Building with pocket holes joints is a great way to create strong, long lasting projects. Pocket-hole joints are easy to assemble, too, since all you have to do is align the pieces and drive in the screw. Holding those pieces in alignment, though, can be a little challenging with just two hands. Clamps are the helping hand you need to hold everything securely while driving in the pocket-hole screws. Check out the different kinds of clamps that you can use.
Clamps for holding faces flush
Two common joints you’ll create for pocket-hole projects are frames — whether for pictures of for cabinet face frames—and joining pieces to create panels. In both cases, it’s important to keep the faces of the mating pieces flush, so that you end up with flush, smooth surfaces.
You can do that with Wood Project Clamps and Face Clamps. They feature large, flat clamp faces that are designed to span across the joint and align the faces while you drive in the screws. Plus, these clamps help keep the pieces from separating as the self-tapping pocket-hole screw exits the pocket hole and enters the mating piece. Plus, you’ll find these clamps handy for lots of other uses, too.
Benchtop-based face clamps
You can also align the faces of mating pieces using Bench Clamps. They hold the pieces flat against your work surface, and span across the joint to prevent the pieces from separating during assembly. Bench Clamps are handy for other assemblies, too, such as holding shelf edging in place as you drive in the screws, as shown.
Bench Clamps are designed to fit into a track, like on the Kreg Clamp Table. But you can use them on just about any type of work surface. You can add a Universal Clamp Trak Kit to a home-built workbench. Or you can use Bench Clamps on any bench that has dog holes with the Bench Clamp Base. There’s even a Clamp Vise, which uses a Bench Clamp and a sturdy aluminum plate, to take the place of the vise that’s often found on traditional woodworking bench.
Sometimes, you need a clamp that stays more out of the way during assembly. That’s where In-Line Clamps come in handy. They apply pressure from the side, rather than from overhead, to hold pieces securely. In-Line Clamps fit into 3/4″ dog holes found in many workbenches, or the clamps can be used on any surface where you can drill a 3/4″ hole.
Clamps for securing corners
If you’ve ever built a “case” project (like a cabinet, a TV Stand, or even a box) then you know that holding the large sides in place and aligning the corners can be a real challenge. These assemblies are a great time to have a helping hand. Thankfully, there are some unique options available.
The Right Angle Clamp looks different than any clamp you’ve seen, and it works differently. Instead of having two clamp faces, it has one face and a long pin. That pin fits perfectly into a pocket hole. That way, you can lock the clamp in place in one pocket hole to align the pieces, and then drive in the adjacent screws. Pop the Right Angle Clamp out and drive in that screw, and you’ll have an assembly that’s aligned and went together easily.
Another option for assembling corners is the 90° Corner Clamp. This one probably looks a bit strange, too, until you see how it works. This clamp has a “V”-shaped jaw and a wedge. Together, they hold pieces at perfect 90° angles, and keep them tightly together, while you drive in the screws. This clamp works great for corners, and it can hole “T” joints, such as where shelves or dividers get attached, too.