How do you distribute a K-body budget?

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Ok, so I'm going to get some Bessey K-bodys for Christmas - my first. Naturally I cannot get all I would like. I am thinking that size choice will be like my experience with buying a bunch of F-clamps in the last year - "longer is not necessarily handier or as useful". But the K-body pricing model is such that the shorter clamps cost about 75% of the cost of much longer clamps. I suppose it makes sense - all you get is a couple more feet of steel bar.
If you had $100 for a Kbody budget, how would you spend it? How about $200?
The rockler sale this coming weekend seems like a good $100 starter Two 40" K-body Two 24" K-body Four KP blocks
What do you think?
Bob
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I just added several K-Bodies in the past few weeks. I found them at one of the local Borgs. I got 6 30" Kbodies and 4 24" uniklamps (K-Body lite) for $260 to augment the 4 50" K-bodies that I already had. I just finished a cabinet for a friend and that along with 2 pipe clamps and a couple F clamps were all I needed
--
-Rob Ritch
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that is a great deal. Get one if you have $100, two if you have $200 - easy decision.
I started out with 40" clamps and 24" clamps. I quickly found that using longer clamps for small pieces is not much fun. I added a few 12" clamps as well. The thing about the saying "you can never have enough clamps" is that it is extremely accurate. I now have 4x12", 12x24", 12x(36" or 40") and 6x50". Not all are K-bodies, I have some jorgenson cabinetmasters, too (actually 24 of them are CMs).
Mike

of
more
$200?
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I'm sure it's been asked before, but I must have missed it. How do the Cabinetmasters to the K-bodies? Weight? Ease of use? Overall preference?
Thanks
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In performance, they are nearly identical, with the edge going to the cabinetmasters. The improvements in features consist of larger clamping surface - which I've noticed improves clamping force distribution considerably - and the inclusion of small feet that allow the movable head to be slid into position even when the clamps are laid down with a workpiece on the bar. This last one is a BIG improvement and makes panel glueups go much easier, IMO. The CMs also feature reversible heads, which I've used a few times, so it is a nice feature. I think the Bessey's might be incorporating some of these features in their offerings now, but I'm not sure. Weight isn't something I've noticed much difference in - so I'll have to say they are even there. Both are pretty hefty.
There have been some negative aspects to the CMs in terms of product "malfunctions". These have been reported previously, as well. Namely, *some* of my clamps exhibit "stuck head" syndrome, where if the movable head is allowed to slam down against the fixed head the clamping mechanism jams and the clamp is stuck closed. It isn't really that hard to remedy the problem, but it is very annoying when it happens. The materials in my CMs weren't top-notch, either. The plastic isn't as good as in the k-bodies, and on one of my clamps the fixed head housing cracked severely when it fell off my bench. I also had several clamps where the bars developed notches as a result of the clamping action - most of them didn't have any impact on performance, but a few of them were serious enough to affect the ability of the movable head to slide past them.
The good news is that the Adjustable Clamp Company is standing by their product and accepting responsibility for these issues. I reported all of them to their customer service manager (Jim Luley) and he gave me no argument whatsoever, and required no proof (i.e. having to mail the clamps back or something like that). He was very professional and replaced all the items for free. In total, I received 7 new clamps (it was just the fixed head and the bars). As Jim explained to me, there was some quality issues with the parts initially supplied to them for the CMs, all of which have been remedied. They changed the plastic to a glass-filled type, which is more durable and robust. They improved the quality of the steel bar stock, and they came up with a fix for the "stuck head" issue. This consists of a plastic insert that you can retrofit to your clamps easily to avoid the problem. All new CMs have all of these improvements (I checked this at Home Depot and confirmed it). So, with this in mind I have to stand behind the CMs. As you might imagine, it would have been much better to not have the problems at all, but the customer service was exceptional, and it seems they have truly attempted to fix what was wrong in good faith.
So there you have it. I still use my Besseys as much as the CMs, and in most cases I have no real preference. They are both exceptional clamps and I'm happy with them all.
Mike
wrote in message news:_ornd.26043

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workpiece
The new Besseys have this feature. I've seen 'em with my own eyes.
Thanks for the thorough review Mike.
Bob
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Makes you wonder if this is Bessey's way of clearing out the older clamps? Anyone know if the Rockler ones are the new style or old?
ken
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Now you got me going. I am calling Rockler tomorrow and finding out.
Bob
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I have one question about the CabinetMasters. Don't know what it is about the material the bars on the Besseys are made from, but I found out the hard way that Titebond II sticks to it like grim death. Have you noticed if the same is true of the CabinetMasters?
Mike in Mystic wrote:

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The CM bar is very smooth and polished - glue is VERY easy to get off the bars, once it has cured. The serrations on K-bodies is what I guess makes the glue stick so well and makes it difficult to remove.
Mike
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Mike in Mystic wrote:

When it gets in the serrations it's a pain but even if it falls on the smooth side of the bar it sticks like crazy and when I do get it off it leaves a discolored spot. I've taken to waxing new ones when I get them. Have to give CMs a try.

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easy
Duh, why didn't I think of that. I just called the local Rockler store to check for restrictions in their sale. No limits per customer, but only limited to what they have in stock. That's why they are opening at 7a.m. every day after Thanksgiving. I asked if they had ordered extra stock or just going to sell what's in the store. Quote the salesperson: "Well, let's put it this way - I've been unloading three trucks a day for the last week in anticipation of this sale. Does that help?" Whoever decided to put a Rockler store in Houston in a better than average location is a genius. Their retail prices are ridiculously high sometimes but their sales can be pretty awesome.
Bob
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"Bob" wrote in message

If you're talking about the one on SW FWY feeder between Edloe and Kirby, their sales can be competitive, most all the merchandise is better quality than you'll find at a BORG, a lot of the catalog stuff is in stock, and the salesfolks are _way_ above average in helpfulness and savvy ... but the real kicker is that I can be there in five minutes.
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They have had every thing that I have called ahead on.
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the
real
That's the one. Their location says they are after the hobbyist seriously. With the growth of the Baby boom generation and growing interest in woodworking, I think they must have some vision.
Bob
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Most of the folks at our local Rockler's are active in the woodworkers' club. Some of them are real artists. All are pretty good folk.
Patriarch
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Yes. I'll be the one in line right behind you. SH
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On Fri, 19 Nov 2004 18:49:38 GMT, "Bob"

You are correct. I found that the hard way when I first started my K-Body collection. I have an article on my website that deals with your first K-Body buy. Looks like it might help you.
I have about 2/3 of my inventory as 24"ers, by the way.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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I think that, at very least, I'd go to www.allprotools.com, and price out the Gross Stabil PC2 units. They are every bit as good as the Besseys.
I use both. So do others, who hang out here. Even some who inadvertantly overload other people's F150 pickups, hauling home maple they've practically stolen. ;-)
Regarding the length issue, it really depends on what you make. 50" clamps on smaller projects can be a pain.
Patriarch
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"patriarch snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcastDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message

I've seen them at Woodcraft and they do look great. For regular pricing they are cheaper, but the shipping cost from Allprotools is not competitive. Pricing up 4-24s and 4-40s, the Rockler sale is $69 cheaper, after sales tax and shipping considerations.
Thanks for the tip. I'll certainly do more comparitive shopping in the future.
Bob
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