Bar clamps are essential to any woodworking shop. You need them for a variety of projects including glue ups, box assembly, and many other applications. These clamps are also known as an “F-clamp” or “Speed Clamp”. The reason for the name f-clamp is because of its “F” like shape.
The bar clamp is similar to the C clamp, but is usually quite a bit longer and tends to have a deeper throat. Usually in woodworking a bar clamp is used when you are trying to make a permanent attachment using screws and/or glue.
The clamp is simple. It is 3 pieces – 2 horizontal bars and they are joined by a vertical bar. The clamps you purchase usually have a screw that you can use in order to tighten the bottom bar to the woodstock that you are pulling together, but this isn’t always the case. In the homemade ones shown in the video below it isn’t designed this way, for example.
But the main aspect of these clamps that is so useful to any woodworker is they can be used on large objects and are adjustable. This brings versatility to these clamps, whereas the C-Clamp, for example, isn’t adjustable to a large degree like these are.
Pipe clamps are used in glue ups and holding large objects as well. But with bar clamps, you can use scrap pieces in the shop to build your own. Check out the video below by Izzy Swan, owner of “Think Woodworks.” These are some of the simplest clamps that you can make yourself, and again, using scrap lumber that you have laying around the shop. (One of the reasons never to throw away your scrap, even the smaller pieces!)