It’s almost impossible to glue up any large panel like a table top without a clamping system of some sort. To get an even surface, your panels will require clamps and pressure on the sides to set the glue and additional pressure on the top and bottom to prevent joint buckling. It can be a real trick to get it all right, and once everything is glued and clamped down properly there are so many clamps sticking out in every direction that it looks more like an alien mother ship than a woodworking project.
Or, you can use these ingenious panel clamps. The system works by applying equal pressure from all four directions: top, bottom, and both sides all at the same time.
Setup begins by attaching the mounting brackets to the 38 x 38mm timber bottom bar and attaching the clamp ends so that the heads applying lateral clamping pressure are in place. We recommend running masking tape along the wooden clamp bars before loading in the boards so that when the glue is squeezed out the boards, they don't bond to the clamping bars.
Load all your boards into the clamp and then slide the top bar into place and wind up the clamp handle as per normal to exert clamping pressure. The rear strip is 310mm long with 12 notches in it so it is adjustable within a range to ensure that you can quickly and easily adjust the overall width of the clamping range to ensure it gets done before the glue dries.
As you wind up the clamp handle, the bars are pulled down on to the work piece being clamped and prevent buckling. The more pressure you apply horizontally also directly increases the tension being brought down on the work piece being clamped. Since all four sides are covered by one clamp you’ll save time — by using far fewer clamps — and eliminate the dreaded “buckling effect” to get a straight panel.
Each kit is sold to create one panel clamp, so you will need to purchase two or more depending on the length of the work piece being jointed.