Budget clamp maker ideas?

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I'm trying to design an inexpensive way to make shop clamps. My last set of clamps are 2 1/2 in. Pony pipe fixtures for 3/4 in. black pipe (4 ft.7 in.each ) with pipe and tax were $44.60 total at Home Depot. Not a fortune, but I would like to have more clamps of a wide variety including some deepest and (roll-your-own) would give me anything without spending a fortune on specialty clamps (some very pricey). I'm thinking that either band iron or pipe would be the cheapest. I have several ideas to try and would like to not use the welder or milling machine any more than necessary so I'm searching for suggestions from other clamp lovers who have made their own before. Clamps I use need to be 100 - 300 lb. range. more for the larger ones. Thanks before hand, I hope that I don't sound like a tightwad. Jamffer
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Ghamph wrote: | I'm trying to design an inexpensive way to make shop clamps. | My last set of clamps are 2 1/2 in. Pony pipe fixtures for 3/4 | in. black pipe (4 ft.7 in.each ) with pipe and tax were $44.60 | total at Home Depot. Not a fortune, but I would like to have more | clamps of a wide variety including some deepest and (roll-your-own) | would give me anything without spending a fortune on specialty | clamps (some very pricey). | I'm thinking that either band iron or pipe would be the cheapest. | I have several ideas to try and would like to not use the welder or | milling machine any more than necessary so I'm searching for | suggestions from other clamp lovers who have made their own before. | Clamps I use need to be 100 - 300 lb. range. more for the larger | ones. Thanks before hand, I hope that I don't sound like a tightwad. | Jamffer
I like the 3/4" pipe clamps from HF (~US$4 on sale).
Come to think of it, I have a pile of their 4" and 6" C-clamps. They're also a good buy when on sale. For my shop and budget they're as good as anyone elses.
I also like the face frame clamps from Menards (~$10, posted photo to ABPW a while back).
I've built project-specific clamps using scrap 1" pine and 1/4" threaded rod and knobs (photo at link in sig).
I watch for good sale prices on the ratcheting squeeze clamps and use something that looks like a bench hook to extend their reach (posted photo to ABPW a while back for this, too). The ones I have came from Menards (~$3+ on sale).
I've built a couple of special-purpose cam clamps from 2x lumber and aluminum angle that work well (photo posted to ABPW some time back). JT has also built cam clamps and said he'd take pictures - if he can remember where he left his camera ;-)
You can also integrate clamping into some ordinary shop accessories. For an example of what I'm talking about, visit http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/SH_Project.html and scroll down to see my clamping crazy three-legged sawhorse.
In the background of the first photo on that page and at the top of http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/PT_Sign.html you can see a clamp that I built for splicing 49"-wide sheet goods. This one was a bit pricey because I bought a half-dozen clamp screws, but it'd have been even spendier if I'd bought it ready-made.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/drawer-clamp.html
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I love the clamping saw horse design. That gives me more ideas. Thanks. Jamffer

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Morris,
Thought of you and your solar power systems while reading an article in a recent computer mag about "One Laptop Per Studnet" which is a project being backed by a number of manufactures (AMD, RedHat, Google, etc.) as well as the UN. They have made a latop computer for under $100 for children to use in developing countries. Appears they have the laptop down but are having problems with providing a power source for those areas which have no power source. These laptops can even have mesh-networking technology built-in so the kids can use them outside in a group and in places that are not wired.
Would appear that some of what you build could certainly be applied to villages and other locations that do not have power and where school is held under a shade tree in the bush. While it would appear that solar would have been a prime consideration - it appently was not. The laptops will operate on just 2W of power - the amount that could be provided by a child using a hand crank.
I would think that solar combined with a Polaroid battery pack type battery (to give you a sense of size) would be a low cost solution that could certainly power a number of laptops for many hours.
Just wondering if you've been following any of that and had any thoughts that could be applied?
Bob S.
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BobS wrote: | Morris, | | Thought of you and your solar power systems while reading an | article in a recent computer mag about "One Laptop Per Studnet" | which is a project being backed by a number of manufactures (AMD, | RedHat, Google, etc.) as well as the UN. They have made a latop | computer for under $100 for children to use in developing | countries. Appears they have the laptop down but are having | problems with providing a power source for those areas which have | no power source. These laptops can even have mesh-networking | technology built-in so the kids can use them outside in a group and | in places that are not wired.
This is the first I've heard of the project. Spreading the technology strikes me as a wonderful idea.
| Would appear that some of what you build could certainly be applied | to villages and other locations that do not have power and where | school is held under a shade tree in the bush. While it would | appear that solar would have been a prime consideration - it | appently was not. The laptops will operate on just 2W of power - | the amount that could be provided by a child using a hand crank.
Well, the hand crank isn't a bad idea. There are a number of manufacturers of amorphous photovoltaic cells that should probably be involved with the project. From what I've read, the entire case be a solar power panel - and 2W shouldn't pose much of a challenge.
My approach to this arena has been to assume that there won't be any follow-on support from the initial provider (or anyone else) and that anything needing to be replaced must be simple enough for a bright, but uneducated, person to get working again. Thus far, that approach has provided some interesting challenges for my projects.
| I would think that solar combined with a Polaroid battery pack type | battery (to give you a sense of size) would be a low cost solution | that could certainly power a number of laptops for many hours.
There are significant areas where maintenance, parts, and high-tech consumables just won't be available - and where there wouldn't be sufficient resources to pay for them if they were available. The lack of education and the lack of wherewithal constitute a classic "chicken and egg" problem - a bit like "If I had some meatballs, I could have spaghetti and meatballs - if I had some spaghetti."
| Just wondering if you've been following any of that and had any | thoughts that could be applied?
I haven't been following it - but I think it might be worth considering shared/communal power sources to power/recharge multiple laptops simultaneously - and to figure out some way for one laptop to power another so that a machine doesn't become junk just because its battery or charging apparatus fails (guaranteed to happen).
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Morris,
Here's the url
http://www.computerpoweruser.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles%2Farchive%2Fc0705%2F67c05web%2F67c05web%2Easp&articleid9703&guidO4C6AA7357544B999F71D82B62B0EB6&searchtype=0&WordList=ONE+COMPUTER+PER+CHILD&bJumpTo=True
to the article in the July issue of CPU (Computer Power User) magazine - on newsstands now. You need to be a subscriber to view the whole article but that will give you enough details to do an advanced search and find out more. I did read a short article about the problems with the power and that's when the cloud moved out of the way and the solar panel lit up and I said - "Self, Morris has the power....."
Hey, more than one guy working alone in his shop has had brilliant ideas that have bore fruit and benefited the many... I'm sure you can find the email address for the UN when you've solved this minor problem......;-)
You make some good points about support and follow-on maintenance. That proves to me that you have 1/2 the problem already solved since you can state what the problem really is - and it's not totally a technical issue.
I just learned today that the company I work for (large, world-wide engineering firm) is a supporter of this project. I would think that with all the brain power they have to throw at a problem like this, it would have been solved with a bit more elegance than a hand-crank fer cryin out loud.....
Bob S.

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BobS wrote: | Morris, | | | Here's the url | | http://www.computerpoweruser.com/editorial/article.asp?article=article s%2Farchive%2Fc0705%2F67c05web%2F67c05web%2Easp&articleid9703&guid=4 F4C6AA7357544B999F71D82B62B0EB6&searchtype=0&WordList=ONE+COMPUTER+PER +CHILD&bJumpTo=True | | to the article in the July issue of CPU (Computer Power User) | magazine - on newsstands now. You need to be a subscriber to view | the whole article but that will give you enough details to do an | advanced search and find out more. I did read a short article | about the problems with the power and that's when the cloud moved | out of the way and the solar panel lit up and I said - "Self, | Morris has the power....."
Power is all around, just waiting to be harvested - but the industrialized nations (where education is concentrated) suffer from paradigm block - probably the result of having all the power we want available for the throwing of a switch or turning of a key. To use political terminology, that's "hard" power - and I've been working on just one of the sources of "soft" power. It really is a different game with different rules.
| Hey, more than one guy working alone in his shop has had brilliant | ideas that have bore fruit and benefited the many... I'm sure you | can find the email address for the UN when you've solved this minor | problem......;-)
I can't even think about addressing that problem. The problems I'm already working on are more than I have the resources to handle. Someone else'll have to handle that one.
The UN is not really all that complex an organization. The challenge will be to discover which department will be interested in which solution. There's a clickable organization chart at http://www.un.org/aboutun/chart.html for anyone who's interested.
| You make some good points about support and follow-on maintenance. | That proves to me that you have 1/2 the problem already solved | since you can state what the problem really is - and it's not | totally a technical issue.
The technical aspects are fairly easily dealt with. The whole shebang gets a lot more slippery when there's a requirement to give something away at a profit in a way that can't be screwed up by an international collection of all-star politicians.
Speaking of politicians, the CPU needs an on-chip suicide circuit activated whenever a barometric sensor indicates tampering, an altitude below sea level, or an altitude above about 7000 ft...
| I just learned today that the company I work for (large, world-wide | engineering firm) is a supporter of this project. I would think | that with all the brain power they have to throw at a problem like | this, it would have been solved with a bit more elegance than a | hand-crank fer cryin out loud.....
Remember that R&D cost is related much more closely to the size of the organization than to any aspect the project (Not sure about that? When did your outfit last embark on an ad-tech design project with a <$1K budget?)
If there's no significant profit in sight, management tends to bless the first (maybe) workable idea that's cheap. Ergo, surplus field phone crank generator. Probably all those kids should be glad they don't have to shake their laptops vigorously every five minutes to keep 'em going. :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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"Morris Dovey" < wrote in message

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"Morris Dovey" wrote
Snip

Morris ... isn't that how you reformat the hard disk on the OLPC?????
:)
Rick
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Wow, this really went OT. I think AMD, RedHat and Google should consider giving laptops to American children and be more worried about the state of this country rather than joining the UN in what they might think is good PR. Honestly, if I had to go to class under a tree, I'd be more worried about building a schoolhouse with a chalkboard than issuing laptops. When it comes to solar power and "underdeveloped" countries, engineers are concentrating on pumping water, not supplying electricity for the bush kid to play minesweeper. Just my thoughts.
BobS wrote:

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Doc wrote: | Wow, this really went OT. I think AMD, RedHat and Google should | consider giving laptops to American children and be more worried | about the state of this country rather than joining the UN in what | they might think is good PR. Honestly, if I had to go to class | under a tree, I'd be more worried about building a schoolhouse with | a chalkboard than issuing laptops.
Class under a tree? That would certainly be a big step up for a lot of kids. It's a lot cheaper to ship laptops than to educate teachers and motivate them to remain in impoverished areas long enough to do any good.
| When it comes to solar power and | "underdeveloped" countries, engineers are concentrating on pumping | water, not supplying electricity for the bush kid to play | minesweeper. Just my thoughts.
Even non-engineers. I suspect that the thought is to substitute laptops for not only the schoolhouse and chalkboard, but also the university-trained schoolteachers.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Morris Dovey wrote:

In some of those lands, a schoolhouse is just someplace to herd people in order to hack them to death more efficiently. Yet, until there is a bigger pie to fight over, the rebels will never put down guns and pick up pens. But there is an even larger picture involved, as I describe below.

It's not just good PR, it's good business. The American / European market is just about saturated with computers. Much of Latin America, Asia and Africa are not. A $100 sale beats a blank stare. And the potential market simply dwarfs the American / Northern European one.
As Africa, Latin America and other areas boost their level of education, they will become both consumers of our goods and producers of them. And they will compete with Chiwanistan.
The US and Europe have shown that they, in many areas, certainly can not compete with them. They greatly out-educate us ... and have for decades.
So long as the US has no ally to throw against Chiwanistan, the only other option is to see American / North European living standards come into equilibrium (or worse?) with it. The amount of home foreclosures in Detroit is simply staggering already. Not an appealing thought. Terrorists have shown an understanding of the value of education by killing those who don't teach what they want taught. The OLPC initiative outflanks that, helping each child to learn on their own. Those children, when educated to a reasonable degree of literacy and critical thought, will form the economic and political alliances needed for continued Anglophone strength in the world market and affairs.
From my perch here, high above my rocking horse, it seems to me that one of the smartest things a Multi-national business could do would be to get on this bandwagon and enable the Africans and others to leapfrog that chalkboard and do an end-run around the lack of qualified instructors ... right up the point where they become mass consumers of the expensive products Anglo-Americans make and producers of the cheap commodities they need. Then clamp the thumb down, if they can.
It also seems that the smartest thing the American government could do would be to bring the US educational system up to Chinese standards. They learned from the US. It's time to learn from them.
Bill
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I'm not not at the above address.
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BillinDetroit wrote:

What expensive products do Anglo-Americans make in this field? Laptops..lol? Even the programming is farmed out. We're only kidding ourselves.

I agree with you there.

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When the great educator in the livingroom shows that kids are always smarter than parents, social workers smarter than scientists and engineers and people who have money are the root of all evil, what's the point? Trying to make "nerds" out of them? We can still use derogatory words about smart or wealthy people, right? Not "hate speech," nor likely to become.

If they can't read, barely write, and accept the garbage out that comes from garbage in on their calculators, it'll be tough.
Amazing how many times I had to remind kids in class that their answers were impossible.
There are only 360 degrees in a circle, for instance....
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Try Harbor Freight before you tie up a lot of time building clamps.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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They are cheaper than home made thanks. Jamffer
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i did a project a few years back that required numbers of glue clamps. i made 100 pizza paddles for a local pizza manufacturer distibuter, not for baking but for advertizing, like hanging on the wall at a bar with the types and prices on it. anyhew i had a bunch of threaded rod that i had salvaged one time and i used 3 rods per clamp 2 rods 1" up from the bottom 1 rod 1" down from the top of a 2x4 about 2' long, the top rod was at the center of the length with the bottom 2 rods about 4" in from each end. washers and nuts on the outsides with a small 1/4" rod welded to from nut to nut on one side to keep them from turning. cheap and worked well. ross www.highislandexport.com
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Get the Pittsburg branded pipe clamps for Harbor Freight, sale price is often about $3.00 IIRC. As for the pipe, I have probably 18 or 20 pipe clamps and have never paid for any of the pipe they use. Look at demolitiona sites or dumpsters in industrial areas. Don't worry if it is galvanized, I have found that it works just as well as black pipe at least for the Pony style clamps that use clutch plates rather than a toothed cam.
find ally
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Ghamph wrote:
> I'm trying to design an inexpensive way to make shop clamps. > My last set of clamps are 2 1/2 in. Pony pipe fixtures for 3/4 in. black > pipe (4 ft.7 in.each ) with pipe and tax were $44.60 total at Home Depot. <snip>
These days pre cut and threaded black iron pipe nipples are available from any pipe distributor.
Lowest cost way to get pipe for clamps.
Add a couple of couplings, some pipe clamps and you're in business.
Want bar clamps? Watch harbor Freight for sales.
Lew
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Thu, Jul 5, 2007, 12:50pm snipped-for-privacy@localnet.com (Ghamph) doth sayeth: I'm trying to design an inexpensive way to make shop clamps. <snip> Clamps I use need to be 100 - 300 lb. range. more for the larger ones. Thanks before hand, I hope that I don't sound like a tightwad.
Trying to reinvent the wheel, eh?. Cam clamps. I made up a batch, 100% plywood, they probably cost about 25 to 50 cents, each, depending on plywood. With scrap, the cost of the glue. Mine were from about 12" to almost 48", work find. Dunno how much they clamped, but plenty. No, you're not a tigtwad. You're a cheapskate. There's plans on the web, or I've posted several plans, so they'd be in the archives.
JOAT If a man does his best, what else is there? - General George S. Patton
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