Full Chisel Blog

February 23, 2009

Another One off the ‘List’.

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 1:34 pm

This is another one of those tools that I have always wanted to build.  The problem was I didn’t know what it looked like.  I had seen illustrations of large versions used for cooperage in Sloan and Tunis, but had not seen a smaller version.

I imagined that it might be like a surgical tourniquet from the nineteenth century, but wasn’t certain.  I have actually used an old brass tourniquet to clamp together a picture frame and it did work.  Then I ran across an engraving in a late nineteenth century French catalogue and knowing just enough French to get in trouble I figured out what the following actually looked like.

Rope Clamp

I figured out what was missing and came up with the following.

Rope Clamp 2

It was simple to make and it took less than an hour.  The handle was already done and I will make another one with a square (octagonal) handle to help in tightening.



  1. Stephen, so this tool acts like a modern day band clamp? Do you know what it’s called? I have never seen anything like it.

    Comment by the Village Carpenter — February 23, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

  2. VC,

    It is called ‘presse a corde’, or rope clamp. Yes it is the equivalent of a band clamp. This will replace the rope and stick windlass/tourniquet that I normally use, as this is better looking and I think the purchase advantage is greater.

    It will work on any shape that the rope will go around; round, square, rectangular, octagonal, &c.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — February 23, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

  3. What a great idea. I’m not set up to cut the male threads by hand (I’ll have to use the Beall router jig), but the rest looks like a great no’electron project.

    Comment by Chuck Nickerson — February 25, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

  4. Now that I’m done gushing, a few practical questions.
    Did you use hemp rope, or something else?
    What diameter rope dod you use?
    If hemp rope, did you buy locally, or can you recommend an online source?


    Comment by Chuck Nickerson — February 25, 2009 @ 1:34 pm

  5. Chuck,

    The rope is 1/2 inch although I did try a shorter piece of 3/8″ and it worked fine. This piece of rope is actually hemp and I have some other hemp rope, most of which is made in Europe. Manila or sisal rope would work as well. Even heavy cotton rope would work, although it would stretch more.

    I don’t know of any current sources, sorry.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — February 25, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

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