Once you’ve used clamping cauls and alignment blocks you’ll never want to be without them. They simplify edge-gluing boards for making panels, tabletops and the like. The cauls ensure clamping force is distributed across a larger area than just the head of the clamp. Alignment blocks bridge across the mating faces of boards keeping them flush during glue-ups.
Woodpeckers new joint bridge clamping pads are an excellent alternative if you don’t want to make your own alignment blocks.
Model: JB-22 (12 pc set); JB-22-X2 (24 pc set)
Price: $49.99USD (JB-22); $79.99 (JB-22-X2)
Warranty: Limited lifetime; 30-day money back
Made in: USA
The bridge clamp pads are made of glass-reinforced polycarbonate – which means they’re strong, durable and stable. Properly used they’ll last a lifetime.
They’re of a generous size with each pad providing two 1″ by 1-3/8″ camping surfaces. The gap between the two clamping surfaces prevents them from being inadvertently glued to the panel.
I found the bridge clamp pads quick and easy to use. Align your boards edge-to-edge, clamp them together lightly with pipe or parallel clamps, place a pair of bridge clamp pads over each glue seam and lightly clamp them in place. Then alternately tighten up all the clamps. To clamp the middle of wide panels simply place cauls above and below the bridge clamps.
On very smooth surfaces the bridge clamp pads have a slight tendency to shift about as the clamps are applied. I resolved this by gluing 120-grit sandpaper to the base of the pads.
The bridge clamp pads are available in sets of 12 or 24. If you make a lot of panels or tabletops the 24-piece set is a more economical buy. These pads are very functional and make an excellent addition to your clamping arsenal.