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The One-Hand Band There are probably more types of clamps than there are aspiring rock stars. But when you’re steadying a cabinet in place and trying to keep its face flush with the adjacent cabinet, the choice of appropriate clamps is limited. The best clamps I’ve found for fastening cabinets together are Bessey bar clamps (available from American Clamping Corp., P.O. Box 399, Batavia, NY 14021; 800/828-1004). They’ve got a well-machined, smooth-acting lead screw, as well as protective pads on the pressure points (Figure 2).

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Figure 2. The author prefers Bessey bar clamps (top) for holding cabinets together. Quick-Grip Mini Bar Clamps (bottom) are useful where you must clamp one-handed. Because they lack the strength to lock the cabinets in place, however, the author uses them in combination with Bessey clamps.

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You need two hands to work them, but this is seldom a problem. With the cabinet supported on my wood brackets, I first lightly clamp it close to its final position. Then I tap on a block of wood to persuade the cabinet into alignment and tighten the clamp to lock the cabinet in place. When I need to steady a cabinet in place with one hand, and clamp it with the other, I use a pair of Quick-Grip Mini Bar Clamps (Peterson Manufacturing Co., 415 Industrial Row, Beatrice, NE 68310; 402/223-7460). Quick-Grip clamps also have protective pads, but they require only one hand to operate. The down side is that, unlike the Bessey clamps, the Quick-Grips lack the pressure required to lock the cabinet in place. I use the Quick-Grip to hold the cabinet in its approximate position, then when both hands are freed up, I lock it in place with the Bessey.