avoid veneer work. The need for special
equipment, such as vacuum pumps, tend to put
this integral woodworking method out of reach of
many of the crafts practitioners. This reality
becomes more apparent every day, as the dwindling
supply of our natural resources, fuels the race for
more engineered materials… like MDF, and the greater
yield of thinly sliced veneer.
Vacuum pumps are great
if you’re doing curved work, but for flat- work, no
fancy machinery is required, beyond some basic shop
essentials (no power tools necessary).
Craig Feuerzeig is the
creator and manufacturer of The Bowclamp clamping
This system is a result
of 20 years experience installing and manufacturing
high end custom cabinetry in the beautiful, turn of
the century homes in and around Montclair, NJ.
He works and lives in
Montclair with his wife, daughter and step-daughter.
The Bowclamp is a specialty clamp, designed to go where no
other clamp will go… out there, in the middle. Evenly
distributing the clamping pressure everywhere along its
length where it contacts the work-piece.
They can be used to clamp flat, large surface areas, using
multiple pieces across the width of the work-piece.
Add platens (scrap MDF) to increase coverage as well.
The clamping pressure radiates from the clamp head, at
approximately a 45 degree angle. For each layer of ¾”
platen added, that’s an increase of 1 ½” wide in coverage.
It’s best to allow for some overlap.
Clamping could be done using a flat, rigid bench, but this
is not a requirement either… again, nothing fancy.
Simply use the Bowclamps in pairs on top and bottom. Both
heads of the clamp attach into the t-slot, eliminating the
fumbling typically associated with home-made cauls, and
flatten until the end of the work-piece.
Another added benefit, over vacuum bagging, is the need for
the “right” size platens, and corresponding shim material,
to avoid crowning of the platens, as the bag pulls the ends
down. Since clamping is only done until the end of the
work-piece, not beyond, this problem is also eliminated. Any
size piece of scrap from the pile will do.
Fine woodworking need not be expensive.
“I want three dozen of those things in my shop.” Frank Pollaro
BowClamp is designed and distributed by:
73 Glenwood Place
East Orange, New Jersey 07017