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Corner Block Building Aid

Text & Photos by Tom Hintz

Very simple, but very handy.
Click image to enlarge

   Since most of us do our woodworking in solitude, we have to devise ways of performing tasks that would be easier with another set of hands.

   One of the more difficult tasks we frequently encounter is attaching two pieces together at a 90-degree angle. Simply squeezing the pieces together with a pipe or bar clamp does nothing to insure they remain square. Glue and/or screw this joint together and you may have built in an out-of-square condition that will affect how square the finished project will be.

   There are commercially produced corner clamps of various shapes and sizes available, but when this need arose in my shop, I needed to come up with an instant solution or stop work for the day.

   In a rather odd fit of logical inspiration, I fashioned a few pieces of scrap 2X4 into a simple, but effective corner brace. I carefully cut the pieces on my power miter saw after checking to be sure it was set exactly at 90-degrees. I also cut a true 45-degree wedge that when attached, serves as a very solid brace. Glue and screw the pieces together and let it dry completely before using.

   When I need to make this kind of joint, I simply clamp my low-tech brace to one piece, put it in place and add another clamp to the other leg. Presto! I can then fasten the pieces together at 90-degrees, with my own two hands and not worry about my shelf falling over and knocking me out.

   So far, I have just the one corner brace, though I will certainly make a few more in different sizes. Scrap is essentially free and the time necessary to build them is small. However, the convenience they bring to the shop, not to mention the accuracy in assembly, is priceless when the project is finished.

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