Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

    As a new, aspiring woodworker, I face the prospect of collecting a lot of clamps in the months and years ahead. Pipe clamps seem to give me an affordable way to get started (while I save for the Bessey or Jet bar clamps).

    Do you have a preference for the pipe clamp size you purchase? What are the reasons you have for selecting 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps?

  • #2
    Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

    IMHO, the size of the pipe isn't near as important as the clamp that goes on it. I prefer "Pony" with both ends having the square surface that meets the wood. (I don't like the swivel round end on the screw) Also, I like the clamps that have the "crank" handle vs. the round knob to turn. Stay away from clamps that have a serrated half circle to grab the pipe!
    Jim

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

      I would agree with previous poster. I ended up going with the 3/4 because it was a little stouter but mostly because the 3/4 pipe is easier for me to source locally than the 1/2 pipe.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

        Buy the best clamps you can afford in the beginning. Clamps are something you'll keep and use for years and years. I don't think I ever tossed a clamp, rather I've always added to the collection.

        I prefer the 3/4" black pipe for the clamps. Galvanized pipe sometimes causes metal splinters and MAN! they hurt!

        3/4" VS 1/2"? well size may matter if you plan on small clamping projects. I find the 3/4" size
        pipe has never stressed or bent with over tightening.

        If you can't afford a number of pipe clamps, simply get the pipe; say, 24", 48" threaded lengths. These sizes are available at Home Depot and having them on and allows a quick way to make your clamps longer.


        Cactus Man

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

          I agree that the style of clamp is probably more important the size of the pipe. The "Pony" style is much, much better than the round swivel. I was given some of the swivel style years ago and they rarely get used.

          My pipe clamps are mostly 3/4, with different lengths of threaded pipe and connectors available. I have some 1/2 inch, and there are times when the lighter weight clamp is enough. I have a lot of Bessey clamps on the rack now, and those, of course, see the most use.

          My current project, a crib and other assorted furniture for my grandson, called for clamps about 5 1/2 feet long. The pipe clamps and connectors saved the day.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

            3/4" black pipe, and pony clamps, is what I use, and like, and I have bowed the 3/4" when clamping, not permanently but by stress, I usually have both ends threaded that way if I need a extra long clamp I can take apart or add a pipe to extend the clamp length,

            If you want put a crutch tip on the non clamp end it can help from beating things up and protects the threads of the pipe,
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

              Yep, Pony brand clamps and black pipe. Cost effective and will last for years and years.

              A word of caution on clamps........DO NOT buy any "look-a-likes". I bought a box of 10 that "looked" like Pony brand clamps from Harbor Freight.......ended up dumping them in the trash! They sucked!!!

              Also agree on the knob type clamps, too hard to get tight. The crank type or the sliding rod in the screw is fine. 1/2" Pony has the sliding rod, 3/4 has the crank type, but are fine.

              I have about 15, 1/2 Pony clamps ranging from 24" to 7 feet. Use them all the time.

              The Bessey bar clamps are nice but too expensive and again, very hard to get tight. I have two but only because I got them real real cheap at an auction. I use them sometimes but not often enough to spend the big bucks on a whole rack of them. I know Normy uses them but he gets paid for it, we don't.

              Mark
              Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

                I agree with those who suggested you go with the ¾" size. By going this route you'll never have to worry about the pipe flexing.

                When I first started buying clamps I bought some of the ¾" Harbor Freight versions. I have to admit that it was a mixed bag as some turned out to be great while others were lacking in the quality department. If your budget is real tight these are a good choice for a beginner but only if you have a HF retail store near you. The reason for that being chances are very good that you'll end of needing to exchange a few of them once you get them home and find out there is a problem and you will have some that will need to be exchanged. But...........they are very inexpensive when compared to other brands.
                Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

                  3/4". Go with black iron pipe. The zinc coating on the galvanized is soft and will let the clamps slip. Best clamps are the Stanley's. If you have a Big Lots store near you, you can sometimes pick up the MAX clamps for around $10. The have great support for large heavy panel glue-ups and larger crank handles/screws than the pony's. That said, I also have some HF ones, that I just sharpened the serrations on the locking cam with a file, and they work okay.

                  I have 6", 1', 2', and 4' lengths of pipe, threaded at both ends, so I can minimize the extra pipe needed for any clamp-up. I use galvanized couplers, so they support the work without having to tape the pipe and do not leave iron (black) marks on the wood. If not needing to join pipe, I use short 1"od thin wall PVC pipe sleeves to achieve the same purpose.

                  I also have bowed the 3/4" on long projects, so, for the price difference, I wouldn't waste money on the 1/2" unless you are going to be doing mainly small items.

                  Go
                  Practicing at practical wood working

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

                    My only suggestion is,,,,, stay away from the Erwin brand pipe clamp.
                    I got some on sale and they look and are very stout but they are not threaded on either end. I thought that was a great idea until I tried using them. They will not stay in place while I'm fumbling around setting and adjusting them. They keep falling over on the assembly table and they are very hard to keep aligned.
                    Do like you always do,,,,,,Get what you always get!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

                      Thanks, everyone! You're a great resource.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

                        Hiow about Rockler Pipe Clamps? Are these any good?

                        http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=17368

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

                          Originally posted by JayL View Post
                          Hiow about Rockler Pipe Clamps? Are these any good?

                          http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=17368

                          I was just about to ask about the Rockler clamps. They appear to have some advantages in design over the Pony. All Pony and Jorgenson clamps used to all be made on the USA, but now it seems that some of their clamps are made overseas. I don't know if that includes their pipe clamp line or not.
                          ---------------
                          Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                          ---------------
                          “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                          ---------
                          "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                          ---------
                          sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

                            I started out with 3/4" many years ago but anymore I find that I'm reaching for 1/2". The clamp fixtures and pipe are cheaper, also much lighter and easier to use, and I don't find that typical wood gluing pressures cause much flexing. I would much rather have more clamps than stouter clamps, but don't notice significant flexing with 1/2". If I need more pressure and the pipe bows a bit.... then grab a 3/4.

                            Actually, I prefer to use lots of bar clamps, which are way flimsier than even 1/2 pipe clamps. You just want to close up the glue line, not squeeze out all the glue.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pipe Clamps - 1/2" or 3/4" and Why

                              I have the Rockler clamps and really like them. They're easy to adjust and I like the fact that they have standoffs, that allow free turning of the handles. A little on the high in price at normal list price, but they're often on sale.

                              I also use 3/4-inch pipe, and my applications so far,work just fine with a 48" length. I actually use galvanized, instead of black iron. I haven't had any flaking, but that's because the pipe I have is rather old and perhaps the process was a bit better back then. In anycase, no flexing at that dia and length.

                              CWS

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X