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  • Handscrew Clamps

    Can someone educate me a little bit on these clamps? I like to use them when I'm cutting up wood chunks on the bandsaw for use in my smoker but find they are constantly loosening up on me. I've never gotten the hang of how to use one correctly and am wondering if it's the quality of the ones I have, my technique or if these things are just a pain to use. The ones I have are cheapie no name ones I picked up at the regional big box store (Menards). TIA.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.


  • #2
    Re: Handscrew Clamps

    One tip I can give is when possible try to keep the jaws parallel when clamping. Otherwise you are using a small portion of the available clamping surface and it will tend to slip with any pressure applied to the object being held.
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    • #3
      Re: Hand screw Clamps

      I do not think the box store units is the problem, I have a good many of the HF units and they are better than the sears units I have,

      keep the jaw flat on the wood, but if there is a taper you may have to slide the taper up to the screw or a block on the screw,

      your not cutting into the holding area are you?

      I usually (keeping the jaws parallel spin the unit holding on to both handless until it is the proper width, and slide over tightening the front screw then the rear screw, (some times a little adjustment is needed with both until I am satisfied, with the clamp, keep the screw at a 90 degree angle to the jaws,

      fine woodworking story on using them

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      • #4
        Re: Handscrew Clamps

        I have a cheap set. Got so disgusted with them that I finally took them apart and made new wood jaws that have straight holes (pivot pin holes perpendicular to the sides and shaft holes close to the shaft dimension) and closer tolerances. The rebuilt ones work much better but the poor quality machining on the screw threads still leaves a bit to be desired. Hardest part in doing this is getting the handles off and then back on. Ended up having to make new handles for some of them because I destroyed the old ones removing them.

        I use them on the drill press, etc, and also to hold a panel vertical by clamping at the bottom to make a temporary "foot". That said, they are not my favorite clamps by a long shot.

        Go
        Practicing at practical wood working

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        • #5
          Re: Handscrew Clamps

          The suggestions so far seem right to me, but I'm no expert. I only have four of these parallel screw clamps, one pair by Rockler and the other pair are Jet. (Both purchased when they were on sale at Rockler.)

          So it may just be the brand, but mine seem to tighten up nicely. I do try to keep the jaws as parallel as possible though.

          Sorry this isn't more helpful,

          CWS

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          • #6
            Re: Handscrew Clamps

            I think I see a common suggestion here to keep the jaws parallel to each other and that might be where my difficulties are. I have usually not done this as my method has been to have the back ends of the clamp a little bit more splayed out then the front end. I'll try the parallel method and see if that makes a difference for me. Thanks guys.
            Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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            • #7
              Re: Handscrew Clamps

              While that might help, the "advantage" of handscrew clamps is most often touted as being able to fit to specific needs, with the toe of the clamp doing the holding, in exactly the same manner that you describe. (like that really helps your problem, right?)

              But for just holding two flat pieces together, like clamping a board to a table top or using the clamp to hold a small piece of stock for better handling while feeding to the saw or router, would give you much better "surface" if the jaws are parallel to each other.

              CWS

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