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Case Clamp for stapled boxes12/13
Although we cut our boxes on a Komo, because we use the staple and screw method of assembly we still need to take care to make our boxes square. This has always been accomplished with a tape measure with mixed results. As our production has increased, I need to find something that is not dependent on the skill of the assembler. I'm thinking the logical solution is a case clamp. Like most, we use our backs to hold our boxes square, so the process would be to assemble the box with the back fitting loosely in the dadoes, put the box into the case clamp, staple the back, and remove the box for hanging of doors and drawers.
A good case clamp is a big investment, takes up added floor space, and adds some otherwise unnecessary movement of our box, so I want to make sure its a good idea. Does anyone else use this method? Are there alternative methods that people have used with success? Something more reliable than a framing square or a tape measure.
Since you are cutting your parts on a CNC which should have very high tolerances, why not make the back fit tight in the grooves so the cabinet self squares during assembly?
Or am I missing something?
I suppose I'd be concerned about debris? or a frayed part? I don't know, does anyone else set their back with a zero tolerance?
If your volume is growing you might want to consider dowels.
You would still need a case clamp though.
All our backs are "zero tolerance" if the back is square the cabinet is square.
We dowel and use a case clamp as well..
I also am considering a case clamp but was told to leave backs slightly loose so as not to "fight" the clamp squaring everything up. Could this really be a problem? Hen Bob,
We use a full thickness back that gets planted on. Eliminates the need to process 1/8 or 1/4" back material, eliminates the need to cut spanners/stretchers for the back of the cabinet and it self squares the cabinet. The back gets planted on and stapled flush to two edges, this automatically squares the cabinet.
Yes, everything is doweled. Once you system is in place it is the way to go. My assembly guys almost never have to pull a tape measure out
We staple and screw now as well. We do 1/2" thick plant on backs and it goes very quickly. We are planning to convert to dowel construction.
I use a 3/4" back cut the height of the cabinet, the bottom deck depth cut 3/4" less deep. Everything fits tight, no nailers, no square issue, no 1/4" material.
For those of you expressing the advantages of plant on backs and how easy it is to make a square cabinet...
Cabinets made with grooved in 1/4" backs can be made square too. The debate over 1/4", 1/2" or 3/4" backs either planted on or grooved in is not the point. The point is that in your plant-on system any cabinet can be built out of square too, all that needs to happen is for the assembler to not line up your back with 1 edge. A case clamp prevents that.
Believe it or not, not all processes that are practical and logical for the 1 or 2 man shop continue to be practical and logical when a shop begins to grow.
Notice I didn't even get into the whole debate about casework that needs to abide by AWI specs.
We go by AWI specs. Dowel, case clamp, 1/4" backs let in 9/32" grooves, 3/4" nailers, doweled and 2 or 3 screws through the nailer, back and into the top stretchers. A few short beads of hot melt while in the case clamp locks the back in square. Back is cut 1/16" "loose" so it can't wedge the case sides out. Cycle time about 4 minutes.