aligned so I can
reach the bottom part inside the guitar and drop the upper one on without worrying
about the top and bottom mating up a the far end. Even with its full 12"
throat, it's easy to stick the bottom section into most any round soundhole guitar.
I could have made the clamp really tall to reach inside, but then I wouldn't be
able to do my favorite little trick of adding a heavy clamp on top to get that
extra squeeze, effectively halving the length of the arms:
The clamp in this photo is actually "Mark IV," should you care.
Back to Index Page