How to clamp where clamps cannot reach?

The jaws and throats of most clamps don't allow much space for securing deeper on larger panels, boards or pieces. Sure, toggle clamps can be placed anywhere but you need to damage a surface in order to place them.

There are deep throat clamps. I found some that are 8 inches deep and that is good. But if you needed to clamp something that required a deeper throat it would not do.

I am picturing some sort of jig using boards to span from the edge of the work to the clamping location but I don't see that having enough downward pressure.

Forgive me if I lost you up until this point but for an extreme example: What if I wanted to clamp down a drill guide in the center of a 20 inch square board?

• To explore strange new boards, to seek out new jigs and new glued up joints, to boldly go where no clamp has gone before. – Jason C Dec 18 '15 at 19:09
• Weights. Heavy stuff. Like Dostojevskij or Tolstoj. – LosManos Dec 19 '15 at 20:17

The long board clamped across the piece is a valid plan. But to get the downward force where you need it you'll need to put something between the board and the clamp area.

A simple candidate is a block of wood and a wedge to fine tune the clamping force.

You can replace the wedge with a screw that will push against the block.

Note that the board will flex as you add clamping force so you may need to readjust all previously applied clamps.

• Is that Mathias' Birch Table? – Matt Dec 18 '15 at 20:50
• yeah I linked the article with the image – ratchet freak Dec 18 '15 at 21:26

Some sort of caul. You can make one to apply pressure at a single point, or have a slight curve to apply pressure more evenly across a panel.

• +1 for orienting the 2x4 longways in your example to decrease bending. – danielson317 Dec 18 '15 at 19:01

You can always make long-throat clamps, like these ones by Matthias Wandel:

Making long reach C clamps on YouTube

• How much force can you really get out of one of these? I feel like my hand could do an equivalent job. Though probably not be in as many places at once. – danielson317 Dec 18 '15 at 19:02
• @danielson317 those are pretty strong with the massive finger joint it has. If you cannot break them then they will be strong enough. – ratchet freak Dec 18 '15 at 19:04
• Understood. I may have to build a couple of these myself. Not even for the reach I just need some clamps and these are probably cheaper than a standard bar clamp. – danielson317 Dec 18 '15 at 19:07

Strong magnets...

For example if the board is thin and you have access to a magnetic drill you can place a piece of steel plate behind the wood board and the magnetic drill will pull against that during drilling operations.

• A clever solution though keep your cell phone out of the area. – danielson317 Dec 18 '15 at 19:03

I found this clever apparatus for clamp extension.

As well as a video on how to make one.