Question: Best Clamps
#21
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by wjt ([quote='D_Harris' pi...)
It may be that the aluminum Harbor Freight clamps I've used are anomalous, but I don't see the point in filling the bar with hardwood.  That's because I have not noticed bowing or twisting of the bars without added wood, and I have tightened the clamps enough to break two of the cast ends.  Without strengthening that weak point, stiffening the bar seems useless.  The best feature of these clamps is their light weight, so in my view adding the wood gives no benefit, and detracts substantially from utility. 

Has anyone experienced anything different?
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#22
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by Alan S (It may be that the a...)
(03-18-2020, 09:49 AM)Alan S Wrote: It may be that the aluminum Harbor Freight clamps I've used are anomalous, but I don't see the point in filling the bar with hardwood.  That's because I have not noticed bowing or twisting of the bars without added wood, and I have tightened the clamps enough to break two of the cast ends.  Without strengthening that weak point, stiffening the bar seems useless.  The best feature of these clamps is their light weight, so in my view adding the wood gives no benefit, and detracts substantially from utility. 

Has anyone experienced anything different?

Good question.

I'm sure the idea of reinforcing the economical clamps with wood came from Paul Sellers. I think he used softwood, but can't be sure.

I only have the Dubuque clamps having sold all my imported ones. The main problems with those clamps I found were the handle rods coming off, or the short rods offering little leverage in clamping.

Did the imported bars flex or distort enough to affect the clamping set-up or accuracy? I hope someone can shed light on it -- with support data.

Simon
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#23
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by Alan S (It may be that the a...)
(03-18-2020, 09:49 AM)Alan S Wrote: It may be that the aluminum Harbor Freight clamps I've used are anomalous, but I don't see the point in filling the bar with hardwood.  That's because I have not noticed bowing or twisting of the bars without added wood, and I have tightened the clamps enough to break two of the cast ends.  Without strengthening that weak point, stiffening the bar seems useless.  The best feature of these clamps is their light weight, so in my view adding the wood gives no benefit, and detracts substantially from utility. 

Has anyone experienced anything different?

I was thinking along the same lines. Maybe the "feel" of the clamp when using it is a little more substantial, however as you said they are lightweight clamps for light clamping jobs. Ironically, I was in Harbor Freight last week looking at these clamps. I'm doing a job in the shop and had a need for lighter duty clamps. Although I didn't buy them yet I plan to pick up at least a couple soon.

My "go to" clamps are the various Besseys I have, however there are times when a lighter duty clamp works best. Unlike some here I don't disdain Harbor Freight. I've found that with "judicious" shopping, there are some real gems there.

Doug
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#24
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by Tapper ([quote='Alan S' pid=...)
The HF F-clamps (12"?) are solid performers.

Frankly, most clamps, imported or not, are good enough for us if you cut your joints properly, and go through the dry fitting routine. Don't blame your clamps for your poor techniques or skills.

Simon
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#25
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
Maybe I am missing something, but I have used Bessey for over twenty years and see no reason to switch.  For small jobs I seem to use the Irwin clamp, but I think Besseyh is the best.  I have the origin's and a lot of them.
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#26
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
The Dubuque clamps really are nice. I’ve had 4 of the 24” version for years now, and recently ordered 4 of the 36” version. I rarely use my shorter Jet parallel clamps anymore, and I may just sell them all and transition to the Dubuque clamps along with my Bessey Tradesman clamps.

Here’s an article the Joel at TFWW wrote, comparing the Dubuque clamps to what I assume is the Harbor Freight clamps.

https://www.core77.com/posts/80140/Tools...-Real-Deal
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#27
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
Thanks for the link to Joe's article, Greg. He's dead on in his analysis. I have at least a dozen of the US version and all the imported ones were sold. No more struggling with those clamps...we know how stressful every glue up is and you don't want your clamps fight you during that delicate process. As I said, unless the Bessey kind is the only clamp that can do the job, my go to clamps for cabinet work are the Dubuque's.

Simon
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#28
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
Can anyone tell me if four to eight 12" clamps would be sufficient for my project? And what would be the recommended clamp-square size? (Four or eight inches?).

Thanks.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
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#29
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by Greg Jones (The Dubuque clamps r...)
(03-19-2020, 04:56 AM)Greg Jones Wrote: The Dubuque clamps really are nice. I’ve had 4 of the 24” version for years now, and recently ordered 4 of the 36” version. I rarely use my shorter Jet parallel clamps anymore, and I may just sell them all and transition to the Dubuque clamps along with my Bessey Tradesman clamps.

Here’s an article the Joel at TFWW wrote, comparing the Dubuque clamps to what I assume is the Harbor Freight clamps.

https://www.core77.com/posts/80140/Tools...-Real-Deal

Good article - thanks for the link. Just in case anyone is interested the Dubuque clamps are available at Lee Valley and they have free shipping right now. No affiliation with Lee Valley - just a customer and fan.

Doug
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#30
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by Tapper ([quote='Greg Jones' ...)
I use dubuque clamps to hold face frames to cases until I can attach them with pocket hole screws.

I use parallel clamps (kbody or revo or jorgy cabinetmasters or jet parallels) to assemble cases.  I like Bessey 90 degree clamps and some kreg right angle clamps where useful as well. 

I use a glue up rack for building door panels. You could use parallels here too


Id start with four 24s and four 40s on parallels for 8 clamps. With my first 8 I would not buy 12". I have about 100 parallels and no 12s. All my 24s are also 12s Wink


Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

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