Get the step-by-step plans to build 5 Shop-Made Clamps (including these cam clamps) from WoodsmithPlans.com.
This cam clamp isn’t a new idea. In fact, I’ve admired the simple design for years. The big advantages of this design are that it’s lightweight and doesn’t apply a lot of pressure. That sounds like the exact opposite of the qualities of a good clamp, I know. However, for some tasks, like assembling small boxes, too much pressure (and a heavy clamp) can distort the project parts.
The clamp consists of two jaws and an aluminum bar. One jaw is fixed to the end of the bar, and the other slides along the bar to match the size of the workpiece. A cam lever in the adjustable jaw pivots against a flexible tongue to apply the clamping pressure. The sliding jaw captures the aluminum bar between a pair of pins. To move it, you cock the jaw slightly to release it and slide it along the bar. The jaw wedges itself in place when clamping pressure is applied.
Whether you build one or a dozen of these cam clamps, I think you'll find them pretty handy in your shop too.