A band clamp also known as strap clamp, of course, is perfect for clamping large and irregularly shaped objects. Likewise, it is ideal for holding the moldings as you connect them together.
A band clamp is like the ratchet straps utilized to tie down loads. The strap gets looped around the assembly. Afterward, it is tightened, applying the necessary pressure to the joints. The diameter of the strap is forcibly adjusted to squeeze the object inside the loop.
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How Does a Strap/Band Clamp Work?
A strap clamp consists of a metal strap or a cloth strap, shaped into a loop. It comes with a mechanism that adjusts the loop’s diameter, exerting enough squeezing force on the object encircled by the loop. The strap clamp kit usually has four corner guides for a rectangular setup. These guides prevent the parts within the corners from crushing when the diameter of the loop is adjusted.
In most band clamp models, the strap evenly tightens on all sides, implying that the pressure gets equally distributed around the assembly. Thus, the use of this clamp prevents distortion. You can use the strap clamp when bonding joints in your woodwork. You can also use it in metal fabrications when welding joints.
As you become familiar with different band clamps, you will soon discover that strap clamps use varied mechanisms to tighten the straps. One common mechanism involves using a screw built into the four corner guides. In this setup, you will first pull the strap manually. Then, the cams on each side of the screw lock off.
The screw causes the cams to veer away from the corner guide. This veering away causes the tightening of the strap around the assembly. As mentioned above, the straps are usually of metal or textile webbing materials. The clamp body and guides, however, are wrought in plastic.
You can improvise your strap clamps or buy them from your nearest hardware stores. However, if you want to improvise, you can use a rope or a webbing to create the loop. Then, you can insert a bar to twist the loop to tighten it. You can tie the bar to avoid loosening.
How to Use Band Clamp?
Applications of Band Clamps
- The band clamp comes with three basic applications. It is perfect for building picture framing because it can hold the moldings you want to join to make the frame.
- It is also ideal for making or creating assemblies. Assemblies can be made of plastic, wood, and other non-ferrous materials.
- Besides, it is perfect for clamping bodies with irregular shapes.
Components of Band Clamp
The band clamps have various components. Knowing these components and their functions give you a clear understanding of how it operates:
The band clamp consists of a strong nylon strap that wraps around your assembly, holding it in place. This nylon strap offers excellent strength and durability. You can unwrap the strap to get the desired length and loop. Then, you can loop it around the assembly and lock it up when you achieve the correct size.
The strap tightens evenly and offers consistent tension, providing a firm grip on the assembly. So, it doesn’t stress with evenly distributed pressure, and the workpiece will not tend to come loose. Since you can adjust the band clamp easily, you can adjust it to accommodate workpieces of different sizes and shapes.
The Corner Grips
Since the strap might slip from the edges of the moldings or assembly, you need to equip it with corner grips. The strap clamp kit usually comes with four corner grips. These corner grips get attached to the strap, holding on tight to the corners of the frame or workpiece. These corner grips ensure that the assemblies are secured in place.
Sans these corner grips, the workpiece’s shape might get distorted once you’ve tightened the straps around the assembly. You can tilt these grips at different angles to mold or fit the shape of the workpiece. These corner grips are also replaceable. So, when you lose one corner grip, or one gets damaged, you can get another one as a replacement.
The strap clamp comes with a handle. This handle is attached to the clamp and functions as a motion or movement controller. Moreover, the handle is small enough to fit into the user’s palm. Wood or plastic usually makes up this handle. Once you’ve drawn the strap around the workpiece, you can rotate the handle to tighten the grip of the strap on the workpiece.
The Pressure Levers
The band clamp also comes with two pressure levers on either stand of the clamp’s strap. These levers squeeze the strap to tighten it up. Moreover, they ensure that the strap will not come loose while clamping the workpiece. To release the strap, you also need to press the levers.
The strap clamp gets also referred to as band clamp. The band clamp, however, is a generic term for any holding device that consists of strap of cloth or metal that forms a loop. It also comes with a mechanism for adjusting the strap’s diameter forcibly. In this way, the assembly will not move or distort its shape.
The band clamp usually makes use of a screw or rachet mechanism to apply pressure onto the workpiece. Besides, you will find various types of strap clamps in the market today. These types range in styles and designs. The thing is, if you want to clamp moldings and frames while you join them, this type of clamp is one of your best options.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.