All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps
A handy way to keep you going straight
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted – 3-10-2013
One of the things I learned to fear early in woodworking was when someone said to “simply clamp a straight edge onto the work to guide your (whatever power tool)”. Actually there was nothing simple about finding a piece of material that was in fact straight. Then there was getting it clamped in the right place without interfering with whatever tool you wanted to use against it. It never turned out to be that simple.
The All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps are built around an aluminum extrusion that has an overall height of 9/16” and a flex-resisting width of 2-17/32”. The shape and width of the extrusion prevent the All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps from flexing in the middle as you follow them with a router or other power tool. The height, including at the operating levers, is sufficiently low enough to clear the handles on any router or jigsaw I have seen. That leaves you nothing to do but concentrate on following the edge to get a perfect cut.
The All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps are available in models with a 50” (#32777) clamping capacity, 36” (#39745), 24” (#32439) and 12” (#34624) capacities. They also offer a 99” (#34209) version for cutting 4 by 8 foot stock on the long axis. Keep in mind that those dimensions represent the actual clamping capacity range, not the overall length of the clamp itself.
Both sides of the bar have easy-to-read scales that begin at the end of the fixed jaw. These scales can help with setup or when a partial width cut is necessary.
In addition to the All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps themselves you can further extend their utility with a group of optional attachments. The #33408 All In One Contractor Saw Plate attaches and guides your circle saw. The #38428 ''C'' Series All In One Contractor Router Plate guides your router and the #31481 All In One Contractor Stop Block lets you make multiple cuts of precisely the same length. Rockler also offers the #35430 Squaring Attachment for All-In-One Clamp Guide (A and C Series Compatible) that makes installing the clamps 90-degrees to the edge fast and easy.
Adjust and Lock
The All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps have a moveable jaw on one end and a fixed pressure jaw on the other. Both have faces 1-3/4”-wide and made from non-marring material to prevent damaging your wood. Just lay the All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps on the workpiece, bring the moveable jaw against the wood and push the operating lever down to lock it in place.
In the Shop
Using the All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps is about as simple as it gets. I didn’t have the Squaring Attachment so used a framing square to make sure that the All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps was 90-ddegrees to the edge. For those using these clamps for breaking down sheet goods adding the Squaring Attachment is a good idea.
The All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps do a great job of guiding a router, jigsaw or circular saw. The edges of the extrusion are tall enough to provide a solid contact area against which to rest most power tool bases. The attachments available for the All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps make that even more precise and easier to use for those anticipating more than occasional use.
The All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps are handy in virtually any shop and go a long way to making the process of breaking down sheet material far more accurate. Because they work with many power tool types you are likely to have more uses for them to further extend their cost effectiveness.
With a street price of $45.99 (3-4-2013) for the 50” model down to $39.99 for the 12” version the All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamps represent a long-term value for your shop. Cost effectiveness and durability are things we can always use in our shops.
All NewWoodworker.com Custom Plan Sets, written, photographic and drawn materials are property of and copyright by NewWoodworker.com LLC 2000-2014. Materials may not be used in any way without written permission of the owner.