I’m posting this from the train to Chicago, from Milwaukee. I’m also posting it from my phone, so we’ll see how this goes.
First, a disclaimer: if you don’t have a desire to make a ring clamp, but need one, just buy one. It took me three hours of messing around to get this one together. That works out to around $0.07 per hour for my labor, once materials are subtracted. That said it was pretty neat to do, and in fairness, I spent some of that time trying to get my busted old band saw working.
I still have to make the wedge, and the leather pads, but I’m happy with it so far. When I do this again, ther are a few things I’ll do differently. First, the hinge should incorporate a sleeve around the middle of the bolt. This should open the jaws up a bit and allow for slightly larger materials to be held. Second, I’ll hook up the shop vac to the belt sander… holy crap that thing puts out a lot of dust! Third, the hinge should be centered, instead of shifted to one side. As it is, one side opens about 50% wider than the other. I think I’ll spend a bit more time shaping the body of the next one, and give it a nice protective finish.
Like I said, I’m pretty happy with the result, and I’ll probabaly do it again. There is something excellent about making your own tools… even when it’s cheaper to buy them.