DIY Tip: Make Your Own Strap Clamps
Tie-down straps are a great alternative to strap clamps and they work out cheaper too!
There are many different types of projects in woodworking or crafty DIY that require the use of wood glue to secure pieces together. There are also times when you may want to use wood glue on corners or joined sections to ensure pieces are long-lasting. When laminating (glueing) pieces of wood or planks together to make a large work piece, for example when making a large table, you will need to clamp the pieces together until the glue cures.
For these types of projects, you are either going to need very long bar clamps, corner clamps or strap clamps and most of which can cost you quite a bit. I am sure there are many DIY enthusiasts out there that look for ways to save money when doing hobby projects and one way to save on projects of this nature is to use a tie-down strap as a strap clamp (see top image).
MAKE YOUR OWN STRAP CLAMP
A decent strap clamp can cost anywhere from R200 upwards, depending on the brand and type of strap clamp you buy. There are imported strap clamps that can cost up to R600 for a single strap clamp. I don't know about you, but that's way too high for my wallet. If you are looking for affordable tie-down straps get onto Google and enter 'tie-down straps' to begin your search for local suppliers.
Whereas strap clamps can be costly, tie-down straps are not and you can pick up a basic ratchet tie-down strap for under R100. What this means to me is that I get to buy 2 tie-down straps for the price of 1 strap clamp :)
So all you need to make your own strap clamps is a tie-down strap similar to the one shown below. With this handy clamp, you can now secure all your glued projects without any fuss. If you need to protect corners or edges, place strips of cardboard around or alongside these to protect your project piece.
Using a tie-down ratchet strap, you can tighten or loosen your workpiece to hold everything firmly together.
PROTECT CORNERS OR EDGES
Looking for an easy way to protect the corners and edges of your workpieces? I found a great tip on the woodworker's journal website. Wanting to hold the assembled pieces together while the glue dries, an inventive reader uses a couple of tie-down straps as strap clamps.
Secure your projects with strap clamps when glueing up and leaving overnight.
To protect the corners of the project, the reader cut PVC pipes lengthways and added silicone tubing along the edges. A clever idea indeed!