Those who have been following my mosts here may recall my post a few years back on a very simple planking clamp that anyone can make from common spring-steel binder clips that you can buy at any office supply store.
Well, a while back, Amati came up with their own version of this idea that you might be interested in trying out. Their Clamp Set gives you a dozen binder clips and specially designed brass plates together to a set of very nice planking clamps.
The instructions on how to assemble them is printed right on the back of the cardboard cover, so don’t throw it out until you’ve made your set! The package includes a dozen binder clips, the same as you would get at the office supply store, plus a photo-etched sheet with 14 brass plates – I guess they figure you’re likely to screw up once or twice.
There’s definitely a little bit of assembly required here. First the brass pieces each have to be cut from the sheet. I found you could just twist them in place until they broke loose. In either case, the tabs that hold the parts to the sheet need to be filed down a little. Also, the parts come off a little sharp, so just be careful.
You’ll need some fine pliers to assemble these, as you will need to bend some tiny tabs. The instructions are pretty clear on how to do this, and in a short time, you have a completed planking clamp assembled.
Now, it didn’t take long to figure out that there might be an easier way to assemble these, but it’s kind of hard to describe without going into too much detail. In any case, the first one, but I noticed the brass plate rattles a little when you shake it. This doesn’t affect its use, but I realized that if you just bend the tabs so that are flat on top of the clip, it would make for a tighter fit and not rattle. Again it doesn’t make the clamps any better, just quieter.
So, these clamps do take a few minutes to assemble, but they look like they will work well. Again, it’s about the same as the design I’ve been using, just a little fancier.
If you want to try these out, their available from your Amati dealer as item number 7377. Ages of Sail stocks them here. Ω