How Important Clamping Is For Woodworking

A little story about Car-Carpentry.

In Short

  • Starting a new woodworking project is all about getting as close to a perfect square, plum and level square to work off. The straightness of the entire project is severely limited by how well you join your initial pieces of wood together.
  • The key thing I was missing in getting this started was my ability to hold the first two pieces of wood firmly up against eachother when first joining them.
  • Clamps are exactly what you need here.
  • Buy several
  • Buy decent ones
  • Get used to the patience required to clamp and unclamp several clamps EVERY single time you need to join two new pieces of material.

I think about people that are skilled carpenters the same way I hear people describe software developers.

Carpenters do some sort of black magic to make things we interact every day with. Most of the time the black magic they perform is so potent that we don’t even notice how impressive somethings build quality is, or the elegance with which it was put together until it breaks.

I really enjoy trying my hand at the odd bit of wood working because it seems endlessly creative, keeping your mind and hands engaged. This is sadly not something you get these days with most office jobs, so to me it is somewhat of a luxury to get to say I am using my mind and my body at the same time.

My workshop on the road.

messy interior of a van covered in miscellaneous wood working equipment.

This might not be the most flattering image to share as its just the back of a van, however I think its representative of my attitude towards order during my woodworking projects – or lack thereof.

A spirit level on what looks like a barely level wood platform inside a vans interior.

You might not be able to tell it from a distance. Behind the camera was a very, very exhaust and elated Jonah. I was grinning ear to ear. I really, truly, felt as though I had reached one of my personal performance peaks in life at this moment. Don’t worry I know the platform was barely level.

This post is a work in progress and will likely grow over the next few days as I flesh out the rest of the lessons I learned wood working from my humble setup on the road. I like to publish these as I work on them as motivaiton to finish them and not end up with 1000s of posts that are half written. I appreciate your patience of reading this far.


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