How to Use Bar Clamps to Steady Woodworking Projects

How to Use Bar Clamps to Steady Woodworking Projects

Bar clamps can act as a helping hand when you’re working solo on a wood project.

It’s not always possible to have a helper for every project. And for woodworkers and do-it-yourselfers, only having two hands to join two pieces of wood together can be frustrating.

If there’s nobody around to help you join two pieces of wood, there are a few alternative solutions to try. You could try holding both pieces with one hand and screwing them together with your free hand. However, this isn’t ideal.

Not only can you slip and injure your hand, but the awkward positioning can lead to a mistake, which in turn results in wasted materials, increased job time and even more frustration.

You also could use a shelf bracket, but not everyone has one of those to spare, especially if you aren’t building shelves.

This can be easily avoided with tools that you might already have lying around. To free up your hands and keep your project secure, use bar clamps!


Two bar clamps on top of a piece of wood
Bar clamps secure a board to a surface or another piece of wood. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

What Are Bar Clamps?

Bar clamps, also known as F-clamps, are common tools in the woodworking field. They’re mainly used to hold pieces of wood in place as wood glue dries. They also have practical uses in welding.

Bar clamps are composed of a long metal or plastic rod and two parallel bars attached to it, forming the shape of the letter “F”.

Using a bar clamp is simple. All you have to do is unfasten the screw or whatever device is used to move the parallel bars. Then, adjust the bars to the width you need to fit the piece of wood you’re working with, and fasten the clamp back down.


The long bar acts as a kickstand to hold up a piece of wood. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

How to Use Bar Clamps for a Helping Hand

This part is easy! Or, should I say, simple — like all my other Simple Solutions. All you need is two short bar clamps to use as outriggers to keep your piece of wood in place. Here’s how:

1. Fasten each clamp to the bottom of the piece of wood that you want to stand still, making sure that each bar is facing the opposite way.

2. Now, the piece of wood should be standing straight up on its own, balancing between the two clamps.

3. Line up the piece of wood you want to attach to your now free-standing board.

4. Use a drill and screw to attach the two pieces of wood together.


Further Reading

Poison-Free Rat Control in Just Two Steps!

Poison-Free Rat Control in Just Two Steps!

Poison-free rat control is possible. You can keep those pests out and pets safe with this Simple Solution.

Rats can get into holes as small as the size of their heads. Not only can they fit into tiny holes, but they also chew open smaller holes to fit inside them. 

Rats chew constantly because their teeth are constantly growing. And with this constant chewing, their teeth become sharp enough to gnaw through some unexpected material.

You can seal up holes around your home with an expanding foam sealant. However, this is only a temporary solution. The rats can easily chew through and re-invade your precious space.

Reinforce the foam by adding something that will be more difficult for the pesky critters to chew through.

Pressing steel wool into an A/C refrigerant line hole for poison free rat control.

Plug holes outside your home with some stainless steel wool before you seal them off. There is a stainless steel mesh specially made for rodent control, but you can also use a stainless steel wool scrubbing pad that you use to clean pots and pans. 

Just stretch out the scrubbing pad so it fills all around the hole. Press the stainless steel wool about an inch into the hole.

Spraying Great Stuff PestBlock into an A/C refrigerant pipe hole to block out pests for poison free rat control

After you’ve plugged the hole, you’ll need to spray more expanding foam to seal it up. Instead of a regular expanding foam sealant, pick a pest-blocking foam sealant specially made to deter rats. 

The main ingredient that deters rats in pest-blocking foam sealants is capsaicin. Capsaicin is the active compound in hot peppers that makes them spicy. Also, it’s used in muscle pain-relieving lotions like Bengay and Icy Hot.

If you do, however, have one determined rat that chews through the pest-blocking foam sealant, the steel wool acts as an extra barrier to keep that rat out.


Further Reading

Today’s Homeowner Radio Show | July 31, 2021

Today’s Homeowner Radio Show | July 31, 2021

fireplace arch
Adding an arch gives your fireplace character and enhances its visual interest.

Are you looking to finish a fireplace arch with glass, pottery shards or other materials, and need some tips to do the job right?

Or are you building a small patio and don’t know the best materials to use? How about making a birdhouse? It’s a popular project, but do you know the next steps to take?

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show where we cover these topics and many more such as:

  • The best way to clean an old concrete birdbath
  • Which adhesive to use when installing tile on the sides of kitchen countertops
  • What to do when dealing with an unresponsive contractor
  • How to fix visible cut-ins from a botched paint job
  • How to repair damaged drywall from a loose towel bar
  • Steps to take when staining a solid oak front door
  • What to do when your concrete sidewalk begins to crack and rise
  • Hybrid water heater vs. regular water heater
  • Repairing or replacing a soffit
  • Durable materials to dress up your concrete patio

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Previous articleToday’s Homeowner Radio Show | July 24, 2021

Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.

How to Create a Pop-Up Trash Can From a Laundry Hamper

How to Create a Pop-Up Trash Can From a Laundry Hamper

Are you planning to have a large gathering at your home but need more trash cans? Easily make a makeshift trash can out of a laundry hamper!

To do this, get a collapsable laundry hamper — in this case, I used one that’s about 18 inches wide and 30 inches tall.

Then simply take your trash bag and put it in the collapsable laundry hamper – at the end of the day take the bag out, dispose of the trash and collapse the laundry hamper to store!

Watch the video above for more information!


Further Reading

Previous articleHow to Give New Life to an Old Concrete Patio

Joe Truini is a seasoned contractor, accomplished author and hosts Simple Solutions on Today’s Homeowner TV. He also hits the airwaves every week alongside Danny Lipford as co-host for Today’s Homeowner Radio. Joe is a handy guy, who’s always on the lookout for ways to make the job of home improvement easier and more efficient.

How to Create a Pop-Up Trash Can for Parties

How to Create a Pop-Up Trash Can for Parties

Are you planning to have a large gathering at your home but need more trash cans? Easily make a makeshift trash can out of a laundry hamper!

To do this, get a collapsable laundry hamper — in this case, I used one that’s about 18 inches wide and 30 inches tall.

Then simply take your trash bag and put it in the collapsable laundry hamper – at the end of the day take the bag out, dispose of the trash and collapse the laundry hamper to store!

Watch the video above for more information!


Further Reading