Saturday, September 12, 2015

Deep Throat Clamping

Conservation treatment is about problem solving. “Every object is unique and so are its problems” was the mantra my mentor Mitch Kohanek drilled into us at school. Because of the peculiarities of original construction, the uniqueness of the damage, and the specifics of future client usage needs, conservators are constantly presented with scenarios that demand creative solutions. I would go as far as to say that the ability to adapt and invent is one of the most important skills an emerging conservator can develop.

Not uncommonly when patching veneer there is a need for a clamp with a long reach. There are deep throated clamps one can purchase for just this situation. Most of these max out around 12” and some of them can be awkward to fit into small areas. One would need to have a bunch of every sort of available deep throated clamp in order to cover your bases in the studio. Or you get creative.


This is my simple solution to deep throat clamping loose veneer. Take two sticks, a block thicker (maybe twice as thick) than the board you will be clamping, a small bar clamp, and a rigid clamping caul of your choosing (I like Plexiglas). Once the glue is worked into the lifted veneer, wipe the excess squeeze out glue and place the caul over the repair. Place the block at the back of the sticks and slide the “jaws” onto the caul. Once in place, simply use the bar clamp to clamp the jaws as far in as it can reach. If your block is thick enough, the jaws will make contact only on the caul. If it is touching the whole way, get a thicker block or slide the block forward.

Notice it only makes contact at the caul

The reasons I like this method are as follows:

1. It’s infinitely adaptable to each unique scenario.
2. I can achieve a longer reach than commercially available clamps.
3. It’s cheap. (Hey, I’ve got a young family to feed.)

Below is a video clip demonstrating a 16” reach. Notice the only contact is on the caul. And, yes, it’s way more than enough pressure for veneer patching.


1 comment:

  1. Useful trick.
    There is also
    - the sand bag and;
    - a flexible lath acting as a spring between the piece and the ceiling of the workshop.

    Sylvain

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