Various woodworking magazines contain an abundant amount of information. One of my favorite aspects is the fact that you can pick up helpful hints and tricks from fellow woodworkers for around the wood shop. For instance, I always use scrap pieces of wood when clamping up an assembly. The problem with this is that it is complicated, and equally frustrating, to attempt to hold the scrap wood pieces between the wood project and clamping heads while attempting to tighten clamping. We fail to have a third set of hands and arms that would prove useful in the realm of physical multitasking as applied to woodworking. The solution for this particular clamping dilemma was surprisingly simple, and I found that I was envious it was not my own.
The solution encompasses a few scrap blocks, a forstner bit, some magnets, and epoxy glue. Typically, the scrap blocks can be 3/8” to ¾” thick (solid wood), and can range in sizes from 1” – 3” square. Mark each block with vertical and horizontal centerlines. These lines will intersect to mark the very center of the scrap wood piece. Next, locate some magnets. Typically, ¾” diameter works best (although smaller sizes can be used depending on clamping). Magnet thickness should not exceed ¼”.
Use a forstner bit (the diameter corresponding to the diameter of the magnet) to drill counter-bores in the center of each scrap block. Depth should be equal to (or slightly greater than) the thickness of the magnet. If the depth is slightly greater, it will allow a little extra room for the epoxy glue. Once complete, glue the magnets into the counter-bored holes of each scrap block and allow the assemblies to dry. The magnets will be attracted to the metal clamping heads and will hold your scrap blocks in place as you tighten clamping. Sadly, this will not work for clamping which does not have metal heads.