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  • clamps

    I was just wondering, if any one person has enough clamps?? Is there a magic number, of each size, shape and design? I feel like every time I go to do something I have to lay 20+ bucks (best case scenerio) on a new clamp before I can think about assembly!!!! I wish I had a woodworking neighbor!

  • #2
    I believe that there is no such thing as too many clamps. In theory there may be a magic number that is "enough" but the only one that I have seen that seems close to that is Norm and I bet he did not have to buy all of his. There are many shop made fixtures that can act as very good substitutes for certain types of clamps. This will allow a good basic collection to do more than their design function.


    • #3
      I heard somewhere that the woodworker that dies with the most clamps wins.


      • #4
        Just thought I'd share this little tip. If you ever have an occasion to use band clamps, you can buy tie down straps instead. They are basically the same as a band clamp, but usually much cheaper. Plus the straps are REALLY long so you can clamp up pretty much anything. I picked up a set of four for about $15. They were called motorcycle tie downs, but they work the same.



        • #5
          Andrew---just keep buying clamps, one or two at a time---no magic number---the answer is only MORE!!

          The only "trick" I can offer to make the most out of the number of clamps you have, is to take advantage of any time you have a few minutes to glue up a blank, drawer or whatever, and use what you've got---clamp and let set---and come back to do the next batch.


          • #6
            The old saying, "I need more clamps" is so true.

            No matter how many clamps you have, or of what size, there will be a project that demands more. As mentioned, planning procedures is a key factor in timely assemblies.

            I recently read an article where it was stated that the more sub-assemblies you do before the whole thing goes together, the more accurate the final project will be.

            Michelle Marie; I also read about the dying winner, and found it quite amusing! Though I will try to win the best I can... [img]smile.gif[/img]
            Unless I get a sponser I will be planning glueups for years to come.
            John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


            • #7
              Acording to LOML you only need two.
              One for each side! aaagh what does she know anyways

              NO NO NO- I engineered it to look like that!! Crooked-HA!


              • #8
                I agree that I could always use more, but I invested in some really good ones (The $40 each type). I started with four of them, and am pretty happy now that I have 6 of them. Clamps are no longer on my wish list.

                Most things can be clamped with 2-4 clamps (especially the good ones with the large parallel jaws), so I can start on the next item with the remaining clamps. By the time I need an extra the first piece has set-up enough that I can "steal" a clamp. The square ends of the clamp also hold the workpieces steady during assembly, and the parallel jaws make clamping simpler.

                My selection is four Bessey 25 inch, and two Bessey 50 inch. I even use these big clamps on small items like candy boxes.

                I still have my old pipe clamps for really large things (like the 66 inch wide bed I recently built, or the 60 inch dresser), and a ton of C Clamps (that I don't use that much any more), and a one-hand clamp that's called my "wife eliminator " since it's primary use is "here, hold this" while I am working.


                • #9
                  Ask your wife how many dinner place settings she needs? 2? What about when you have company over? Do you all eat one at a time and share forks? I'm not serious at all here, just having some fun... I have been approached with the same thought process before and purposed that I will get by with 2 clamps if she could get by with 2 of any named (shoes, kitchen stuff, you name it) item, and it was the end of story...

                  To all,
                  I have been buying a bunch of those Harbor Freight pipe clamps that are copies of the PONY and they work very well for the dollars invested... I make wood face plates for them to increase the height and prevent making marks on the wood... I have a link to the face boards if anyone is interested...
                  Regards,<br /><br />Big Johnson<br /><br />Pictures: <a href=\" gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php\" target=\"_blank\"> gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php</a>


                  • #10
                    BJ -

                    I would be interested in the link for face piecs for the HF Pony clones.



                    • #11
                      Here is the link to the "Pipe Clamp pad's"

                      I have been thinking about drilling a hole on each side of the HF clamps, placing the pad on the clamp and just putting some small screws from the back side to retain the pad in place... This would eliminate making the other small parts to hold the pads in place... I may make one up today since the weather is snowing and blowing 100 miles an hour...

                      Here is a picture of the Harbor Freight clamps I buy... I have $3.49 in the clamp and $1.57 in this 24" pipe... I have about 20 clamps in all at various sizes... (Link to the Harbor Freight Clamp)

                      [ 02-15-2003, 11:17 AM: Message edited by: Big Johnson ]
                      Regards,<br /><br />Big Johnson<br /><br />Pictures: <a href=\" gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php\" target=\"_blank\"> gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php</a>


                      • #12
                        Big Johnson
                        after informing LOML of your reponse she did not find the humor in it that I did. Her resopnse was
                        "that goes along with your saws HOW MANY SAWS DOES A PERSON NEED they all do the same thing CUT WOOD." " That's not even close to serving dinner for eight"

                        Well BJ I'll just have to keep working on her, I have hopes that someday she'll see the light. HEHE

                        NO NO NO- I engineered it to look like that!! Crooked-HA!


                        • #13
                          WOW and you’re still able to talk to us after that... Hope I didn't get you in to much trouble...

                          Use a little reverse psychology on her then... Go buy a few clamps at a time and when she's in your shop and says "Hey Scott, are those new clamps?"; say "Why no dear, I've had them for a long time now" and move on... don't hang around for question number 2, cause you won't like it...

                          On a more serious note: If you can catch the Harbor Freight clamps on sale for the $3.49 price, they are well worth it... They are not a K-body but they will clamp wood together until the glue dries... You can have 4 or 5 HF clamps with pipes for the price of 1 K-body...

                          Here is a picture I have laying around of a few of the HF clamps...
                          Regards,<br /><br />Big Johnson<br /><br />Pictures: <a href=\" gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php\" target=\"_blank\"> gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php</a>