Step 19: Make a Clamping Jig

making clamping jigs for seat boards for a picnic bench
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Dry-fit the bench seats with the dowels. Unless you own extremely long bar clamps, you'll want to make a clamping jig to hold the pieces together once the glue is applied. Screw a piece of scrap wood at one end of the work surface, position the dry-fit assembly, and secure a second piece of scrap at the other end, leaving a 1-inch gap.
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • adjustable clamp
      Clamps
    • straight edge
      Straightedge
    • router
      Router with a ¾-inch straight bit
    • bar clamp
      Bar clamps
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • 3/8-inch doweling jig
      -inch doweling jig. Go to Rockler
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • 3/8-inch twist bit
      -inch twist bit
    • 1/8-inch bit with combination countersink
      -inch bit with a combination countersink
    • 1/8-inch twist bit
      -inch twist bit
    • circular saw
      Circular saw

    Shopping List

    1. 5/4x4. Get three 8-footers for the benches and one 10-footer for the table.

    2. 5/4x6. Get two 8-footers for the benches and seven 10-footers for the table.

    3. 5/4x10. Get one 6-footer for the table.

    4. -by-2-inch spiral-cut

    5. wood dowels

    6. exterior-grade wood glue

    7. ¾-inch brass or stainless-steel screws

    8. 1½-inch deck screws