Wire spring clamps apply and hold pressure on small items that are being joined with glue. The pressure ensures the items remain together exactly as they were joined while the glue dries. The ends of the wire form clamps are often pointed to slightly dig into the adjoining pieces and prevent the wire clamp from slipping. Simple designs to create spring clamps are easily mimicked. Common hand tools allow almost anyone to make wire clamps for applying pressure to model parts and craft projects.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Steel wire
- Measuring tape
- Wire cutters
- Metal file
Cut a piece of steel wire 12 3/4 inches long for each wire clamp you want to make. Measure to the centre of each wire length and make a mark at the 6 3/8 inch point with a marker.
Grip the wire with one edge of the jaws of a pair of pliers 3/8 of an inch from the centre and bend the wire to a right angle. Place the edge of the pliers 3/8 of an inch to the other side of the centre mark and bend the outer side down in the same direction to a 90-degree angle. Your wire should form three sides of a rectangular box.
Measure 3 inches down from the bend on one side, grip the wire with the pliers and bend the outer side 90 degrees toward the other bent side to form a rectangular box. Bend the other side 3 inches down from the opposite angle near the centre. Bend it inward 90 degrees. Your wire should be a rectangle shape with extensions going outward in opposite directions from a short side of the box.
Bend each end 1 inch from the last angle 90 degrees to make the sides parallel with the 3-inch section of the rectangle. Now bend 1/2 inch of both the sides inward pointing toward each other to create spring clamps.
File the ends of the wire spring clamps to smooth tips for grips that will not scratch materials. File the ends to pointed tips to make spring clamps that will grip by biting into materials and prevent slipping during use. Push the 3-inch sections of the wire form clamps together to open the jaws and allow the tips to close around materials you are clamping together.
Tips and warnings
- Wire bending machines are available for make wire clamps for production purposes (see Resources). These machines will produce hundreds of wire form clamps per day.
- Wire spring clamps are available for purchase at craft stores and web retailers (see Resources). Anyone who isn't able to create spring clamps can buy them inexpensively.
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