Spool Clamps can be a very valuable tool to have in your tool chest. They are specialized tools, but are incredible when they are needed for certain tasks.
If you purchase enough of them to say, to clamp an acoustic guitar back to the sides, you will need at least 24 to 32 clamps. That can be a lot of bucks, especially if you can make them yourself by investing a small amount in hardware and using some scrap wood around your shop.
I'm sure you will find many tasks where these handy little clamps can come to the rescue where other tools prove to be too big or not to adaptable to the task at hand. While they are often used by instrument repair shops, they can be very useful when building new instruments as well, and that is almost exclusively how I use them.
Snugging down stubborn wooden binding that I can't secure with masking tape or stretch tape.
Fit and glue the instrument back to the sides.
Helper clamp when gluing top or back plates to the sides of the instrument. This can be at the neck or butt block areas or in the waist area.
Repairing a crack that may have formed in the instrument side during construction.
Repairing a top or back plate that may have inadvertently lifted a bit or separated from the lining or block areas.
While you certainly do have other tools in your shop that you can use to make these repairs, for some tasks, the Spool Clamp is the most elegant tool to use. You have very precise control over clamping pressure with a very compact tool and other, more bulky tools can make a bad situation worse.
Plans show the assembled jig, along with complete dimensions and notes. Every part of the jig is carefully dimensioned and noted for clarity and ease of construction. Note: If you want to save a few dollars you can use wing nuts in lieu of the spinning plastic knobs, but once you use the plastic knobs you won't want to go back to the wing nuts.
All of these plans are electronic downloads. This plan is sized to print out on one 11"x17" sheet or you can splice (2) letter sized sheets together. The plans are at a 100% scale and you can use them as a template as required
All our digital download plans are dimensioned in both inches/fractional inches and millimeters. The dimension are shown over/under the dimension line and will allow you to work in whichever measurements system you prefer.
The plans, which you can freely download here are intended only as a guide for you to build your own clamps. You will want to vary the size and shapes of these clamps depending on the sizes and types of instruments you build or repair.