Question: Best Clamps
#31
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (Can anyone tell me i...)
(03-19-2020, 09:44 AM)D_Harris Wrote: 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.

Darren,
In the hierarchy of clamp quality, Harbor Freight clamps are on the bottom rung.  Whether or not this quality level is going to be suitable to you is a question we cannot answer.  Some people are perfectly happy with a HF $3.00 hammer, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a $3.00 hammer.

There's a lot of text in this thread and darn few photos.  Let that be instructive.

Below is a plywood box glue up.  The box is laying on its back.  The back is 3/4" thick since this a drawer box.

On the top and bottoms, there are three orange USA-made Jorgensen 3524 aluminum bar clamps.  They are light weight but don't have a lot of clamping pressure.  They are often just the thing for short distances of plywood.  They are the favorites of a lot of workshops because they are quick and easy.  I wanted more clamps so I got a couple of wannabes from HF because at the time Jorgensen had closed.  The HF aluminum bar is half the thickness of the Jorgensen and thus very whippy and weak, but still managed to exert what little pressure I needed.  If I had to use all HF aluminum bar clamps on the tops and bottoms, I'd have to use at least five clamps and maybe even six per side.  I still use them where not much pressure is needed and the weight of a good clamp would be overwhelming for the project.

Better form on the tops and bottoms (ends in the photo) would be 3/4" pipe clamps.  1/2" pipe clamps may have worked also.

On the bottom are Hargrave 640 clamps with a clamping caul.  These guys put on the pressure.  The Jorgensen 7000 series is about the same in pressure if not a wee bit more.

Wood (PVA) glue is thick and viscous.  It takes a lot of pressure to get the glue squeezed into the joint so the joint closes up adequately.

Every time I do a glue up, I'll notice that clamps are wee bit easier to loosen than they were tightening.  On big glue-ups of many boards, this is really noticeable, but that's not the issue here.

Estate sales are good sources as long as the shop equipment wasn't sourced from HF in the first place.  Business bankruptcy auctions are another good source.  Know that the buying public will likely already have their HF clamp experiences so expect bidding to be competitive.  Sources of good USA-made clamps like the ones shown are no longer available.

   
Reply
#32
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by Bob Vaughan ([quote='D_Harris' pi...)
Thanks Everyone.

At Harbor Freight I noticed that the stated size of a clamp isn't necessarily the actual maximum size work it would hold. Clamps can allow either just over or under the stated size.


I was on the verge of picking up four 36" Dubuque Aluminum Bar Clamps, but do I really need clamps that big for what will basically be a cabinet that is 36"h x 31"w x 26"d?

No one has touched upon using clamping squares and Dubuque doesn't seem to make 12" bar clamps. (Though I see the Bessey UniKlamp in the 6" and 12" sizes).

I'm thinking that perhaps I should start off with using 3/4" pipe clamps if I have to use larger sizes. (But do I have to?).

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York
Reply
#33
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
There is absolutely nothing wrong with pipe clamps and I would bet this months SS check (all $1.77 of it) that all of us used them at one time or another....and many still do. There have been many great projects built using them....and they would be good for you since changing lengths is very simple. Bear in mind a 36" pipe on a clamp isn't going to clamp a 36" span, the clamp itself is going to eat up 5" or so of that length. Same thing with the clamps you looked at, they spec bar length (usually) which isn't clamping capacity.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
Reply
#34
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
I have many clamps, but mostly use Dubuque, followed by "quick action" clamps, used more for positioning. Of the Dubuque, I probably have several dozen, and the handiest size, is the 36",

Using clamps of this style (Dubuque or any other similar), prior to the glue, adjust the length before applying the first drop of glue!
Waiting to grow up beyond being just a member
http://www.metaltech-pm.com
Reply
#35
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
I started with pipe clamps 20 years ago, and I still have all of the pipe clamps I ever bought, with the exception of a few HF sets that broke.  While I have a fair amount of other style clamps now, including Bessy and Jorgenson parallel jaw clamps, I still have those pipe clamps around.  

In some cases, pipe clamps are just the thing.  In fact, I used the longer pipe clamps just two weeks ago in a large table-top glue up; the pipe clamps hadn't been used in several years.

Pipe clamps are hard to beat in terms of low-cost clamping capability.
Reply
#36
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
I prefer the Bessey Revo parallel clamps. They are pricey, but I've built up a collection with coupons and Craigslist over the years. I also have some quick clamps for general purpose stuff. I have quite a few F clamps from my early days, but I don't use them that much.

There is also a bracket for the Besseys that let you temporarily join two clamp bars to make longer clamps. I use this when I need a really long one. I have mainly 12" and 24", then a pair each of the larger sizes.
Project Blog Got it all up-to-date, and I promise to keep it up-to-date.
Reply
#37
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by lincmercguy (I prefer the Bessey ...)
Thanks.

Here on Staten Island there is a Lowes, Harbor Freight, and Home Depot a block from each other. I'll see what they have in the way of pipe clamps.

Also, for a smaller drawer size project (ie: 24"W x 8"L x 8"D) has anyone used anything like the following?

https://www.milescraft.com/product/fenceclamps/
https://www.milescraft.com/product/4-clampsquares/

Or would just pocket screws be sufficient?

Thanks.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
Reply
#38
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
I'd check your local Craigslist. If you're up for a drive to the Bronx, there's a guy selling a bunch of different clamps, including some Bessey F bodies and bar clamps. Clamps are clamps. Meaning, as long as they look like they've been taken care of, who cares if they are used or brand new. You'll realize the more you have, the better off you are. So if you can get more used ones for the same as fewer new ones, well that choice is easy...

https://newyork.craigslist.org/brx/tls/d...76027.html
Reply
#39
  Re: RE: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (Thanks. Here on S...)
(10-11-2020, 03:42 AM)D_Harris Wrote: Thanks.

Here on Staten Island there is a Lowes, Harbor Freight, and Home Depot a block from each other. I'll see what they have in the way of pipe clamps.

Also, for a smaller drawer size project (ie: 24"W x 8"L x 8"D) has anyone used anything like the following?

https://www.milescraft.com/product/fenceclamps/
https://www.milescraft.com/product/4-clampsquares/

Or would just pocket screws be sufficient?

Thanks.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
for clamping squares, I just cut a 1/2" thick piece of plywood scrap into a triangle, clipped off the 90 degree corner a bit, glued/screwed some 1x2 wood along the 90 degree sides.  then use the cheap $5 bessey f-clamps to clamp them to the piece.

Takes a few minutes to make and I can make them in any size I need.  been using the same ones for years.  and the bessey clamps are useful for other things.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. - Philip K. Dick

Mark

Reply
#40
  Re: Question: Best Clamps by D_Harris (There seem to be man...)
Thanks everyone.

After settling on a set of Pinch Dogs, four 36" Dubuque Aluminum Bar Clamps and four 12" Harbor Freight(Pittsburgh) Quick-Release Bar Clamps, I still haven't picked up any pipe clamps, but I've decided to get Pony/Jorgensen clamps for those.

Does anyone have any recommendations between the 3/4" clamps on this page? https://ponyjorgensen.com/products/pipe-clamps/

Thanks.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.