I'm thinking of making a very large slab for a table. But I don't have enough pole clamps or long enough poles.

Are ratchet straps suitable for clamping glued boards together for a table?

Is this a noted practice?

Has anyone tried this with success?

  • 1
    Is this a noted practice? All you have to do is hit up Google to find out if it's been done before (it has, ratchet straps are widely used by current-day woodworkers where needed). They are not ideal for doing flat glue-ups, and you'll want to take extra steps to ensure the boards stay flat.
    – Graphus
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 11:01

2 Answers 2


yes, and no.

I have used ratchet straps to hold things for glue to set, mostly awkward shapes that don't lend themselves to nice straight clamps.

Things you need to consider when using them though.

  1. You don't want to clue the straps to your piece, so you'll want to take care where the glue squeezes out.

  2. you don't want to mar your surface with the ratchet, so take similar precautions maybe putting a piece of cardboard under the ratchet as you tighten it down.

  3. For long pieces you'll need to use a straight board to keep the straps from 'bending' the glue joints and getting a 'cupping' of your boards. (this is a worry even with bar clamps, but much more so with ratchet straps since they don't even have a rigid bar to fight the 'rounding' action.


Ratchet straps go around things and hold them together, so yes.

Obviously, you don't want to damage your piece, so take whatever steps are necessary to prevent that (e.g. cardboard or cloth pads at contact points, etc.).

See also strap clamps, which usually come with some nice little corner things to help distribute the load.

If you try it once you'll get used to how much you can tighten them without hurting anything.

  • 3
    One concern with straps as clamps is that they may pull unevenly if the tension isn't well distributed around corners. This can be managed with careful use and/or smooth guides that let ghe strap slide more easily to equalize itself.
    – keshlam
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 16:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.