Has anyone heard if HD is going to close out the K Bodies like they're doing
with the Tradseman's? I'm tempted to keep checking HD this week to see.
I asked the "tool guy" at HD today, and he said he had no idea, and didn't
know why they were closing out the Tradesman's. I explained to him that
they were going to switch to Jorgensen's - blank stare back.... :-)
Couldn't tell me when they put there close out tags on stuff. Guess I ask
too many questions...
Just thought someone might have some info -
I did notice the Kbodies now have a foot on the end like the Jorgensen
Cabinetmaster clamps, although it does not appear to slide up and down the
bar as the Jorgenson does. Jorgensen must be taking a healthy cut out of
the Kbody market share.
I don't own any cabinet clamps but have quite a few utility F clamps. I've
never owned any Bessey's because of the cost. So last night I found the
grocery cart of Bessey clamps and pawed through them. I found three clamps
that were an unusual size (4" deep x 8" long) and bought them because of the
size, not the name. They were $10 each. I took them home and layed them
side by side with the Chinese 4" x 12" clamps I bought at the show last
weekend. The show clamps were $6 each. In terms of "apparent" quality,
these clamps are equal. One said China on the label. The other had Germany
prominently stamped in the iron clamp body.
Now I must admit that Germany has a certain snob appeal. Perhaps the
metallurgy is superior (probably is), but I doubt my usage will ever discern
the difference. One of the reasons I bought them was to be able to see how
the two compared over the long run. I suspect any differences may show up
after a year of use.
Anyway, my use for these clamps is utility clamping. When I get into
building fine furniture, I'm sure I'll think differently.
Take a closer look at the china made clamps , I believe you will more than
likely see the differences in the machining qualities (provided you did not
cull thru all the china made clamps to hand pick the best ones) notice if
the threaded hole in the sliding head is bored perpendicular to the fixed
head flat side in both planes (front,side) and the quality of the cut
threads of both cast iron head and threaded rod, also the amount of slop
between the sliding head /bar slot. I have been thru this experience with
Harbor Freight's Chinese made F Style clamps, to pick out three 3" x 6"
clamps I had to open the boxes of at least 15 packages before settling on 3
that were acceptable. China has NO quality control inspection, what they
manufactor is what they ship out, I was told about this by a design engineer
for Pony (adjustable clamp co) Clamp Co.. Actually he told me out of 10,000
iron castings maybe 100 were to actual design specs. So you see they
(American companies and chinese mfg) are banking on people to just accept
what crap they are sliding our way and if occasionally someone gripes of
poor quality they are bending backwards to send a replacement. Must be one
hell of a profit margin, HUH. I still support products that are made to
strigent specs even if for home use, nothing like doing quality work with a
quality tool, just makes good sence. TAKE CARE
Thanks for the detailed information. I had not gone through the analytical
evaluation when I started buying Chinese clamps and I've only purchased in
person, never by mail order. On the first two batches I bought, they were so
cheap that there was no risk ($3 to $4 each). I found two that had to be
returned. But over several months use, they've worked out for me. I wanted
to buy some larger ones, but the local store did not have any. The
woodworking show was the first time I had seen the bigger clamps at such
cheap prices so I bought a couple to try out.
Utility F clamps are not precision tools, so quality excursions are probably
still usable for me. After I read your notes, I went into the shop and laid
the Chinese and Bessey clamps out side by side and inspected them closely.
As it turns out the Chinese clamps were larger than I remembered. They
measure 4.5" x 12" as compared to the Bessey 4" x 8". Being as the Bessey's
are smaller, I would expect them to have tighter tolerances. Guess what?
The Chinese clamps have substantially tighter tolerances. When I grab the
moveable part and wiggle it side to side, the Bessey is downright sloppy
compared to the Chinese clamps. All of the Chinese clamps are very
consistently made and I could not discern any quality issues. In fact, you
could swap the brand labels and you would swear the Chinese clamps are the
better made clamp. The Bessey threads are somewhat better refined but they
are not exactly what I would call a precision piece of machining. The thing
I cannot test is the metal quality. That will be the telling part. I bought
some Columbina clamps one time (Wilton tools Chinese distribution name) that
actually showed dents in the main bar after only a few uses. I returned
So, in summary, I agree with you wholeheartedly - Chinese quality in
commodity items is a crapshoot. You can get good to excellent quality but
you are likely to get a lot of junk. I think companies like Jet and Delta
and Dewalt are really differentiating themselves through quality programs at
the import factory and customer service. I hope they remain viable in the
new import business models.
Haven't heard about the K Bodies, for sure, but if they're going to
discontinue the Bessey's, the K's should go on clearance. The clearance
notification "usually" comes thru on Thursday morning. (If there is an
"emergency" price reduction it could come thru at any time.) If you hear
that something is on clearance and the tag doesn't reflect it, have the
"Associate" look it up on the computer...it ain't hard to do. Sometimes
a clearance item will only be a store by store thing and not available
at every store. The IMA for each dept. is the person who usually gets
the clearance info and changes the item sign.
As a side note, I was told the Ridgid isn't going to continue making
their Radial Arm Saw. I would think that it would go on clearance also.
It isn't the best RAS in the world, but if it goes down to $300/$350,it
might be worth a look.
Nick Bozovich wrote:
Thanks Dave - I decided that I'm going to go in every day and check it out -
I'll make a particular effort to be in on Thursday. It just makes sense
that they're going to dump them if they're switching to Jorgensens.
They have the RAS on sale now - can't remember the price, but it's about a
$50 - $75 reduction. Unfortunately, I'm not ready for a RAS now. I also
noticed they had the Rigid 13" portable planer on yellow tag - I think it's
$199. I'm looking for a planer now, but I haven't seen any really good
comments on the Rigid. Just looking at it compared to the Dewalts or the
Deltas, it just doesn't look like the same quality. I'll settle for the
Dewalt (735), but I have my eye and hopes on a Yorkcraft or Bridgewood
(Wilke Machinery is about 5 miles from my house) 15". Obliviously, price is
the issue...gotta save my pennies! Hard to do when clamps are on sale!!
You haven't heard anything good about the Ridgid planer? You need to check
around more. I have one, love it, but don't just take my word for it do a
Google search. I received it Christmas 2002 so I don't know how it compares
with current models, but what I've read about it here I would say most
people are happy with it. At the time I bought it there had been a recent
planer comparison in one of the mags and it received the top honor or close
to it IIRC. Again, I don't know how it would compare to current models, but
for $200 I think it'd be a good deal.
Larry C in Auburn, WA
"Nick Bozovich" < email@example.com> wrote in message
Just a month or two ago one mag did a 13" planer comparison, including
the new DeWalt and newer Delta. It held it's own, and is much
Again, I don't know how it would compare to current models, but
I really love my Ridgid TP1300 planer. I can't comment on any subtle
changes in the product, nor on exactly which one is on sale at $199. But
the one I spent about $379 on, 18-20 months ago, was and is worth the
money. If you need one, that is.
That it's disco doesn't bother me much. I don't need another one any time
The planer for $199 is probably one of the "older" models...not much
orange on the case. We got some of the new ones in and they are $249 or
$279 somewhere in that range. We did get some of the new Spindle Sanders
in Monday night, but I only saw the picture on the box. I'll check them
out tomorrow. The Planer is really a pretty good one for the money. I
think the only change from old to new is cosmetic. Don't know about the
motor change, if any. $199 is a good price for the Planer.
Nick Bozovich wrote:
Why don't you just buy them now while selection is good, and speculate that
they will be clearing them out in less than 30 days? You can come back with
your receipt and get the difference. If you're really worried, you can
simply return and repurchase after 30 days, gaining another 30 days. Seems
like less work and better potential for selection.
At the N. Plainfield NJ and Bound Brook NJ Borgs - I got four 24"
clamps for $9 each, one 36" clamp for $10 and four 12"ers for $8.
Internet pricing on them is $14, $17 and $12, respectively. $121
retail versus $78
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