For decades I’ve used spiral wraps of slender strips of rubber cut from inner tubes in gluing up oars, paddles, and spars. I used the rubber strips initially because I didn’t have enough clamps for the longer pieces or clamps large enough to span blanks for oar and paddle blades. Even though I now have plenty of clamps, including bar clamps, I still use rubber strips for those particular jobs. The strips are easy to apply and provide plenty of pressure. The rubber weighs next to nothing—a set of clamps is heavy and can cause a workpiece to sag and curve—and hardly occupies any space while doing its job, so the workpiece is easy to set aside while the glue cures.

Photographs by the author

I used to wrap the rubber strips directly on the glue-ups.


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