I'm with you on the quick clamps - useful for a third hand when
getting everything situated, but not capable of actually clamping.
FWIW, I like the Jorgensen "EZ HOLD" in that style, but I don't
think they've made them in 20 years.
He means the pipe clamps that use black iron pipe. Pony is
the common brand.
I have no use for the aluminum bar clamps. Too weak. Plus,
as dadi said, the head doesn't engage the bar well (I have
some Record clamps which are steel, with the same problem. In
general you want to check the bar on a bar clamp for well cut
grooves for the ratchet to engage - I think that's the biggest
difference between good bar clamps and bad ones).
My rule of thumb is if the bar is bending significantly (a
little bend is OK) it's time to get out the pipe clamps or
the K-bodies. Or figure out what's gone wrong that I'm needing
so much clamp pressure :-)
On Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:07:06 +0000 (UTC), John McCoy
Irwin makes some "heavy duty" Quick Clamps that can provide quite a
bit of force but the jaws don't remain parallel as well as 'K' style
clamps. I really like the Besseys.
"Provides 600 lbs of one-handed force"
Ah, yes. I got rid of my pipe clamps years ago. Too heavy and the
jaws weren't big enough. Black pipe used to be cheap but not so much
I never had problems with the head engaging, rather the head snapped.
...a lot of 'em.
The point is that the pressure needed to start the bar twisting is
pretty small. The bar is too thin, so tends to twist.
Yeah, those are what I have, some 12", some 24". I use them for pretty
much anything they will fit, have found them plenty strong enough. For
bigger stuff, I use 1/2" ot 3/4" pipe clamps...I can and have hooked them
together to clamp 10' stuff. Or bigger, if need be.
On Saturday, September 20, 2014 5:44:52 PM UTC-5, -MIKE- wrote:
f force but the jaws don't remain parallel as well as 'K' style > clamps. I
really like the Besseys. > > http://www.irwin.com/tools/clamps/xp600-one-h
anded-bar-clamps-spreaders > > "Provides 600 lbs of one-handed force" > I j
ust bought some of those on sale and let me tell you, they are AWESOME!
I'm not crazy about any of this style of clamp, though, at times, I use the
m for a third hand, when prepping for further clamping.
I most often use pony clamps and bar clamps (like these heavy duty bar clam
ps - https://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@N04/14704971100/in/photostream )
Some time ago, a retired woodworker sold his inventory and I bought 73 of h
is American made pony clamps (pipe included) for $3 each. He had at least
150 remaining to be sold. Wish I had bought more, but at the time, I didn'
t have any more cash in my pocket.
I compared 2 similar looking clamps. One's with plastic parts in the
guts, and one with metal parts there. And just as I expected, the one
that had metal one. I made a mental note at the point to remember to
always look for the metal.
To be clear, I was thinking of the steel bar Jorgensen clamps,
which are exerting a fair bit of force by the time they're
Generally in cabinetry, if you need a lot of clamp force then
something isn't right. Maybe if you're doing bent laminations,
or building a boat or something like that; but most things we
do should go together with only moderate pressure. Even for
edge-gluing panels, 5 small clamps works better than 3 big
ones widely spaced.
I started out with 3/4" Pony bar clamps with 48" black pipe. They were
fairly inexpensive and have a lot of clamping force. But, they tend to
tip over when trying to glue up panels, and the black pipe leaves black
stains at the glue joints (not usually a problem since I plane the panels
down after glueup).
Based on Mark's review on the Wood Whisperer, I invested in a set of Jet
24" parallel bar clamps.
I've really liked the Jet bar clamps. The 24" length is perfect for most
projects I work on. They stand up nicely during glueups, and the trigger
latch makes it easy to adjust the moveable head.
My wife bought me a Bessey brand parallel clamp many years ago and I
could never get the head to work right. I don't know if it's me or
something wrong with the clamp, but I never liked it. The trigger on the
Jet clamp is much easier to work with.
I also have a small collection of 12" Irwin bar clamps:
I bought four to start with, then bought another four a year or two
later. Unfortunately, the newer clamps have smaller clamping heads than
the old clamps, but they still work nice.
The Irwin clamps work great for gluing up laminations or other small
projects. I actually use them a lot for clamping things to my saw horses
when working on projects.
I don't use the pipe clamps much anymore, but they're still handy when I
need the longer 48" length. They're also easier to gang up for really
long lengths as I can rotate the heads on the pipes to engage another
clamp. I also used the pipe clamps when building out house to help pull
things into alignment. The high clamping pressure helped in those
I don't have any of the one handed clamps at the moment, but there are
times those would really come in handy.
Hope this helps,
That's *exactly" what I use them for, mostly, as a third hand.
I building a Sharn* in own new back yard, by myself, and those new
Irwins came in real handy when lifting 16' treated 2x10s into place onto
the posts to make the laminated beam for the trusses.
(*too big for a shed, too small for a barn)
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
Most of mine have galvanized rather than black pipe but would leave stain
too if I'm using yellow glue (because of the acid in the glue) if they
were touching the glue line. Which they aren't.
When I first put a pipe clamp on, I assure that the clamp pressure points
are centered on the board edges as much as possible and rotate the clamp
so the pipe is touching the board which lets me see if the boards are
buckling. Once all is well, I rotate the clamp so the pipe is no longer
touching the wood. No stains.
Or - if both ends of the pipe are threaded - just join one or more lengths
of pipe with pipe couplings.
The pipe clamps I had wouldn't work with galvanized pipe. The jaws
wouldn't bite through the surface, so couldn't be tightened. I was
also warned that if they did, the galvanization would flake off making
On Sunday, September 21, 2014 7:12:44 PM UTC-5, John McCoy wrote:
LOL, yeah. The guy was in the cabinet business, so he would probably need
that many. His shop was large, lots of big iron, also, so he likely had ot
her workers.... multiple jobs at a time. His clamp inventory had 4' length
s to 12' lengths. I got mostly 4' & 6' lengths, a few 10' lengths.
As for as ones I bought, I had given some to 2 family members, for 1) when
I go to my sister's house to do work/tasks, seems I often/always need clamp
s and didn't have any, there, and 2) a nephew is a promising woodworker who
needed more clamps. Wish I had gotten more to give more to him. He may e
nd up getting most of my stock/tools/etc., anyway.
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