The best adage I’ve ever heard about clamps is that you always need one more than you actually have. How this mysterious situation plays out over and over again in the workshop, despite me buying more and more clamps, I have no idea. 

In fact, that mystery happened just yesterday as we were working on our soon-to-be-revealed Pallet Christmas Trees. The combined misfortune of getting a little too zealous with the impact driver and later picking up the tree by the top (my bad) led to the top breaking completely and the bottom nearly splitting off. 

Two giant issues in one tiny and apparently VERY fragile piece of wood. Making matters worse was the fact that the top of this tree is a triangle, and we have no angular clamps. 

At first we tried rope to fix the initial split caused by the impact driver, but we struggled to get it tight enough without potentially damaging the paint. As soon as the top came clear off (despite it being tied with rope), I knew we either needed to cut, paint and seal a new piece, or figure out a different solution. 

Because this project was already taking longer than I had hoped, I didn’t want to deal with the mess of spray paint—or the drying time in cold temps. So began the search in the wood stack for a spare piece of wood to cut for the top. As I pulled out an old shelf, it hit me: we could easily create a jig that would enable us to clamp the triangle back together.

I traced the top of the triangle onto the piece of wood and used a jig saw to cut out the shape. As perfection wasn’t necessary, I didn’t worry if my lines weren’t exactly straight.

Then, it was simply a matter of placing the board on top and voila!

We had a nice straight edge on top that we could use to clamp the triangle back together. 

With a little bit of glue and two quick release bar clamps (that I DID actually have in the shop), we were all set. #boom

So there you have it! The jig that saved Christmas (trees).

If you want to see the full Pallet Christmas Tree build, check out our video below!

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