What Is A Face Clamp?

A face clamp is the ideal clamp for securing your joint while drilling pocket screws.

There are so many helpful options when it comes to clamps for your project. Each clamp has a specific purpose and function that separates it from the others. I’ve researched through the internet and put together a quick summary on face clamp.

What is a Face Clamp? The face clamp is mainly used for securing individual joints while pocket screws are being driven into the workpiece. The clamp has a C-shaped jaw and it utilizes a lever mechanism to clamp the workpiece in place. The clamping faces are what set the face clamp apart from other forms of clamps as the clamping faces are very wide, ensuring the pressure is spread very thoroughly across the width of the workpiece.

Keep reading below to learn more about the face clamp and what it can be used for.

What Is A Face Clamp?

The face clamp is a mechanical device that is designed specifically for pocket-screw joinery. The clamp has a C-shaped jaw and it utilizes a lever mechanism to clamp the workpiece in place.

Face clamps are typically made from steel so they are very strong and durable, and as such can withstand high pressures during the clamping operation. The face clamp has a stationary jaw on one side and a moveable jaw on the other side that is controlled by an integrated lever.

The lever is pressed and the moveable jaw is quickly brought over towards the fixed, with the two jaws closing together to encompass the workpiece. They also feature large clamp pads that can distribute the clamping force evenly throughout the workpiece, holding all the pieces securely during the assembly.

Some models of the face clamp work with a screw mechanism that is used for tightening the jaws. This mechanism is used alongside the lever, so the required amount of pressure is impressed upon the workpiece.

Pocket Hole Screw Assembly With Face Clamps

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A face clamp is made up of several parts that enable it to secure workpieces tightly and without damage.

These parts include the two jaws, the pressure screw, an adjusting lever, clamping faces, and a handle. The sizes and some other factors of the clamp, however, depend on the model and make of the face clamp.

The Jaws: The jaws of the face clamp are long and curved pieces of metal that when brought together, form a C-shape. They have a stationary jaw, which remains fixed throughout the operation, and a moveable jaw, whose position can be adjusted.

The location of the moveable jaw is controlled by the lever, so when the lever is pushed away from the handle the moveable jaw will move away from the fixed jaw, leading to the clamp being opened. However, when the lever is moved towards the handle, the moveable jaw also moves towards the stationary jaw and closes in on it.

The Pressure Screw: When the jaws of the face clamp are closed, the screw can then be used to adjust the amount of pressure that is released by the jaws and onto the workpiece.

The pressure that has been selected using the screw will be retained for some time by the clamp. The position of the screw on the clamp can vary depending on the model and make of the clamp. Most face clamps, however, have the pressure screw located at the end of the handle to provide easy rotation for the user. 

The Adjusting Lever: The adjusting lever is a part of the clamp that is used to open or close the jaws. The lever is a perfect feature for quick and efficient clamping as it allows the clamp to grab an item quickly all in a single movement.

The Clamping Faces: The clamping faces of the face clamp are the ends of the jaws. They are the parts that come in contact with the workpiece while it is being clamped.

The clamping faces are what set the face clamp apart from other forms of clamps as the clamping faces are very wide, ensuring the pressure is spread very thoroughly across the width of the workpiece. The width of the clamping faces also ensures that it can hold down large-sized workpieces relatively easy and can also be used to hold thin pieces in their grip.

The Handle: The handle of the face clamp is a long piece of metal that the user holds on to while clamping the workpiece in place. The handle is sometimes covered with latex to increase the grip. The handle of the face clamp is also responsible for joining all the parts of the clamp together.

The face clamp is best employed in metalworking tasks such as welding and sheet metal fabrication, although it can also be used to clamp other materials like wood and plastic. 

The face clamp comes in different sizes for different levels of clamping and these sizes are judged by certain factors, including:

The Jaw Opening: The jaw opening can easily be defined as how far away the moveable jaw can move from the fixed jaw. This opening space or width between the ends of the two jaws is known as the jaw opening and it determines the clamp’s capacity.

The Throat Depth: The throat depth of the face clamp is referred to as the distance from the ends of the jaws to the edge of the handle. The throat depth determines how large a workpiece can be clamped by that specific clamp. Some face clamps are designed with longer throats so they can accommodate larger workpieces.

The Length: The length of the face clamp is variable and depends on the model of the clamp. But the length is measured as the distance from the edge of the jaw to the end of the handle.

How To Use A Face Clamp.

The speed and efficiency that is shown by the face clamp also help to make it quite an easy tool to use. All you need to do is follow a few quick and easy steps.

You must first open the jaws of the clamp by pushing the lever away from the handle. This step will pull the moveable jaw away from the fixed jaw and creates the space needed for the workpiece to fit in.

Then you need to place the jaws of the clamp around the workpiece with the jaws on either side of the workpiece, so it is encompassed by the clamp. You then need to rotate the screw of the clamp to the right to bring the jaws together adjust the clamping pressure.

This adjusting of clamping pressure will ensure that the jaws put the optimum needed pressure on the workpiece and also secure a tight grip on it. You then pull the lever back towards the handle to close the jaws tightly on the workpiece.

At this point, you may decide to use the screw to adjust the pressure of the clamp once again, making sure the correct amount of pressure is applied by the clamp. After this, your workpiece will be secure within the jaws and the work you need to perform can now be carried out with ease. 

Kreg Automaxx Face Clamps


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Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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