Chestnut Tool

Clam
Clamps

1-800-96Miter
(1-800-966-4837 )
P.O. Box 812
Holden, Maine 04429

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sept. 24, '06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miter Clamps
for
Perfect Miters ...... Fast
Quips and Tips

 

Video Tips: Tweaking your Biscuit Jointer for use with mitered casings.
Streaming Video for DSL and Cable Connections

        Quips

Tips
 
Q#1
     The framing is so bad on the jobs I do, there is no way I can precut miters. The rock usually sticks out past the jamb, so each miter has to be custom cut to fit.

Q#2
      It takes too long to mark and slot all the miters for biscuits.
                   Tip#2

Q#3
      It takes too long for the glue to set up.           
                   Tip#3

Q#4
      My slots are not consistent when I slot from the bottom of casings.
                     Tip#4

Q#5
       I don't like the 4 holes your clamps put in the edge of the casings.
                  Tip#5  

Q#6  
       Can I back out some of the pins and still have the clamp work?
                   Tip#6     

Q#7
       What else are Clam Clamps good for, besides casing?
                    Tip#7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Streaming Broadband: Tweaking Biscuit Jointers

 

(New)

 
Tip #1       Long Reply Necessary, Sorry

     That's what I used to think, and how I used to trim. Then I realized, after working with large detailed casings, that all the backplaning and faceplaning I was doing amounted to nothing more than treating the casing like a crown molding. So I started doing it like that right on the chop saw.
      For instance, if the rock stuck proud of the jamb in the top left corner of a door by 5/16ths, I would put a 5/16ths shim against the chop saw fence (under the outside edge of the casing) and whack a true 45degrees on the left leg. I would use the same shim for the left side miter of the head casing and chop it. The resulting miter joint would then be uniformly open along the face if placed together on a flat surface. But when put up on the wall and jamb, the miter joint would be closed. Naturally, the rock still would have to be cut back, or smashed out with the big hammer, nearly to the width of the casing.
      Then, during the testing of the Clam Clamp, we discovered that using biscuits and Clamp Clamps completely eliminated the need to treat casing like crown. The joint strength achieved with a real glue joint, allowed us (after the rock was cut back, of course) to hook "quick grip" clamps around the wall, and reef the inside edges of the casing tight to the jamb without any special cuts.
     Another thing I learned, from one of the guys on my crew, was that bashing the rock is insane, because it takes too long and is too dusty. Don, and subsequently everyone else, started using his battery makita skill saw with an undersized blade to cut back the rock. The slow foot speed of this combination created very little dust, most of which fell into the saw's blade guard. Cheap carbide blade and eye protection are obvious necessities.

                      Next Quip (#2)

 

 

 

 

 



Tip #2
     Don't mark them. Hold the edge of the biscuit jointer shoe flush with the inside edge of the miter and plunge. If that doesn't put the slot where you want it, mark your jointer fence or shoe so that that mark aligns with the inside edge of the miter. You will need an identical mark on the other side of the jointer for the complimentary miters. Marking each stick takes much longer than cutting the slots.
                      Next  (Quip#3)

 

 



Tip#3
       1).   It is possible that someone on your crew re-set the depth adjustment on your biscuit jointer too deep, to make things go "faster". This causes glue to puddle in the empty slot and, trapped there, it can remain runny for literally weeks. I take a square edged board, slot it, stick a biscuit all the way in it and mark it with a sharp razor knife full length where it sticks out of the slot. Then I take the biscuit out, spin it around, make sure the entire scribe is inside the slot, then mark it again. If I get much over 1/32nd overlap, I shallow up the slot .
      2)    I use either Titebond Red Cap or Wilsonart aliphatic resin (I think the Wilsonart is faster curing), and can remove Clam Clamps within 3 or 4 minutes from poplar casings, so long as I am fairly gentle and can let them set leaning against a wall.
                         Next (quip#4)

 

 

 

 

 

Tip#4
      If you are still using the "D" handled piece of junk you see me using in the JLC article and refuse to chuck it, you can rip some scrap formica the width of your casing minus 1/4in, cut a 45 on one end, and hold it on the back of the casing ( the 45 back a little from the mitered end) before setting your jointer sole on it. The formica will bridge the Back Relief on the casing which is causing the machine to rock because there isn't enough solid bearing for the sole of the machine. This works with all machines, not just the ones that belong in the dumpster.
                       Next (Quip#5)

Biscuit Jointer Tweaking:
Video for Broadband Connections

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip#5
       I don't like rutabaga. And I don't like the 25 or 30 holes your nail gun puts in the face of every casing either.
                           Next (quip #6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip#6
       Yes. You can back out the two center pins if you are working with hardwood, and Clam Clamps will exert more than adequate pressure for a glue joint. However, I have never had anyone complain about the holes. Including the painters who do not have to caulk a single miter.
       The only time I back out pins is when a stained window exists in a stairway landing where you are eye level, dead on, with the top edge of the casing when walking down the stairs; and the home has already been sold to a nit picker; and the painters are incompetent.
                          Next (Question#7)

 

 

 

 

 

Tip#7
       Although Clam Clamps were designed specifically for mitering casings,and are well worth the investment for that purpose alone, several other applications for them have cropped up. Some trim carpenters are using them for stubborn outside corners on crown moldings and baseboard.
       But probably two of the most valuable unexpected uses have been for banding raised panels and gluing up mitered cabinet doors. Since raised panels 5'4" wide by 7'something tall are not practical out of solid stock, the alternative is to band sheet goods with solid stock mitered at the corners then raised on a shaper. I really don't know how I could have done that particular job without them.
       A customer who manufactures kitchens and cabinets with mitered doors, has purchased a great many Clam Clamps for that purpose. He leaves his rails and stiles oversized during clamp up, and his subsequent squaring and sizing operation gets rid of (you guessed it) the shallow holes in the edges.
       A number of trim subs in my area also have small shops, and pre-assemble their casings in their shops before taking them to their job sites.
       And an increasing number of millwork shops are offering MSG (mitered/splined (biscuited really)/and glued) casing units to contractors as a way to supplement their own income and increase their sales, while lowering the contractors' labor costs. It appears to be a preview of the future here in Connecticut.
       If you have actually taken the time to read all of the above and have additional questions, call me at 207 990 2001. I will be happy to talk with you. I will not, however, be happy if you call my 800 number just to pick the remains of my brain or bullshit. That number is reserved for bullshit accompanied with Clam Clamp orders only, unless you are my daughter.
       Thank you for your time and interest.
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