Custom Clamps

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Often a custom project can be made more difficult by the nature of the parts - while a canvas can be sat on an easel, a painted head or torso cannot be easily rested to dry without risking the part sticking to the work surface. Here JoeMichaels70 explains how he gets around this problem.



Types of Clamps used, mounted to the coathanger lengths
I found an assortment of alligator clips & other assorted electrical clamps on eBay rather cheap. I then took & cut some various lengths of metal clothes hangers to mount them on. The alligator clips have little metal tabs that 'fold' around the metal pieces, but I discovered right away that they wouldn't hold under any type of stress - including opening the jaws [these are designed to allow a wire to be soldered inside and then the joint covered -Ed].

I then mixed up some JB Weld, (an easy-to-use 2-Part Epoxy sold at Home Depot cheap) that I like to use because it stays relatively 'together' like a thick goo after mixing, and epoxied the clamp tabs to the wires.

Clamp Holder

The next thing I discovered is that once I had all these little clamps, I needed a place for them to hang out while the paint dried - they kept falling off the table. So, I built a little stand for them all. I took a 12" 2x2 and screwed it down the center to a 12" 1x4. I next drilled small holes every 1.5" or so along the 1x4, and larger holes down the 2x2 (you'll see why in a moment). It worked great!

Isometric view of the Clamp Holder
End view

In Use

These clamps are awesome for holding various pieces while priming, painting, spray-painting, sealing, etc. You can bend the wires in any shape to accomodate space and/or specific holding needs.

Warning: Some of these really cheap clamps have extra 'sharp' teeth, and won't think twice about taking your paint off a figure, or even putting some chomps into the plastic - if you find such a naughty clamp among your bunch, you can either grind down the teeth with a dremel or file, or throw it away.

Fully assembled and in use


A perfect fit!

I don't know if I discovered it myself or found it out here on the boards, but #2 pencils with erasers make GREAT painting jigs for Joes, especially ARAH. Just assemble the torso over the eraser end -- you can even have the head & arms attatched if so desired!

If you find that the torso is a little loose over the pencil, just put a couple wraps of masking tape around the pencil!

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