Last Updated on Jan 16, 2023
Making DIY welding clamps is useful in a pinch, especially if you happen to have a pre-made clamp break while on the job. Clamps aren’t something that a notice welder would understand the value out of, but as you do more and more projects, you certainly come to respect their importance … especially when working on a heavy project.
What questions should I ask myself before DIYing a clamp?
- What type of clamp are you looking to make?
- How precise does the clamp need to be?
- Will the clamp be used for multiple projects or do you just need it in a pinch?
Answering these questions will help you determine which plans to follow, and the quality of the homemade clamp that you need. Ultimately, we recommend buying pre-made welding clamps due to their relatively inexpensive cost and criticality to a high quality weld.
What material should I use for my homemade clamp?
You’ll most commonly find stainless steel or cast iron clamps on the pre-made market for sale. Stainless is generally preferred simply because it’s more rust resistant, but it comes at a higher price point. Cast iron on the other hand can rust, but are generally more budget friendly.
Your material selection ultimately depends on what you have available at the time of making the clamp, the urgency of it, and if you are planning to re-use it. If you’re planning to re-use it, the likelihood of rust showing up increases – can your projects afford to have rust marks on them?
DIY Welding Clamp Plans
Angle Jig Step By Step Instructions
Start with a 2 x 2 x 1/4” angle steel bar piece and a 2 x 1/4” flat bar of steeel. When selecting your steel, know that a heavier steel is less prone to warping — aka if you want to use this multiple times, try to buy heavier gauge steel.
Step 1) Cut the 2 pieces of the angle steel into equal lengths, you’ll need to eventually join these with the flat steel bar. The flat steel bar should have both ends cut at a 45 degree angle as well, to improve the quality of the joint
Step 2) Clean the metal legs, and then place them at a 90 degree angle. If you have a square on hand, use that to ensure they make a clean 90 degrees. Make sure you secure these in place so that they can maintain the angle while you are conducting your weld in the next steps
Step 3) Once secured, begin welding — initially by tack welding the pieces to create a consistent sturdy placement. After you complete the initial tack welds, inspect to make sure you’ve maintained your 90 degree angle. Once you’ve confirmed that, complete your welds along the joints. TIG welding is relatively popular with this step.
Step 4) Once your weld has cooled, make sure to clean off the slag. After that’s cleaned, recheck with a framing square to ensure you’ve maintained your angle.
Step 5) Attach magnets to produce a strong hold between your homemade clamp and your welding table.
Smartest DIY Welding Table Clamps By The Metalist
In the video, he takes existing clamps, cuts them and fabricates his own clamps. These clamps are great if you’ve got a welding table that has pinholes, resulting in not only sturdy clamps, but stable clamps as well.
DIY Fixture Clamps By The Fab Forums
Another example of a high quality homemade clamp, the one in this particuar video is a homemade bessey clamp.
Right Angle Jig Plans By WCWelding.com
These plans shared by WcWelding.com have step by step directions for a right angle jig, a great tool for welders needing perfect positioning.
Should I forge my clamp or have it be multi-pieced?
A forged clamp is going to be more sturdy, however if it breaks, you’ll need to rebuild the whole clamp. A clamp that is multi-piece is going to allow you more flexibility when replacing. Ultimately it’s up to you — but generally speaking this question is more of a concern when purchasing clamps than DIYing.