How to Make Spring Clamps Out of Plastic Pipe

How to Make Spring Clamps Out of Plastic Pipe
Photo by Ellis Boender

Anyone who spends much time in a workshop building things with cardboard, plastic, wood, and other materials quickly comes to appreciate having clamps around. Lots of clamps. Never enough clamps. C-clamps, spring clamps, bar clamps, vises and vise grips — they’re all life savers.

In situations where you need lots of clamps for gluing a big job, emergency clamping, and/or dirt cheap shop clamps, this little hack can come in handy. Simply cut a ring of material from a length of plastic pipe: PVC drain pipe, ABS pipe, whatever’s available. Then, cut a kerf in it, and voilà, you have a handy spring clamp. To add more clamping power, just cut a thicker ring.

You can also add heavy duty rubber bands to introduce more tension, or if you want variable pressure, cut a hole in the “C,” top and bottom, and use a threaded rod, washers, and wing nuts to create an adjustable clamp. These are no substitute for commercial clamps, but they can come in super handy if you suddenly have a need for more light-duty clamping tech than you have on hand in your shop.

[Via Houtje Boom on Lumberjocks]

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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