Best way to enlarge cast iron hole in clamp?

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Hi all,
I recently picked up three large (7") cast iron 3/4" pipe clamps. Second hand, but never used, and I think I know why now: the two holes on the threaded side of the clamp don't match up very well.
It's too difficult to even get the thread started for two of them. On the one that I can actually thread (as long as the clamp bolt is completely extended), it is impossible to rotate the the clamp bolt back to the open position.
Anyway, I'm thinking that the only way to salvage these is to bore out one side of the non-threaded hole until it is parallel with the threaded hole--about 1/4" by my estimation. The hole is 1" dia., 3" deep, cast iron.
What's the easiest way to remove the metal? I struggled with a round file for half hour and barely made headway (maybe 1/64"). I have a die grinder (but not the proper bit): is that the best way? Any other suggestions?
Thanks, H.
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Hylourgos wrote:

Yes. Finish the quality control guy's job and see to it they are disposed of properly.
Put a crow bar in your wallet and buy some Ponys.
UA100
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would your OSS work? Tony D.

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Suggestions? One: give up.
It sounds like you're going to spend hours trying to fix the clamps you've got and when you're done, even if you manage to get them to work at all, they'll probably never grip as well as brand-new, $12 Ponys.
It's not worth your trouble.
On 17 Jan 2004 02:13:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@sewanee.edu (Hylourgos) wrote:

-- jc Published e-mail address is strictly for spam collection. If e-mailing me, please use jc631 at optonline dot net
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bend the pipe
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OK...bunch of damn smartasses....
I can see that either I didn't describe the clamp or my situation well enough. You don't have a crowbar big enough, Uni. And as for "It's not worth your trouble", John, you'd have to know more about me to make that call. Have you actually done something like this?
I'm only a teacher and I have kids, so I don't have much money. WW is a hobby for me--more of an academic interest really--so I'm in no rush and most of my equipment is second hand and what many of you would call shit. I can't say that what I produce is that impressive, but I've seen works of art come from nothing but handmade tools, and pieces of crap only a mother could love come from very expensive shops. I get at least as much pleasure from making or repairing tools as I do making sawdust.
As for the clamp, it is a 7" deep-throat, I think it's made by Jet. See a pic of it at:
http://www.eneva.com/hand-tools/jet-709852-deep-pipe-clamp-fixture.asp
So, they cost about $18 ea, and I got mine second-hand but unused for $1 ea. These are nice, big, sturdy clamps. The $51 savings is to me a significant thing.
If you still think my clamps are a lost cause, and they simply will never work correctly--and you have reason for that opinion--then I would love to hear it.
I'm looking at this from a materials and engineering standpoint. I see no reason why boring out the hole won't make the clamps work as well as they should (that hole in the clamp is supposed to be loose anyway, FWW). Even if I have to spend an hour with a file on each one, it would be worth it to me. I'm just hoping to find something easier.
H
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What does being a teacher have to do with not having money? Around here (Connecticut) most make a better wage than tradesmen or mid level managers and the guy on the assembly line..
Sorry guys, but I hate to see people making a respectable wage and whining. If the money is not enough, get a job in an industry or profession that pays more. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Dear Ed,
Several points of your post below make reason stare.
I'm not sure why you assume when I say teacher that I mean secondary (or primary for that matter).
I am well aware of what Conn. (secondary) teachers make, but find it odd that anyone would use that as the standard. If you think that (secondary) teachers across this nation make a decent living or are anywhere close to the Conn. standard, then you haven't done much reading for the past 50 years or so.
As for your analogy with tradesmen/mid-levels/assembly workers, your assumption seems to be that they too should be above tinkering with tools. Sorry, but I don't understand that kind of snobbery. I know plenty of JDs, MDs and MBAs who are happy to the enjoy the process of fixing tools rather than buying new ones.
Of course, the wealthier you are the less likely you might be to spend time in such pursuits, unless you enjoyed those pursuits in themselves. Was that your (rather obvious) point?
You apparently assume I was whining. Far from it: I willingly accept the economic limitations of a profession I have chosen because I love it. Thus my willingness also to work within its economic limitations. Thus my query for suggestions about how to do so more efficiently. My explanation, which you took for whine, was in answer to several respondents who suggested (without reason I might add) that I scrap my repair plans and just buy new clamps.
Perhaps I am mistaken in reading your post as snobby and ignorant. I have seldom met a man for whom "the money is ... enough", regardless the net worth.
H

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You brought up the fact that you are a only a teacher. It is your chosen profession so please don't use it as a crutch. There are a lot of people happy with their chosen profession that do not make a lot of money. They don't bring it up as a whine that they must save money on clamps. Everyone has priorities for their spending and thier allocationof free time.

I said nothing of the kind. What I did say was that many teachers work less days a year and make more money than those in other occupations. But I don't hear those guys poor mouthing.

No, for an educated person, you seem to have no perception of what I said.

YES. Now we are getting someplace.

Well, sometimes that is the best way regardless of how much time you are willing to expend on a project. Maybe these guys are offering good advice based on their experiences.

I'm not sure where you get snobbery. If you think I'm ignorant that is your opinion. Nothing wrong with fixing tools for the satisfaction of the job well done, saving a few bucks, but just don't complain that you are doing it because you are a teacher and don't have a lot of money.
Your words: > > I'm only a teacher and I have kids, so I don't have much money.
I had kids too. One reason I did not do woodworking when the kids were small was that I could not afford it. Nothing wrong with not having a lot of money, but don't use the teacher excuse. "Tis you that comes across as a snob that way. There are probably people that read this group that make a very good income but don't have a lot of money because they are paying medical expenses, supporting sick parents, or a million other things. Ed
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Ed, you have misunderstood the argument, you veer here and there worse than a dial-a-dado with a loose nut, and you either forget or puposefully take out of context much of what I wrote.
<snip>

No, not out of context I didn't, and the fact that you leave that context out leaves you arguing with someone else, not me.
My original post was a purely technical question, no personal info included. Parenthetically I note that you have yet to contribute one word towards it--makes you look like you're itching for a fight with someone. In response to my orignial query, Uni and John give their opinions, without reason, that I should abort my repair attempts and spend more money on new items. Not bad advice per se, but not really helpful either. Note the many helpful responses that followed later in this thread, and in the rec.crafts.metalworking thread of the same question. Anyway, I responded to Uni and John hoping to elicit some response from them demonstrating that they have actual experience with machining clamps holes, or that they have some other compelling reason that I should abort the attempt. Either there is a way to repair them or there isn't. Whether it is worth my time is not something they are in a position to judge--that was the point in telling them that my income is such that it *is* worth it, to me, to try to repair them. I have assumed that the teaching profession is a commonplace for a not decent income. Whether that is strictly true or not was not relevant to the logic of my argument, it is a rhetorical commonplace (DAGS, however and note the millions of provocative titles that return).Pointing out the exception to the rule does not affect the logic. Whether I'm a teacher or a journeyman or manager or assembly-line worker or other tradesman, or even white collar with a decent salary but yet am strechted thin enough to want to repair rather than buy new ones, that is solely up to me--a personal question of value.
For some reason you focus on "teacher" as if that were an important part of the argument. I've no idea what you have against teachers (apparently it's their decent pay in Conn., which, I assure you, has nothing to do with me), but that has nothing to do with the logic of my argument.

It is you, sir, who are trying to put a crutch on a healthy man. Get thee hence, Procrustes.

not > make a lot of money. They don't bring it up as a whine that they must > save money on clamps.
The crux may lie in your definition of whine.
Let's assume you're happy with your profession. It doesn't matter how much you make, as long as it is limited (represent that limit with an "X"). Now let's assume you want a tool (any tool: to limit it to clamps would be to go from generalization to the specific within the same example, pretty bad logic, although you seem comfortable with it above) whose price is above your limit (we'll call the tool's value "Y"). So, you get a chance to buy a used and broken Y well within your budget and certainly worthwhile if you can fix it.
Is this scenario so foreign to you? Man, I think most everyone on this board has been in this scene.
OK, now someone tells you: "don't waste your time repairing a broken Y, get a new Y. " You explain to him that your constraints (X) prevent that; it would be more helpful if he could explain *why* repairing Y is a waste of time. Nine times out of ten your friend is simply not constrained by X, so it seems to him that anything short of buying a new Y is not worth the time or effort. But not for you of course.
Again I ask, is this such a strange scenario to you? More to the point: when you explain to your friend your own constraints, is that by your definition a "whine". If so,then mea culpa.
The way you immediately seized upon Conn. (secondary) teachers leads me to believe that this is something personal for you. It has nothing to do with me, and even less to do with the logic of my argument. I could've said "I don't feel like I'm in a position to buy them new", but that would NOT have changed the logic of my argument. I could've elaborated, pointed out that I lost a lot in Hurricane Floyd, that my baby girl was sick for years, that my wife is pregnant now. But that's wasn't really germane to the argument. Was the fact that I was a teacher? No. However, I trusted that a reference to being a teacher with kids would resonate with my audience. I didn't count on you ignoring my technical questions to grab your hobby-horse (teachers) and swing it around, then take an exception (Conn. secondary teachers) to try to disprove the rule.

Gee, that's my point, Ed.
<snip>

No, you didn't say that. What you said was, "Around here (Connecticut) most [teachers] make a better wage than tradesmen or mid level managers and the guy on the assembly line.."
And do you really want to argue that tradesmen, managers, or assembly-line workers don't "poor mouth"? I think I'll let that one stand on it's own wobbly leg.

And I'm willing to accept that possibility. But certainly not without some better reason offered than "it's not worth your time", or "just buy new clamps". I was asking them to offer those reasons when you jumped in about teachers. And if you'll bother to read the subsequent answers both here and in rec.crafts.metalworking, you'll see quite a few opinions that offer good ideas about helping me repair those clamps.

I take it as snobbery when someone tells me "it's not worth your time" when they have no earthly idea what value I put on my time--or clamps (not you directly but you quickly jumped to their rescue). I take it as snobbery when someone assumes that teacher means secondary or that all teachers must make what Conn. teachers make. I took it as snobbery when you presumed to know that I make a respectable wage and was a whiner--all couched in a cowardly generalization (from your first post, and quite clearly with reference to me, "Sorry guys, but I hate to see people making a respectable wage and whining").

Why not? Do you see those as exclusive arguments?
<snip>

You lost me here. If I were in fact whining and making excuses about being a teacher, then what you're describing is the opposite of snobbery, something more like victim-mongering, no?

That, again, would be my point.
H.
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I missed your original post but if I get the gist of the problem I'd be curious to know if you turned the handle such as to maximize the distance between the two pieces? I've got pipe clamps that would simply not go together without doing that...
John
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Why not just put a 3/4" to 1/2" reducer in and use 1/2" pipe? I forget the exact name of them, but I've seen them in different size configurations.
--
"Cartoons don't have any deep meaning.
They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh."
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That's a great idea I hadn't thought of, Jerry. A problem may lie in the fact that the clamp is threaded 3/4" and the space between the threaded portion and its mating piece might be too short to put a reducer there (I'm not sure where else it would go.
But I'll try fiddling with it somehow.
Thanks, H

<snip>
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Well, what I'm thinking of and have seen, is nothing more than threads. Dammit, I can't think what they're called but I've used them on manifold bolts and the like. They just screw into the tapped out hole and make the size to fit the bolt your using. Oh wait!!!! Helicoil!!! That's it!!! Don't take up no room at all! They say the memory is the firstthing to go! You might have to go to a machine shop or good parts house (not autozone or pepeboys) to find them.
--
"Cartoons don't have any deep meaning.
They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh."
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<snip>

Yes, I did have them fully extended and they (2/3) still wouldn't thread. I've noticed that the one that did thread, once I got it installed, would not then screw open or shut easily (the clamp action, that is), so it suffers from the same problem, just less so. Removing some material from it should help it too.
H.
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snipped-for-privacy@sewanee.edu (Hylourgos) wrote in message

Taking off 1/4" of metal to get the holes parallel seems like a lot. The hole is suppose to be loose, but enlarging a 4/4" hole to 5/4" in one direction seems excessive.
You might want to attack the problem where the screw attaches to the jaw. Remove the screw from the moving jaw, and then try to thread everything together. This should let you see exactly how far off the alignment is. You might be able to fix the attachment point with a lot less metal removal than filing out the other hole.
--Stan Graves
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Stan Graves) wrote in message

Also a good suggestion. I'll give it a shot. Thanks, H.
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On 17 Jan 2004 02:13:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@sewanee.edu (Hylourgos) wrote:

Yeah go over to rec.crafts.metalworking and ask those guys.
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I did, thanks rjs, they had some good suggestions.
H.
(Hylourgos) wrote:

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Got access to a oxyacetylene torch? Had the same trouble- with some cheapie clamps- cut a clearance slot in the offending section of the clamp, heated to cherry red, then applying corrective force. Brazed the slot that I'd cut to make the part a little easier to work with. Looks a bit ugly but 100% functional. Pat
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