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February 23, 2017

Review…Ulmia Miter Clamps and Pinch Clamps

Ulmia miter clamps and pinch clamps for miter joints - Ulmia miter clamps for woodworking projects

Ulmia miter clamps and pinch clamps for miter joints

Ulmia Miter Clamps and Pinch Clamps

Ulmia miter clamps are simply amazing woodworking tools. A number of woodworkers have inquired about the Ulmia miter clamps used in the articles and videos of this blog. So, here is my response and a woodworking tool review of the Ulmia Miter Clamp set and Ulmia Pinch Clamps. These are terrific tools for clamping corners. Read on and you will understand why.

Over 30 years ago I took a deep breath as I purchased what I thought at the time were expensive woodworking tools for joining miter joints. The Ulmia miter clamps consist of a set of specialized pliers and clamp rings. There are also the smaller spring pinch clamps for securing an dead-on fit for the smaller miters. These clamping devices had a prominent place in my tool box 30 years ago and they still do today. Back then for a young carpenter serving my apprenticeship they seemed pretty pricey. However, the purchase was made as an investment and over time the investment has paid off handsomely. It’s hard to count the number of times that the Ulmia spring clamps and spring pinch clamps have been used on various wood projects. Simply put, these clamps have made the quality of my finish carpentry and woodworking in the shop much better. Here’s why.

Ulmia Pliers, ring clamps, and picture frame miter joints - Ulmia Miter Clamps and Pinch Clamps.

Ulmia Pliers, ring clamps, and picture frame miter joints.

As finish carpenters and woodworkers we often work with miter joints. We may cut miters for all types of moulding…crown, base, chair rail, you name it. Anytime we fit and glue miters we need to secure the joint until the glue sets. The same applies to many other miter situations with wood projects in the shop and the Ulmia miter clamps do a superb job. These tools are a cinch to work with as they allow the woodworker to simply go from miter to miter with ease. The Ulmia pliers and ring clamps work well on larger miter joints when more pressure is needed to secure the joint. The Ulmia spring pinch clamps perform well for the smaller miter joints requiring less pressure. I recommend these tools in a heartbeat and chances are you’ll be glad to have them when gluing miter joints in your woodworking shop. The Ulmia miter clamps allow the woodworker to work more accurately while working faster. The Ulmia miter clamps and spring pinch clamps definitely allow the finish carpenter and woodworker to work with a greater sense of self confidence. Simply align the miter joint and fasten the miter clamp. Keep in mind, these priceless tool will last you a lifetime.

Here are examples of why I enjoy working with the Ulmia miter clamps and spring pinch clamps.

Ulmia Spring Pinch clamp secures a glued miter joint - Ulmia Miter Clamps and Pinch Clamps

An Ulmia Pinch clamp secures a glued miter joint.

Related Videos and Articles:

Let’s Build a Jewelry Box…Part 3

Let’s Make Picture Frames with the Dedicated Miter Sled

Mastering the Miter Joint

How to Make Perfect Miter Joints


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 

How to Cut Uniform Thin Strips

“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”
Muhammed Ali…3-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion (1942-)

Hardwood Veneer cut on Band Saw

Hardwood Veneer cut on Band Saw

One of my woodworking shop accessories is drawing a lot of attention lately. Many viewers have seen it on my band saw during recent woodworking videos and they have asked me about it in their emails. While the name of the tool implies that it is to be used on the table saw, it has also found a lot of time on the bandsaw cutting thin strips of wood inlay bandings. What is it you ask? It is an invaluable saw accessory called the Rockler Thin Rip Tablesaw Jig.

One might ask “What makes this simple jig so special?” The beauty of this jig is indeed its simplicity. There is a roller bearing on the end of the accessory. The jig is adjustable from side to side and it can be locked into position in the miter gauge slot. When used on the tablesaw the roller bearing is set away from the blade an amount equal to the thickness of the desired ripping. Then the jig is simply slid about 4-5 inches in front of the saw blade and locked into position. Basically, that’s it.

How to Cut Uniform Thin Strips on the Tablesaw
1.) Place the surfaced edge of the board to be cut alongside the roller bearing.
2.) Slide the table saw fence alongside the opposite edge of the board.
3.) Lock the fence in place. When ready turn on the saw and take a small practice cut into the board.
4.) Check the measurement with a dial or digital caliper. Make lateral adjustments of the bearing as needed to obtain the desired measurement and adjust the fence to the boards’ opposite edge. When you have the right measurement for the ripping it is time to “rip away.”
5.) Simply, repeat the procedure of moving the table saw fence in alongside the edge opposite of the cut after every rip is made.

Band saw setup for ripping wood inlay bandings

Bandsaw setup for ripping wood inlay bandings

How to Cut Uniform Thin Strips on the Bandsaw
Note: (The “drift” of the band saw blade must first be accounted for when using this technique.) In the picture to the left a small wedge has been set between the manufacturers’ fence and the L-shaped thin rip fence. This was performed to set the fence to the correct angle of the “drift.”)

1.) Set the roller bearing a distance away from the blade that is equal to the desired ripping.
2.) Now, place the roller bearing an inch or so in front of the bandsaw blade and turn the star knob down to lock the jig in place.
3.) Next, place the right edge of the surfaced board alongside of the bearing.
4.) We now want to set an L-shaped thin rip fence alongside the left edge of the board to be ripped.
5.) Place the regular bandsaw fence next to the L-shaped thin rip fence and clamp both fences together along the boards’ left edge. Lock the fence and for safety lower the bandsaw’s bearing guides to just above the boards’ surface.

Dial caliper measure thickness of wood inlay banding

Dial caliper measure thickness of wood inlay banding

At this point it is just a matter of taking a practice cut to check the accuracy of the thickness of the ripping with a digital or dial caliper. Adjust as necessary. When the correct measurement is obtained it is time to rip. To make the next rip it is simply a matter of placing the board’s right edge against the roller bearing and then sliding the fences over to the left edge of the board. Rip and repeat the process to obtain uniform rippings.

The Rockler Thin Rip Tablesaw Jig has been in my woodworking shop for over 3 years and is still going strong. It is great for making rips on the tablesaw. However, it is also terrific on the bandsaw as it allows me to rip wood inlay bandings to a consistent uniform thickness of 3/32.” This simple little jig allows me to perform operations safely, efficiently, and with accuracy.

So, give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.

Recommended Videos…

Ripping Thin Strips on Wood Inlay on the Band Saw

Cutting Thin Strips on the Band Saw

Band Saw Rip Fence made in the Shop


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Wixey Digital Angle Gauge – a Favorite Tool

Wixey Digital Angle Gauge

 

We often read woodworking tool reviews at the time when the tool is just released. However, this review is of a tool I have steadily used over the last 2 years and it is quite simply a joy to use. The Wixey digital angle gauge has the ability to take the woodworker’s skills to the next level because it is easy to use along with being very accurate. No longer does the woodworker have to rely on the less than accurate gauges of a table saw or a miter saw to approximate the angles to be set. One can set the correct angle effortlessly within seconds by using this wonderful setup tool.

During the time I have employed the Wixey Digital angle gauge in my workshop I have found all sorts of uses for it. It can be seen in many of the previous postings on this woodworking blog.
Here are a few examples:

Cutting wood inlay segments on the tiliting band saw miter sled - Wixey Digital angle gauge

Tilting Bandsaw Miter Sled
The angle gauge is used to set the tilting table of the bandsaw in reference to the blade to achieve cuts that are dead-on perfect.

Wixey Digital angle gauge - Setting the blade angle on the 10 inch compound miter saw blade.

The digital angle gauge accurately measures the bevel cut on the 10 inch compound miter saw blade.

Wixey Digital angle gauge and Table Saw blade

The table saw blade is set perpendicular to the table.

The Wixey Digital angle gauge can be used to set the angle on the jointer fence and also to set the angle on a drill press table. Once you start using this marvelous measuring device you will find more ways for it to be utilized in your shop.

The base of the Wixey Digital angle gauge has two super strong magnets that can be used to attach itself to saw blades or a jointer fence. Begin by setting the angle gauge on a reference surface and pressing the zero button. Once the gauge has a zero reading it can now be placed on the blade or the fence that you are adjusting. Now, simply adjust to the desired angle and lock the blade or fence in place. It’s that easy.

The Wixey digital gauge (model WR 300) is accurate within 0.1 degrees. It comes with a battery.

The Wixey digital angle gauge is simply a must have tool for the setup of power tools in the woodworking shop. The Wixey digital angle gauge allows the woodworker to save time, save material, and to work with confidence.

What are you thoughts about using a Wixey digital angle gauge?
How have you used your Wixey digital angle gauge?

Recommended Video:
Wood Turning…a Segmented Fruit Bowl…part 1

Recommended Article:
Dedicated Miter Sled…revisited

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Try Anti-Fatigue Mats…your feet will thank you!

In a recent woodworking article and video on this blog, Let’s Install Wood Inlay Bandings I mentioned the use of anti fatigue mats during a woodworking procedure. The situation called for me to be in one place for quite a hours as I would be working at my workbench fitting and installing wood inlay bandings into the dadoes of twelve picture frames. To be more efficient I moved my bandsaw with a mobile base closer to my bench where I could simply turn 180 degrees from the band saw to the workbench. It sure beats walking back and forth. Plus it saves time.

Having read the article and watched the woodworking video a viewer named Dan asked a few questions about the rubber anti-fatigue mats that are in my workshop. He also stated that his feet get quit tired and sore when standing on a concrete floor in the shop. So, I responded to Dan and I also thought it would be worthwhile to write a review on these feet saving floor mats to share with you.

Interlock mats for the shop.

Anti-fatigue mats for the woodworking shop

Each package of mats contains 4 individual mats. Each 24″ x 24″ mat has interlocking tabs that allow it to be joined with another mat. With one package you can can create a 2′ x 8′ area of cushion at your workbench if you choose or a 4′ x 4′ area. If you like you can make two areas of comfort that are 2′ x 2′ as the interlocking tabs make this system very flexible.

To give you an example I purchased two packages of these anti-fatigue mats. I have two workbenches where each has three mats connected together creating a 2′ x 6′ area. Also, there is a single mat in front of my table saw and a single mat in front of my wood lathe. It’s been over two years now that these mats have been in my shop and they simply make life easier.

Anti-fatigue mats for the workbench

Anti-fatigue mats for the woodworking shop

Here’s why the mats are a welcome addition in the woodworking shop.
1.) During the winter or summer they insulate the feet from heat and cold.
2.) Obviously, the mats cushion the feet.
3.) Tools are protected from damage when they fall from the workbench.
4.) The mats are easy to clean.
5.) Total installation is 15-30 seconds.
6.) They can easily be moved if need be.
7.) If you like, they can easily be glued in place permanently.
8.) They are inexpensive.

In summary when you decide to order the anti-fatigue mats you will feel like it was money well spent. Plus, your feet, legs, and back will thank you.

What are your thoughts on anti-fatigue mats?
What kind of mats do you have in your workshop?


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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