Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 153, May 2018 Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Tool Review: Bessey Heavy-Duty Right Angle Clamp
By Jeff Fleisher

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The miter joint is one of the most well known and identifiable joints in woodworking but it also one of the hardest to make because of the difficulty in clamping it together. I've tried spring clamps, flimsy corner clamps, belt clamps and many others and none of them seem to hold the joint together securely. The Bessey Heavy-Duty Right Angle Clamp solves that problem.

The kit comes with the clamp itself, two TK-6 Mounting brackets to secure the clamp to your benchtop and a plastic insert so you can tighten the clamps jaws when not in use. The plastic insert is actually a pretty clever addition because the head flops around when it isn't screwed tight.

The two TK-6 mounting brackets are also a nice addition. When dealing with long or tall pieces of wood the clamp can easily slide around and you may end up needing three hands to clamp your boards together. The brackets secure the clamp to your workbench and eliminates this problem. They open to a 2-1/8" maximum thickness so they can easily fit on a typical 2" thick workbench.

The clamp itself is die-cast and coated with a material that is designed to protect your project pieces. It is also 'Bessey Red' so it will be hard to lose the clamp on a cluttered workbench! The head holds pieces up to 1-1/8" differing thickness and a maximum capacity of 1-3/4" with uniform stock thickness. The jaw depth is 1-3/16". There are two handle versions available. One is a traditional wooden handle and the other is a 2K composite handle with a comfort insert. I found the clamp to be solidly built and very hefty. The weight of the clamp is one of the first things you notice when taking it out of the package.

I first used it with some picture framing stock to see if I could get a nice tight mitered joint. The joint went together very easily and it pulled the pieces together so that all the curved profiles fit together perfectly.

I also wanted to see how well the clamp worked with a traditional miter joint at the end of two boards that were taller than the clamp itself. It had no problem pulling these two boards together and could easily have been used on boards twice as wide.

In addition to the 45 degree miter joint you can also create a T-joint between two boards. I created a butt joint between two boards and then used the clamp to hold the boards together while drilling holes for screws.

I was able to easily align the two boards in the clamp and it tightened up nicely to keep the boards snug against each other.

There was no movement or slipping while I drilled countersunk holes. The perpendicular board did not move as the drill bit entered the end-grain of the piece. I also had plenty of clearance between the drill and the clamp for this bit. As a result I was able to get two nicely drilled holes ready for screws.

The Heavy-Duty Right-Angle Clamp is built to be a workhorse clamp as you would expect from Bessey. I was very pleased with how well the clamp is built and how easily it pulled my work pieces together and held them in a rigid position. A set of these clamps would make easy work of assembling picture frames or any 45 degree joint plus the added benefit of creating T-joints as well. If you are going to do any framing like this in the near future, I highly recommend you take a look at this clamp for your shop.

To find out more or to purchase a Bessey Heavy-Duty Right Angle Clamp, visit the Highland Woodworking website.

Jeffrey Fleisher has been a woodworker for approximately 20 years and a professional woodworker for the past 6 years. He is the president of his local woodturning club, the Woodturners of the Virginias and past president of the Northern Virginia Carvers. You can see some of the furniture he has made at www.jeffswooddesigns.com. He can be reached by email at furnmkr@gmail.com

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