Question: Best Clamps
#11
  
There seem to be many types of clamps, but I need to build a cabinet with two hinged doors and was hoping to get recommendations from the experts on their go-to clamps for general woodworking.

The size of the cabinet will be approximately 36"h x 31"w x 26"d, and I'm looking into getting a face frame glue clamp and also eight clamps I can use with some clamp squares. (Unless there is a better way).

Any advice would be appreciated.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
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#12
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
(03-15-2020, 06:54 PM)D_Harris Wrote: There seem to be many types of clamps, but I need to build a cabinet with two hinged doors and was hoping to get recommendations from the experts on their go-to clamps for general woodworking.

The size of the cabinet will be approximately 36"h x 31"w x 26"d, and I'm looking into getting a face frame glue clamp and also eight clamps I can use with some clamp squares. (Unless there is a better way).

Any advice would be appreciated.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
To be clear, I work with Bessey and they sponsor my TV show.

But I work with them because they make excellent clamps. Bessey was and is a steel maker first, and they use their own steel to make their own clamps. They control the entire process. 

Clamps in general are expensive, but buying good ones will serve you for years and years.
Ralph Bagnall
http://www.woodcademy.com
Watch Woodcademy TV free on Amazon Prime!
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#13
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
My main goto clamps are usually F-style bar clamps. There are many varieties, brands, good and bad qualities out there. Pick a name brand and length.
Steve





 
The Revos apparently are designed to clamp railroad ties and pull together horrifically prepared joints
WaterlooMark 02/9/2020

 When I use the toilet it smells just like fresh brewed coffee!
fredp 02/13/2020







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#14
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
Bessey clamps
Jaw clamps - https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop/too...jaw-clamps

BUT,hands down, this is the best, unless the jaw size or clamp length you need is longer than theirs:

https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop/too...bar-clamps

Light weight, strong clamping force (more than you need for any cabinet work), and made in USA (if that matters; it doesn't to me).

In one interview, the Dubuque owners said they did not want to increase their production capacity despite overwhelming demand/ orders because they wanted to ensure quality.

Everything being equal, weight is your enemy in clamping/assembly tasks unless you have popeye's arms.

Simon
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#15
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
(03-15-2020, 06:54 PM)D_Harris Wrote: There seem to be many types of clamps, but I need to build a cabinet with two hinged doors and was hoping to get recommendations from the experts on their go-to clamps for general woodworking.

The size of the cabinet will be approximately 36"h x 31"w x 26"d, and I'm looking into getting a face frame glue clamp and also eight clamps I can use with some clamp squares. (Unless there is a better way).

Any advice would be appreciated.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.

Many types of clamps but I'll try to only pertain to your project. First thing that comes to mind is a very old type of clamp, "pinch dogs". These usually come in three sizes 1", 2" and 3" long. They have points that when driven into a joint pull it tightly together. Pinch dogs leaves two holes, used on back of the joint or where the holes are not seen. These will be good for face frames , no other clamps needed. For the case , Bessey, pipe, or similar clamps will be fine. F type clamps with the clamp squares. I made my own clamping squares. Cut a square , then cut the diagonal .Gives you 2 pieces. Then either notch or bore a hole for the clamp near the ends. Usually the moving head is against the cabinet side and the other goes into the notch/hole. You may find 2 clamps on each leg will be best for your work. Then you need 4 clamps at each corner instead of 2.
Hand screws are my favorite clamp for general work that is less than 12" wide. 
I also have made wooden bar clamps 6'-8" long that will clamp up to 72-1/2" . 
I would start with pinch dogs, then 8 F type 6" long clamps and 8 pipe clamps for 3/4" black pipe. Make sure the black paint does not come off or it will smear the wood and your hands. I had gotten 4 lengths of 10'-0" x 3x4" pipe for $1.00 each at a garage sale. I wound up having to clean all of it with thinner to remove the oily mess. Most pipe is clean and does not need to be cleaned. 
Bessey clamps are great to have but I would purchase them when needed. They are more expensive then pipe clamps though if you do a lot of woodworking then buy them now. Do a search for woodworking clamps , probably 50 different types for different applications.
I almost forgot, clampless glue, hot hide glue for interior cabinets, trim etc.  Many advantages and few cons with hot hide glue. 
You can apply glue to one joint, hold the two pieces together til the glue cools, usually about 30 seconds. Full strength next day. It is reversible and exceptional for veneering. It can be applied ,left to cool, veneer positioned and lightly clamped. Then heat from a heat gun and laminate roller will melt the cold glue and the roller is applied to seat the veneer. I know the last paragraph does not pertain, but shows advantaes to this glue. Cons, need a pot to dissolve the flakes. Electric glue pots are available but pricy. I use a $10.00 small crock pot with a MDF top instead of the glass top that comes with it. I use a candy thermometer to check the temperature, should be around 135/145°.  I put the flakes in a weighted jar and the jar sits in the heated water. The jar will float up and tilt over without a weight. I have a round of steel glued to the bottom of the jar. The MDF top has a slot for the brush and a 1/4" hole for the thermometer.
If I have glue left over and do not plan to use it in the immediate future, I pour the glue into a small tin like a tuna fish can. When cool I band saw the glue ,can too into cubes. The can will fall off and the cubes are placed in a plastic zip bag. Then put in the freezer for future use. 
If the excess glue is not frozen and left in a warm shop it will stink. 


mike
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#16
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
For basic cabinet work I use old Bessey parallel clamps and Bessey UniKlamps.  I also have Jet, Baily and some Groz K-Body knock offs.  For things under 18" the UniKlamps are my go-to and the most used clamp in my shop. 
   

For case work I grab the Bessey K-Body or the Groz knock offs first and the Jets last (cumbersome, clumsy things in my hands).  The Groz were bought through Woodcraft when the K-Body stopped production as the Groz are form-factor consistent.  Nothing like a Hodge-podge of clamp dimensions to make square glue ups a challenge.
   

You can see that the Bessey 'Mighty Minis' get a lot of use to for clamping on squaring jigs and other tasks that fall within their 4" capacity.  They are probably the second most used clamp in my shop and are available pretty reasonably at Lowes.

   
I have some workbench holddowns that I made from some Harbor Freight F clamps.

   
   
Based on my inability to destroy these, I wouldn't hesitate to grab a few 6" f-style clamps from HF when they are on sale for a few bucks a piece.  Even the UniKlamps get a little springy at 18" so I would stay with the shorter lengths in cheaper clamps.

I bought all my f-style before I ever knew what Harbor Freight was so a lot of mine are Jorgys with a few of those Chinese Bessey f-style sets that go for under $15 at Lowes around Christmas.  There are folks who get by with a dozen clamps and then there's folks who make even my accumulation look conservative.  Anytime you don't have enough, buy two more. You'll find your balance.
It’s amazing how hearing from someone with a different point of view reveals your blind spots.

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#17
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by mike4244 ([quote='D_Harris' pi...)
For carcases or cabinet boxes I like parallel clamps because the help get things square.  I have both Bessey and Jet.  By far the Bessey's are better - easy to adjust, smoother clamping, better handles.

If you're using jigs to hold things square, then F style clamps do the job.  Again, Bessey, but (hear me!) the Harbor Freight F clamps are perfectly fine other than the pads are cheap and fall off.   I wouldn't go over 12" on these.

Speaking of Harbor Freight, the aluminum bar clamps are not bad, either.  I insert hardwood in the alumimum bar, and file off the edges of the sliders. 

Quick release: I don't rely on them for clamping I only use them for positioning aids.

If you want the least expensive, I'd pick up a few F Clamps and the aluminum bar clamps from HF they will get the job done>
Everything is a prototype so its a one of a kind.
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#18
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by rwe2156 (For carcases or cabi...)
Thanks everyone.

To elaborate, What I'm building is basically a floor cabinet with two doors in the front enclosing 12 "mailbox" compartments in 4 horizontal rows of 3, along with a hinged top sitting above a single "drawer-sized" compartment. (And lockable caster wheels on the bottom).

It'll have 3/4" plywood sides, and top(hood), and 1/4" plywood back, floor, and doors. With hardboard making up the "mailbox" compartments. And lastly a 3/4" hardwood face frame.

None of the cheap Ebay/Amazon clamps I've had for over a decade work that well. So to address some of the things said. Considering the size of the cabinet I'm building, can I get away with picking up eight Harbor Freight 12" bar clamps for now? (I assume they would work for some control panels I will need to build, which are basically 2'x 1' boxes).

If I go high end I'm thinking Bessy or Dubuque as per Handplanesandmore's recommendation. But do I really need 36" clamps for this particular project?

I assume the number of clamps depends not just on the size of the clamps, but also on whether you're gluing all four sides of a project at the same time. (I also have to determine the size of the clamp/positioning squares I'll need).

Excuse my ignorance, but up until now most my woodworking has only involved repair and not building from scratch.

The Pinch Dogs mike4244 seem like a good idea for edge-to-edge joining, but does anyone have an opinion on something like the "Shop Fox D2269 Face Frame Clamp"? https://toolsandmore.us/search.aspx?find=Shop+Fox+D2269

And what about a "1 In. X 15 Ft. Ratcheting Band Clamp" like that at Harbor Freight?
https://www.harborfreight.com/1-inch-x-1...66220.html

Thanks.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
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#19
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by rwe2156 (For carcases or cabi...)
(03-16-2020, 02:38 PM)rwe2156 Wrote: Speaking of Harbor Freight, the aluminum bar clamps are not bad, either.  I insert hardwood in the alumimum bar, and file off the edges of the sliders. ...

You wouldn't by any chance have a picture of what you are describing?

Thanks.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
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#20
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris ([quote='rwe2156' pid...)
(03-18-2020, 07:58 AM)D_Harris Wrote: You wouldn't by any chance have a picture of what you are describing?

Thanks.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.

Darrren

Here's is a link to a video showing the upgrade.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyKiGmRq3wY

Bill
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