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Rutlands panel clamps

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Farmer Giles

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I'm starting to make panels for kitchen doors from quarter sawn oak. When there is only two boards in the panel, its easy enough to use parallel clamps, but if you then take two of those to create a 4 board panel, it gets a bit difficult to line up and clamp, plus you have to wait for 2 sets of glue up time. I used a cast iron tractor sump to weigh the planks down while clamping which sort of worked, unless you accidentally remove the weight, before the clamps :oops:

So I was going to fabricate something up with steel box section, some threaded bar etc. but then I saw these panel clamps on Rutlands site. I don't have much time to make the clamps so thought I would give them a try.

In each box you get a couple of bits of metal that the clamps pivot on to screw to 38mm sq timber you supply yourself. It requests that you cut out a 6mm for 150mm from one end, presumably to provide clearance for the screw/clamp on its minimum setting, this is about 17mm, anything thinner and that and you will need to use some packers, as I did. The kit comes with 5 PH2 screws. You need 2 x 38mm sq timbers for each clamp, about 360mm longer than the widest panel you intend to clamp.

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Once I had screwed the components to the timber, I started the glue up, after a dry run of course ;)

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First I placed the timber without the metal pivots attached on the bench, the compulsory wordless instructions shows the opposite in the photo but this seems more stable. I then slotted the clamp bit over the timber and covered the timber with the Daily Fail that the MiL insists on bringing around and is usually used as mulch but can give a bitter taste to veggies.

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Then the glued board, some more newspaper and some strips of ply as packers as the boards are thinner than 17mm. I used titebond original as a cabinet maker friend reckons it causes less black lines due to tannin in the oak than others.

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Then on with the top bar, position the clamps in the pivots on the top bar, screw up the clamp and done.

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I shall let you know how it goes when it comes out of the clamps tomorrow, but first impressions are good for small scale panel glue ups. Its all nicely in line and I don't think I need to add more conventional clamps between.

Cheers
Andy
 

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Farmer Giles

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The panel came out of the clamps nicely, after a bit of a sand to get rid of the glue/newspaper. I don't have enough timber to make a bookmatched panel, and I'm not going for that look, its all pretty random. Its a farm house kitchen and will get some use, I have a friend who's scared of cooking in their kitchen in case they spoil it :?

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The next bit probably belongs in my kitchen thread however it finishes this review nicely. The panel is only 11mm thick, and the frame is 20mm thick, 50mm wide. As this is just a decor panel for the dishwasher, I'm just using dominoes to joint it. I had already put a 6mm groove in the inside of the frame, I added a 5mm rebate to the back of the panel on the router table.

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Glued up an in clamps while I get supplies in to ride out storm Dennis, not looking good for the valley I must say :(

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The back of the panel shows there is room for movement around the frame and this extends to the grooves in the timber.

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And the finished panel before fitting and oiling. I just need to get the panel from the workshop to the house without it getting soaked

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Cheers
Andy
 

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Farmer Giles

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Location
West Yorkshire
Door fitted, I think that's a thumbs up for Rutland panel clamps, I have almost 30 doors and decor panels to make so I think they will earn their keep. At 40 quid each I think they are a tad expensive for what they are, but worth it if you have a fair few panels to make.

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Cheers
Andy
 

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