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  • Clamp Questions

    I was talking clamps with some people in the office. While it is a universal thought that you can never have enough of the tools, we got to talking about the products in general. There are pipe clamps, bar clamps, Quik Grips, Heavier Duty Quik Grip-like product and then the thousands of make shift clamps that people make in their own shops. We got to some of the following questions and I wondered the forum's opinion:

    Does anyone use pipe clamps anymore? 1/2 inch or 3/4? Any modifications?

    Is part of the fun of wood or metal working to make your own clamping solutions or is that time/effort you'd rather be spending on the project?

    Are there any modifications you'd like to see on clamps to make them more useful?

    How many does your shop have (we guessed 20 of varying shapes and sizes)?

    Are clamps a throw-away commodity or do you pay for the quality construction?

    Appreciate any feedback. We are curious.

  • #2
    Re: Clamp Questions

    us plumbers use clamps quite a bit.

    but with propress it's now simple to do it right


    wasn't that what you were looking for wyatt

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Clamp Questions

      I'm into bar clamps, corner clamps and only the best for me, seriously. I hate junky/cheap clamps. I do have pipe clamps, but I only use them for beyond a 4' reason. Bessey and Jet has my attention when it comes to bar clamps. I have spent major dollars on these 2, because you really can't modify them anymore, what you can do is, try and be competitive with them with the quality area. I also use C-Clamps alot, quick slide is awesome, no more unthreading the clamp to get to the right opening.

      Trying to change a design with these tools, well there's just not much room for this. Producing a quality tool for the right bucks, now that would sell. A shop, never has enough clamps and thats a fact.
      Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

      http://www.contractorspub.com

      A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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      • #4
        Re: Clamp Questions

        Probably the clamps I use most often are my parallel clamps followed closely by the Quick Grips, both light and heavy duty styles. I do have some ¾" pipe clamps and they are the least used of my clamps. Like garager, I pretty much use them exclusively for clamp jobs over 48". Sandwiched in between the parallel clamps and pipe clamps, in the order of most used to least used, would be my bar clamps, spring clamps, corner clamps, 3-way clamps and c-clamps. I have one hand clamp that I use for holding small pieces when I need to route them. All in all I probably have over 75 clamps and still manage to not have enough at times.
        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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        • #5
          Re: Clamp Questions

          I like the pony pipe clamps, 3/4" pipe, have about 20 of them, some I have threaded on the ends and can extend them if needed most are about 4 foot, some longer, a few shorter.

          and I have a bunch of wood hand screws, I am guessing about 8" and some 12" the 12" I bought from Sears, and the smaller ones from harbor freight, very good price and better quality than the sears unit, Guessing I have about 30 or more of the hand screws,

          have a few quick grip, as one can use them one handed, and a few spring hand clamps, and besides the vices on the benches and the bench dogs, that is about it,
          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
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          • #6
            Re: Clamp Questions

            I'm like the rest of you guys, I have a good mix of pipe, quick grip, c, and spring clamps.
            One thing I haven't seen mentioned in this thread yet is c clamp vise grips with swivel pads. I have three of them now and have six more on order. Harbor Freight offers them in packs of 2 for $9.99 and they are very good quality! I use them all the time for hold downs or for glue clamps. They adjust easily and the pads are big enough that you can clamp down hard without denting the wood. I might order some more in a little while!!
            Michael

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            • #7
              Re: Clamp Questions

              Q1: Does anyone use pipe clamps anymore? 1/2 inch or 3/4? Any modifications?
              A: Yes, they are still in use and very common. Pony is one of the long time and respected manufacturers of this style clamp, though Bessey and Rockler both have nice models too.

              Q2: Is part of the fun of wood or metal working to make your own clamping solutions or is that time/effort you'd rather be spending on the project?
              A: No, my time is better spent on production, not making clamps.
              Q3: Are there any modifications you'd like to see on clamps to make them more useful?
              A: Yes, For bar clamps I have devised a mod that I use. If you are interested in making your own line of clamps I would be willing to sell you the idea which can double the utility of your line of cabinet bar clamps.
              Q4: How many does your shop have (we guessed 20 of varying shapes and sizes)?

              A:
              • In C clamps I have about 4 sizes, from 2" up to 8" (total of 12 clamps)
              • For F Clamps I have 6, 12, 18, & 24" sizes (total of 16 clamps)
              • In the Quick-grip style I have 3 sizes: 6, 12, 18" (total of 24 clamps)
              • In parallel jaw clamps I have 3 sizes; 4, 6, & 12" (two of each)
              • In cabinet bar clamps I have 24, 30, 36, & 48" (4 of each size)
              • In pipe clamps I have 3/4" clamps, and no 1/2" (total of 6 clamps)
              • I also have 6 2" wide x 20 ft. long canvas strap clamps (Pony) for clamping round or irregular shaped items.
              • I also have a variety of speciality clamps; picture frame clamp, corner clamps, and a bucket full of Pony spring clamps in two sizes.
              Q5: Are clamps a throw-away commodity or do you pay for the quality construction?
              A: No, clamps are a tool, I buy good quality clamps made in the US whenever possible and I buy ones that will meet my needs and will last. I don't like spending money twice for a tool, nor wasting time to go get a replacement.
              Last edited by Bob D.; 03-28-2009, 04:27 PM.
              ---------------
              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


              • #8
                Re: Clamp Questions

                Clamps aren't like power tools, there is no reason you should ever need to replace them. I do look for good deals, but not at the expense of utility. Cost really does matter, because usually you do need to buy them at least in pairs.

                I've got mostly Jorgensen HD bar clamps, because quantity is a quality all of its own and it is what I can afford. I don't have pipe clamps, but if I need bigger than 3' that is probably how I will go (due to cost).

                I've got 3 36" Jorgensen bar clamps, 2 24", 2 12". I've also got 2 36" QuickGrip Xp clamps. I like these quite a bit, but they are more expensive and have less clamping power than the bar clamps.

                I've got a pair of 12" regular quick grips, but wouldn't buy any more than that. They just don't have enough holding power.

                On sale, I've got 2 rockler 10" wood clamps; 2 36" Jet bar Clamps; 6 jet 4" C-Clamps. I probably wouldn't buy the jet bar clamps again, but they were only $8. The Jorgensen's are so much better.

                I also have assorted spring clamps (about 4-6). And a couple of Husky C-clamps. For the C-Clamps and spring clamps cheap wins in my book.

                I don't want to go through lengths to improvise clamping.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Clamp Questions

                  My shop is still pretty small and I'm slowly adding to it, as projects demand and the wallet allows. I don't have a lot of room for assembly or tooling, and my current basement shop doesn't allow for several glue-ups at a time. Therefore my clamps are relatively small in number. At this stage, I buy whatever clamps I need in sets of four, with the exception of spring clamps and quick-type bar clamps.

                  Does anyone use pipe clamps anymore? 1/2 inch or 3/4? Any modifications?

                  I do use pipe clamps, but I only have a set of four, 3/4-inch from Rockler. I like them, as they stand off the bench or floor. I use them in 48-inch lengths and usually reserve them for the heavier clamping projects. Modifications are simple with rubber pads used on occasion, and when the project demands, I'll screw scrap to the face in order to provide a larger bearing surface.

                  Is part of the fun of wood or metal working to make your own clamping solutions or is that time/effort you'd rather be spending on the project?

                  Hopefully there will be a day in the future where I can play around with some ideas that I've had; but for the moment the need to get projects done on the house is my first priority.

                  Are there any modifications you'd like to see on clamps to make them more useful?

                  At this point about the only modification that I'd like to see is some lower prices. I'm envious of some of the shop photos that I've seen where there's just racks and racks of clamps. I look at some of the prices and just swallow hard. It's hard for me to comprehend why a set of four bar clamps cost more than some of my power tools!

                  How many does your shop have (we guessed 20 of varying shapes and sizes)?

                  In addition to the previously mentioned pipe clamps, I have a set of four, 36" bar clamps that I bought on sale at Sears. The bars aren't very heavy though and there's a bit of deflection. I use these for lighter clamping needs.

                  Other clamps includes several sizes of C-clamps which are handy for all kinds of things; eight each of two different sizes (6- and 12-inch) of quick-type bar clamps, that I use with right-angle blocks for glueing up boxes, drawers, frames, etc.; eight each of several different sizes of spring clamps. (I actually don't find a lot of function for those, but the price was right and they're good for small stuff.); and of course, there's my old fashioned 10-inch wooden hand-screw clamps. Only four of those, but I use them far more than I could have imagined.

                  Are clamps a throw-away commodity or do you pay for the quality construction?

                  While I have to go along with the statement that "clamps are tools", I must confess that I try to get away as cheaply as possible. It's not always ideal, but it at least allows me to fulfill an immediate need. However, I haven't had anything fail on me, other than one plastic spring clamp. So, that's not too bad, I think. Still when things settle down a little and I get rid of the house here in Painted Post, I'll have a bit more leveridge and no doubt I'll be buying some of those things that I've thus far only drooled over.

                  CWS

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                  • #10
                    Re: Clamp Questions

                    there is no reason you should ever need to replace them.
                    There is one application for clamps that I can think of where you would need to replace them periodically, and that is welding. If you do a lot of welding of sheet metal, or frames made from angle or flatbar, tubesteel, what have you, and you use bar or pipe clamps or vise-grip welding clamps or C-clamps they can get beat up pretty bad over time. I could see someone having to replace them now and then, and I have seen some clamps that beyond hope and had to be chucked in the scrap metal bin. It happens. But in woodworking, they last a pretty long time. Boat builders can be tough on clamps too come to think of it.
                    ---------------
                    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


                    • #11
                      Re: Clamp Questions

                      Thanks for all of the posts. Confirmed some thoughts (use of pipe clamps) and proved us very low on the clamp ownership estimate. Bob, I'll let you know if we start looking for new ideas. Gotta love the forum discussion.

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