There are many types of corner clamps. Whether homemade or manufactured, each clamp has its own use, but believe me when I say there are never enough clamps for woodworking projects.
I have already built several types of DIY clamps for the workshop, including both corner clamps and 90-degree clamps, however, all of them are operated with one hand. This time I built a double handle corner clamp. It is versatile, and solid, and can be used mainly for heavy-duty projects where more clamping power is necessary.
The build resembles two drills press vices connected together at 90 degrees. One of the main advantages is that each of the jaws can be used separately and independently, giving the tool many ways to use it. Not only it can be used as a clamping device or a workbench vise but it can be used as a saw guide for miter cuts as well. The versatility of the tool is amazing and to classify it only as a clamp wouldn’t be correct. That is one of the main reasons why I wanted to add it to my shop gear. Unexpectedly, I use the corner clamp the most as a picture frame clamp.
To build the two-handled clamp I was following the same process as when building a drill press vise. I have used material that is easily available in any hardware store. The body is made of birch plywood and MDF, and the screw mechanism uses a threaded rod and homemade star knobs.
As I already mentioned, there are multiple ways how to use the tool, but in any case, it is better to clamp it down when in use for better support and stability.
Building the right-angle clamp is fairly easy, and any woodworking beginner can do it. It might take some extra time to build it, but if you follow the process step-by-step you will have no problems fixing the jaws at 90 degrees, which is the most important thing to successfully complete the jig.
How to Make a Double Handle Corner Clamp Video
If you want to see how it is done, watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to make a corner clamp with two handles.
Table of Contents
- The Material you will need
- General Questions
- Does quick release have any advantage with clamps?
- How to make a double handle corner clamp, DIY right angle clamp
- Step 1: Cut the corner clamp base
- Step 2: Make t-track slots
- Step 3: Fix the base pieces together
- Step 4: Attach the vise jaws to the base
- Step 5: Cut the moving jaws and make the screw housing
- Step 6: Assemble and complete the jaws
- Step 7: Add T-track runners
- How to use a Double Handle Corner Clamp, Right Angle Clamp, Workbench Vise
- Clamping corners with a double handle corner clamp
*Safety is your responsibility. Make sure you know what you’re doing and take all necessary safety precautions while working with power tools. Safety comes first! Always be cautious and careful when using any power tool.
Material needed for a Double Handle 90 Degree Clamp
Right Angle Clamp:
Plywood – 23,5cm x 23,5cm x 1,2cm
MDF – 23,5cm x 23,5cm x 0,5cm
Plywood – 6x – 10cm x 2,5cm x 2,4cm
Plywood – 2x – 1,5cm x 2,5cm x 1,2cm
MDF – 2x – 2,5cm x 2,7cm x 0,5cm
Drill bit – 2mm, 6mm, 7,5mm
Router bit – 6mm
Forstner bit – 15mm, 20mm, 35mm
M6 Wing Nut, M6 Nuts, Washers
Wood screws (Longer 3,5cm, shorter 1,3cm)
Does quick release have any advantage with clamps?
As attractive as it may sound, I am not a huge fan of the quick release clamp functionality. It looks like a nice improvement to the clamps and you might think you will save a lot of time but I am not convinced of that. On the contrary.
In my experience, the vast majority of quick-release clamps are lacking clamping precision, “thanks” to this addon. The quick-release functionality is awkward and clumsy. It does not hold the work material precisely at 90 degrees and there is a need for extra adjustments to make it so.
A clamp without a quick release functionality is better for precision. With this DIY clamp, I’d rather make a few extra turns with the handle, knowing that the connection is perfect.
Let’s Build It!
The base of the clamp is made of birch plywood and MDF, the jaws from plywood and the spindle from a threaded rod, a t-nut, and a star knob. All the materials are easily available in local stores. For all my projects I am using Baltic birch plywood mainly for its strength, durability, and grain texture. If you want to build quality projects go for Baltic Birch.
The double handle clamp has many uses. It can be used as a saw guide, a workbench/drill press vise or it can be used as a clamping device for corner joints. The design supports all of the above-mentioned types of use and it can be used both freely or it can be clamped down to a workbench.
There is also a circle cut on the base board to drip excess glue.
Corner clamp guide parameters:
- Durable right-angle clamp made from plywood and MDF
- Double handle jaw for precise 90-degree angles
- Total dimensions –23,5×23,5cm
- Jaw capacity/Clamping range – 5,7cm (Enough for most jobs, supports standard sizes)
- Jaw width – 10cm
- Star knob handles – Easy to grip homemade handles
- Quick setup, can be used freely or clamped to a workbench
To build the corner clamp you will need a jigsaw and a hand drill (two basic tools). Additionally, you could use a trimming router together with a router dado jig (for routing a precise slot in the base) but it is not necessary and you can use a jigsaw and sandpaper instead.
How to make a Double Handle Corner Clamp, DIY Right Angle Clamp
Step 1: Cut the corner clamp base
For the base you will need a birch plywood desk (23,5cm x 23,5cm x 1,2cm) and an MDF desk (23,5cm x 23,5cm x 0,5cm).
Cut a circle for excess glue on the MDF desk using a Fortner bit.
Step 2: Make t-track slots
Draw the t-track slots on both of the pieces (plywood, MDF) and cut the inner parts. The plywood piece together with the MDF piece creates a t-track for the runners. I made the cuts with a precise dado/groove guide for routers.
For precise cuts, you can also use an adjustable router template guide, although there exist other few ways how to make a T-track without using a router. Using a jigsaw or a coping saw together with sandpapers is one of many options.
NOTE: If you don’t have the means or any of the tools mentioned above you can also make the t-slots by gluing multiple wood pieces together leaving a slot in the middle.
Step 3: Fix the base pieces together
Glue both pieces together. Make sure the glue does not get in the t-slots. If so, clean it as fast as possible before the glue dries off.
Secure the pieces with wood screws from the bottom of the base – the screws must be flush with the surface.
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Step 4: Attach the vise jaws to the base
Cut 2 plywood pieces (10cm x 2,5cm x 2,4cm) for the static jaw. The best way how to cut the pieces is by using a table saw. If you don’t have one, you can use a circular saw, as I did. Sand the sides and make sure the pieces are adjacent to each other.
Now, this is the most important part of the build!
- Glue the jaws on the base and use a square to make sure they a perpendicular to each other. This determines how accurate the vise will be.
- Once the glue dries completely secure the pieces with screws (make sure they are flush with the surface).
Step 5: Cut the moving jaws and make the screw housing
Cut 4 plywood pieces for the moving jaws and for the screw housing (10cm x 2,5cm x 2,4cm). Sand all the sides.
1. For the Moving Jaw
Drill a 20mm and a 15mm hole in the center of the piece using a Fortner bit. The depth of the cut should accommodate 2 washers and a 6mm hex nut.
2. For the Screw Housing
Drill a 20mm and a 7,5mm hole in the center of the other wood piece and install a 6mm t-nut.
Step 6: Assemble and complete the jaws
Glue the screw housing on the base and attach it with screws. The fixed jaw and the screw housing need to be parallel to each other.
Screw the threaded rod (13,5cm) in the t-nut and mount a 20mm washer and a star knob on the threaded rod. Star knobs look really great as handles and they are so easy to make.
Use epoxy to glue a hex nut on both ends of the rod and slide the wooden knob on the hex nut.
Insert a 15mm washer in the moving jaw (serves as a plate for pushing the jaw forward), mount it on the threaded rod, and seal the nut in the jaw by gluing over a 20mm washer with epoxy.
Step 7: Add T-track runners
To make the moving jaw more stable add a runner in the t-slot. The jaw will move more easily and it will not lift when tightening the material.
It is very easy to cut small wood pieces on a jigsaw table.
Glue the pieces and attach the runner to the moving jaw.
Great! Now you have a double handle adjustable corner clamp!
If you want to have a device that is not only limited to clamping then this is the one. The versatility of the tool is really great. It’s comfortable, safe, and easy to use. A nice addon for the workshop and a nice weekend project.
How to use a Double Handle Corner Clamp, Right Angle Clamp, Workbench Vise
The steps provided below describe how to use a double handle corner clamp / right angle clamp. What is amazing about a double handle corner clamp is that it can be used in multiple different ways. It can serve as a cutting guide for miter cuts, it can be used as a simple workbench vise or a device for corner joints and miter joints.
In my case, I use it most often to make miter joints and to join picture frame corners. Unlike other types of clamps, what I appreciate is that this one not only allows me to make T-joints but allows me to join pieces of wood with different widths as well. You wouldn’t believe how handy it is.
Clamping corners with a double handle corner clamp
- Insert the first wood piece in the clamp and tighten gently
- Insert the second wood piece in the clamp
- Apply glue on the ends and start tightening both jaws
- Secure the wood pieces with screws or other types of fasteners
TIP: The design of the device contains a drilled hole for glue excess but you can place additionally a piece of wax paper right below the joint. The paper will allow you to easily get rid of glue excess keeping both the device and the workbench clean.
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I hope the information shared in this blog post inspired and now you are adding this corner clamp to your next builds. 😉