Spool Clamps

March 22nd, 2010
Spool Clamps

Spool Clamp Plans
Source: Repair Tools & Jigs

Spool Clamps:
During certain kinds of guitar repair-work, you will find that a spool clamp will come in very handy. There are times when this clamp will ace all others, but it is usually reserved from certain special duties.

Spool Clamp Uses:
Fixing Difficult Side Cracks
Attaching a Loose Section of Back or Top Plate
Clamping a Top Or Back Plate

How To Use Them:
Spool Clamps (especially the double spool clamps) can be set on the guitar very easily and you don’t need three hands to tighten them. The same can’t be said for Wood Cam Clamps (which I also like very well) or for C clamps, bar clamps or any others.

You can just snug them up with a few quick spins of the 4-star knobs and make your preparations for attending to the crack, add additional clamps, easily adjust the spool clamps or apply some Crack Alignment Jigs and when things are all lined up, apply more pressure on the Spool Clamps.

How to Make Them:
This singles are very easy to make. All you need is some 1/2″ to 3/4″ cabinet grade plywood or good solid hardwood (I made mine out of scrap Teak), some 3/8″ x 6″ Carriage Bolts and 4-Star Plastic Knobs and you will be on your way.

I prefer to place sheet cork on all of the jaw surfaces to protect the fragile guitar surface as much as possible.

Cut Out The Jaws:
The single can be cut with a Hole Saw on the Drill Press or a hand drill. I like to make enough to clamp an entire top on the guitar if needed. As for the double Spool Clamps you can take the template I have provided and cut them on the Band Saw, Scroll Saw or with a Jig Saw. Drill the holes for the carriage bolts, apply the cork and then insert the bolts.

Glue Carriage Bolts In Bottom Jaw:
I prefer to glue the carriage bolts into the bottom jaw no matter how tight the fit. This way I eliminate as many surprises as possible when in a hurry to beat the glue drying clock. You may want to drill out the top jaw of the double clamp a bit larger to minimize binding of the jaws on an uneven back plate.

Free Plan Downloads:
I have a full-sized PDF plan available for the Single Spool Clamp and the Double Spool Clamp at our Plan Shop. Just hit the link and scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the Free Plans Section. You will be able to download an 11″x17″ sheet which you can print on a standard office copy machine or a larger format ink jet.

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