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Author Topic: Making Planking Clamps  (Read 406 times)

Mark T

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Making Planking Clamps
« on: November 04, 2018, 02:30:41 PM »

If like me you use Micro Mark planking clamps, you will find them to be a great bit of kit that makes clamping planks a whole lot easier.  If also like me though you do a lot of planking you will soon find their limitations.  They are a cast white metal handle with a self tapping screw that is cast into it at time of manufacture.  Unfortunately after a few uses the screw just breaks free like the picture below.





The other problem is that the other part of the clamp is also a white metal casting which bends over a period of time making them less efficient which changes the angle of the clamp.





The other problem that I have found are that the white metal clamps leave grey marks on the wood which can be difficult to remove.  You also have to import them from America and at $20 for 10 without import duty they are quite expensive for us modellers at this side of the pond.


So here's how to make you own


1.  Cut some 1/4 brass rod into small lengths.  Mine are about 22mm long but the exact length is up to you





2.  Buy some 0 size self tapping screws - I've used stainless steel but the choice is yours





3.  Drill a shallow hole into the brass lengths which will accommodate the head of the self tapping screw.  I haven't got a lathe so I did my best by making up a jig to speed the process up.





4.  Use a tiny bit of silver solder paste at solder the screw into the brass.  I used a couple of old clamps to hold the screw straight.





5.  Clean up the screw and repeat for as many as you want





6.  Cut some 1/4 x 1/16 brass strip into lengths for the other part of the clamp and just simply soft solder the steps on one end.  Then drill a 2mm hole for the screw to pass through








The end results








They work great and are a lot cheaper and better than importing them.  I hope that this has helped  :-))





Cheers Mark  :-)
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roycv

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Re: Making Planking Clamps
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 04:53:46 PM »

Hello I have never seen these before.  Am I right in thinking that the clamp and the screw are a loose fit, and that you screw through the clamp into the bulkhead?
Do you pre-drill a hole in the bulkhead to receive the self tapping screw, I envisage a possible split in the bulkhead wood.

 is the step on the oblong shape the thickness of the planking?
The single photo shows a curve or bend where as the others look flat

Do you have a tip for the last plank?
Sorry to be thick just never seen them before.
regards
Roy




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Mark T

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Re: Making Planking Clamps
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2018, 05:03:28 PM »

Hi Roy - Yes you are right the two parts are not fixed to each other so therefore the screw part is a loose fit though the flat clamp which should be nice and flat.  The reason that the one looks curved in the photo is because its very weak and has developed a bend over time.


I usually pre-drill a 1mm hole but to be honest you don't need too.  The 0 size screws are so small you can just screw them straight in and very little split occurs on the bulkheads.


Unfortunately I can't help with the last plank as I've never yet had to put one in but I'm not far away.  Having said that the last plank really needs to be right in the middle of the hull so not much bending or twisting should be required so I'm hoping to use tape for this plank - I'll let you know.


Mark
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Mark T

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Re: Making Planking Clamps
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2018, 05:06:06 PM »

Sorry I should have said that the step on the clamp is 1/16 thick.  Its not the precise thickness of the plank but it does allow the clamp to clamp the plank flat against the bulkhead rather than tipping it at an angle without it.
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roycv

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Re: Making Planking Clamps
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2018, 05:12:19 PM »

Thanks for the quick response.  All is clear now, I shall have a think about making some for myself.
 In the past I have used dress making pins to hold the planks in.  When the pins come out they leave a hole and a drop of water on the hole allows the wood to swell and fill up the hole.
Sometimes if a difficult one I drill a tight hole for a cocktail stick and glue it in with PVA glue.
Regards,Roy

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Leaky Bottom

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Re: Making Planking Clamps
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 06:32:09 PM »

Could you not do away with the brass rod and just screw the screw in with a screwdriver
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Mark T

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Re: Making Planking Clamps
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 06:43:46 PM »

Yes I guess you could but I can't see the slot head lasting very long if you screw it in and out loads of times.  Also don't forget you are trying to multitask here so...............


1.  You are putting a new plank in place which has just dried and needs to be done quite quickly
2.  The plank is glued at all of the bulkheads and also along its entire length
3.  You need to wipe the excess glue away to save loads of sanding later and marred wood
4.  You probably need to place another spring clamp along the length of the joint to pull it the planks in line
5.  Get really annoyed with yourself that all of the above is just not happening the way you want  {-)
6.  Repeat the above 13 times for one plank


Oh and screw a clamp in at the same time - So yes you could but crikey what a hassle  ok2
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Brian60

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Re: Making Planking Clamps
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 08:40:00 AM »

A nice solution you have made there. I see you use the Dremel drill stand, with mine I have stripped and tightened all moving parts as the thing seemed to allow the drill bit to wander when drilling. The clamping of the drill itself is not too great a solution! I made wedges to go between it and the support bracket and then used zip ties to hold it and remove most of the 'slop' from the movement.
On another note, who do you use for the supply of your silver solder and flux?

Mark T

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Re: Making Planking Clamps
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 10:06:03 AM »

Hi Brian I have got to agree with you about the drill stand itís not very good but Iíve found that a good centre punch mark helps a lot. I use Cupalloys for my silver solder. They make a paste in a syringe thatís got the flux already mixed in and the melting temperature isnít too high either. It suits most of my needs.
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Brian60

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Re: Making Planking Clamps
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2018, 10:50:50 AM »

Cheers Mark, I'll take a look at the website, never thought about a pre mix before.
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