If you’ve ever made a diagonal rip across a sheet of plywood, then you know how tough it is to snap that chalk line all by yourself. Either you need to cut a small groove in the wood to hold the string, put a nail in the edge or have someone hold the line for you. No need for those fun times anymore when you have the V Line Clamp! Unfortunately, every time I get this tool out of my pouch, I can’t help but to think of that Devo song Whip it! Of course I change the words to “clip it”.
We were lucky enough to have a couple of these little nifty tools sent to HomeFixated, and one made it into my tool belt for testing. Amazingly enough, it’s one of those tools that I never thought I’d ever need, but now that I have one, I’m not ever going to give it up. It’s light, it’s easy to use and it doesn’t get in the way of all my other stuff in my tool pouch. In fact, I’ve found a few other uses for it that aren’t shown on the V Line Clamp website videos, but more about that in a minute. Let me tell you about what the V Line Clamp is supposed to do.
Chalk Line Grunt
There’s nothing worse to me than when I’m up on a roof and I can’t get help from the labor on the ground. It seems kind of silly to have a worker come all the way up onto the roof (or have me go all the way to the ground) repeatedly to hold a chalk line in place. While sometimes it is necessary to make them (or me) traverse the ladder, I’ve almost always found a way to snap a line all by my lonesome. I’ve even nailed down a chalk line once or twice just so I didn’t have to ask for help.
Now that I have a V Line Clamp, I find that I don’t have to waste all of my time nailing strings to the roof. The V Line Clamp does all the work of the chalk line grunt without having to pay it at the end of the week, or feed it lunch.
What’s really cool about this tool is that it clips pretty solidly to plywood and other thin materials so when I pull really hard on that string line for a tight snap, it doesn’t let loose like some of those sissy laborers I work with. Plus, you can insert the clip into the little groove on the top for a nice straight line, or place the string through one of the side grooves to snap a line at an angle. There’s even a little hole in the top so that when you clip the wood, you can see the mark and line it up perfectly with your string or chalk line.
Tape Measure Master
Another thing I find useful about the V Line Clamp tool and useless about a tape measure is that when I need to measure long distances, the tape measure comes loose sometimes and then I have to start my measurement all over. I don’t know how many times I’ve said “hey, hold the end of this tape will ya?” I hate that!
But the V Line Clamp also works great for holding your tape measure in place. There’s a little grove cut out on the top of the clamp that holds my tape measure tip tightly in place so I can stretch the tape out to the max.
If you make an L shape with your finger and thumb on one hand and then make a number 7 with the other hand and put the two together, what do you get? A square daddy-o! That’s what I always call my speed square, old L7, and it’s a tool that I use quite a bit when I’m framing. But it can be tough to extend out the long angle with the tiny square and you either need to get a big boy framing square or extend the line with a chalk box. I prefer the latter and with the help of the V Line Clamp, I find that it can hold both my square and chalk line at the same time, speeding up the process and allowing me to do the job all on my own.
I’ve even used the V Line Clamp as a sort of vice to help hold two pieces material together while the glue dried. It works wonders when you need to glue down some veneer. I’ve also used it to clamp down a bag of screws onto my pouch when I did some metal roofing a while back. But my favorite thing about the V Line is that it attaches to the outside of my pouch and doesn’t get in the way of all my other stuff.
The only issue I’ve found with the clamp is that it only clamps materials up to 7/8” thick. I really wish they would make a few larger ones that would work on 2×4’s. But all in all, I find it to be a very useful tool that when I use it, I think to myself “why didn’t I get one of these sooner”. And for under $10 each, it’s hard to see why every framer doesn’t have a few of these floating around the job.
Where to Buy
You can find the V-Line Clamp Tape Measure And Chalk Line Holder for around $8 on Amazon.