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PVC Clamps as 2 page pdf


PVC is naturally springy.  You can use Schedule 40 PVC pipe to make clamps by cutting off rings and splitting the ring on one side.  The only thing you have to do is add some kind of handle.


To make clamps for the first gluing step in making diamond ornaments cut 1-1/2" long segments of 2" PVC pipe as in PVCC01.  I'm using a back saw instead of a hacksaw, because I have trouble keep the hacksaw cut straight.  It is, of course, possible, not to mention more efficient to cut the PVC on a band saw.  Until, that is, you have a catch and let the pipe rotate into the blade with a bang resulting in flying shards of PVC.


PVCC01:  Safely cutting PVC lengths with a backsaw.


Select some 3/8" dowel rod and cut two 5" lengths, with one end cut at an angle.  Have a marker handy and hold the dowels about where you want them as in PVCC02.  Mark under the dowels for drilling.


PVCC02:  Marking the PVC ring for drilling.


Mount a 3/8" Forstner bit in your drill press, and clamp the PVC ring in a vise that can fastened to your drill press table.  I'm using a cross-slide vise in PVCC03.  Arrange the ring so that one of the marks is towards the side and under the drill bit.  Then drill through the top of the ring.  Readjust the PVC ring in the vise and drill at the other mark.


PVCC03:  Drilling holes for the handles with a Forstner bit.


The dowels will stay put if they are slightly oversize, which means they have to be tapped into place.  PVCC04 shows tapping a dowel into place while the PVC ring is held in a vise.  The mitered beveled face of the dowels should face the outside of the ring.


PVCC04:  Tapping the handles into place.


The last step is to cut a slot in the ring mid-way between, and away from, the handles.  Because the PVC ring is on its side and held by the handles, not the ring, this can be done with reasonable safety on the band saw as in PVCC05.  If this doesn't feel comfortable to you, make this cut by clamping the ring in a vise and using a backsaw or hacksaw.


PVCC05:  Sawing a slot in the ring opposite the handles.


PVCC06 shows a pair of completed clamps.  Before making more clamps test the first one.  If you have trouble gripping the clamp with one hand then drill the holes a little closer together.  If the clamp doesn’t open far enough move the holes further apart.


PVCC06:  Completed PVC clamps