When my father was alive, he would always buy me and my 2 sisters something odd for Christmas. Not odd in the sense that it was really strange, like a mummified otter tail, but odd in the sense that no other father would buy these things for his daughters.
One year we all got the What-A-Saw. An “as seen on TV” saw that I still use to cut down our Christmas tree today. I love my What-A-Saw. The year after that it was a small machine that when you plugged it into your car lighter it would become an air compressor to fix a flat tire. Skip to the next year … a chisel set. Another year it was a device that suctions onto your counter and cores and peels apples.
You may be noticing a theme here. Tools. We always got odd tools. They may not have been what every little girl wanted but I loved getting them. I still have and use every single tool he gave me (aside from the apple peeler which quite frankly, didn’t work very well).
But without a doubt, the most useful tool my father gave us were a set of hand clamps. And if you do not own them you must go buy a pair right now. At the very least put them on your Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza/Just Got Outta Jail/Birthday list.
Here are just a few ways I’ve used these delightful clamps. Yes. I did describe clamps as delightful.d
Holding wood together after gluing it.
Clamping curtain pleats in place. I washed my curtains and hung them up wet with clamps to help hold their pleats in place as they dried.
Clamping a straight edge of wood in place to create a makeshift table saw.
Holding the ends of wood while you’re cutting it to stop the wood from hanging down and therefore binding the sawblade.
Setting up my tomato press I had to clamp a 2×4 onto a table. Worked like a charm.
Used it to hold wood in place, when I needed an extra hand while hammering.
You might do NONE of these things I mentioned, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find delight and usefulness in hand clamps. You may just use them differently.
But I’m telling you right here, right now that if you don’t own a set of hand clamps your life has been a pitiful shadow of what it could have been thus far. The automatic apple peeler/corer? Meh. That you can probably do without.