Don't buy new Irwin pipe clamps!

I bought a couple of the new 3/4" pipe clamps made by Irwin, which are similar to the new Rockler ones in that the crank can still be turned when the clamps are standing on a surface. The difference is that the Irwin clamps do not require a threaded pipe. Great concept...if it is done correctly. Instead, they are totally useless because the clutch plates on the fixed side were installed upside down so that the long tabs point down instead of up. As a result, the clamp cannot lay flat, which completely defeats the entire purpose of these clamps. There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of obvious mistake, and a company with a reputation like Irwin should never, ever have allowed this to happen. I spent nearly half an hour looking them over closely thinking I was some kind of idiot for not being able to make them work correctly. Then I looked them up on Amazon.com and found a reviewer who had precisely the same problem. I will definitely be returning these and if I ever buy another Irwin product I will demand that the store allow me to take it out of the package and test it first. If there are any Irwin reps lurking here, let me tell you that I did not enjoy having to deal with this problem while the glue was rapidly drying on my project this evening.
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LOL
I guess that dry fitting before glue ups isn't just for "those other people" anymore...
I'm sorry for your situation, but there a at least two divergent perspectives on this one...
Myx
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

What, you mean that you don't wait until you have glue curing before you try a new clamp out of the box? Where's your sense of adventure? :-)
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On 15 Feb 2004 03:58:15 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comAntiSpam (NoNameAtAll) wrote:

looking at the picture on the amazon site:
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000CCXVO.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg
what you describe is not obvious. yes the clutch plates extend down, but the leg extends down further. from the picture it looks like it would work fine.

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NoNameatAll,
Hey, I am that reviewer from Amazon.com that wrote of the clutch plate problem. Not only was it posted there I also blasted Irwin's so called Marketing Manager but of course only thru his voice mail about this piece of crap clamp. My fix was to remove the plates and reinstall them in their proper position. I am stuck with these as I have already cut the pipe. Dana
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comAntiSpam (NoNameAtAll) wrote:

Up until the last sentence, this sounded like a problem with Irwin clamps. Hopefully your lesson in the school of hard knocks taught you something about dry assembly and arranging of clamps before applying glue.
--
Alex
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Have you noticed that the top of the clamp jaws are flat? Some people including David Marks of WoodWorks lay the wood on a work surface and place the clamp above the wood being clamped. The clamp jaws rest on the work surface.
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