Speaking of clamps (Home Depot, Irwin)

A few months ago all of the Jorgenson and Pony clamps and clamp accessories disappeared from my local HD. All of the clamps are now Irwin. Bar clamps, pipe clamp ends and corner clamps, at least.
It has me wondering if HD now has a "deal" with Irwin which may lead to the products going down in quality. As a first data point, I submit the following:
There were maybe six blister-packed sets of Irwin pipe clamp "ends" in the display. The coil spring in the one at the front of the bin had popped out from whatever is supposed to hold it in position inside the movable end piece and was just floating around in the package. Although I wasn't shopping for any of these, I was curious and looked at the rest. ALL of them had some variation of the same problem.
Now this could be yet another case of HD simply putting defective returned merchandise back on the shelves (a growing problem), but how did six of them suffer this problem in the first place?
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Are you sure that that wasn't the protective shield that covers the threads on the other end of the pipe to prevent them from getting banged up, so they can be used to extend the pipe if needed? All pony pipe clamps used to come with one. Looks like of like a coil spring.
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On 6/10/2013 9:49 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Certainly HD has a deal with Irwin, they have been selling Irwin products or many years, vice grips, quick grips, etc. I am sure that the GP in the replacement Irwin clamps is greater than what it was from Jorgenson. Add to that Jorgenson does not offer many more products than clamps where as Irwin does provide several products. So, that is one less vendor that the store has to deal with. Having run a retail store and being responsible for inventory control and reordering I can assure you that the fewer vendors you deal with the easier the job is. While Irwin clamps have never really measured up to Jorgenson clamps the type customers that HD attracts are typically not looking for the best in a particular product type. Jorgenson clamps may have been too slow moving to justify having that extra vendor.

It could have been repackaged but blister packs typically are not very protective of cast iron products, Simply dropping the package could have caused the spring to work loose. Typically the clamp end is positioned on a pipe and there is tension on that spring and it is not likely to come out once put into use.

Having worked in the retail industry what you have observed is not a unique situation, it has been a problem for decades, it in this instance has simply caught your attention. I notice it all the time having dealt with it in the past many years. It is just something that you continue to notice onve you are aware.
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On 6/10/2013 9:49 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

...
FWIW I noticed just yesterday that it seems Lee Valley has pulled the Jorgenson lightweight bar clamps in favor of what appears to be a no-name variety at roughly the same price (within about 10%)...whether something's happened to the orange variety overall I haven't tried to find out.
No longer available...
<http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?pD651&cat=1,43838,43850,44647&ap=1>
The following are...
<http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p1194&cat=1,43838,43850,44647&ap=1>
Interesting given Lee Valley penchant/noted for quality first...
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On 6/10/2013 1:56 PM, dpb wrote:

<http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?pD651&cat=1,43838,43850,44647&ap=1>

<http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p1194&cat=1,43838,43850,44647&ap=1>

Probably no worry, My wife is a quilter and I bought her a long arm sewing machine. Long story short the sewing machine came with 4 of the same style clamps you reference here. Hers were made CHINA. I have often considered permanently borrowing them. LOL Apparently this style clamp is easy to do right.
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On 6/10/2013 2:12 PM, Leon wrote:

...

...

I have no worry, particularly, just thought interesting re: Jorgensen name struck me in view of the OP's observation re: orange brand as well.
It's easy enough to NOT make them well, too, though...I've had a few that came from $ bin at Big Lot's and the ilk that were so sorry as to have tossed them owing to the latching mechanism/notches failing to grasp...actually, I only tossed the castings; I kept the bar as stock for whenever and the screws/handles for jigs, etc., ...
I just thought it interesting/curious that Lee Valley would go to no name for only ~10% pricing benefit.
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"dpb" wrote in message
On 6/10/2013 2:12 PM, Leon wrote:

...

...

I have no worry, particularly, just thought interesting re: Jorgensen name struck me in view of the OP's observation re: orange brand as well.
It's easy enough to NOT make them well, too, though...I've had a few that came from $ bin at Big Lot's and the ilk that were so sorry as to have tossed them owing to the latching mechanism/notches failing to grasp...actually, I only tossed the castings; I kept the bar as stock for whenever and the screws/handles for jigs, etc., ...
I just thought it interesting/curious that Lee Valley would go to no name for only ~10% pricing benefit.
Red paint costs less than Orange. (grin) WW
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Leon, about 10 years ago I bought some of the cheap F clamps from Penn State during a major sale back before they became pen kit suppliers. I think the 12 inch ones were a buck or a buck and a half, and the 48 inchers were an additional buck or two. Cheap, and look almost identical to the LV ones on the above link. I bought a dozen of the 12 inchers and love them. They are the most used clamp in my shop.
I notice a difference in the longer ones compared to some Jorgenson clamps I also have. The longer rails for the cheaper clamps seem to bow or flex under heavy pressure. The Jorgensons must be made of harder or even hardened steel and don't deform as much in the 3-4 foot length.
I've never used any of the HF short clamps to verify they work well, but I'll bet you could swap them for the ones your wife has if you didn't like them.
Regards, Roy
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On 6/10/2013 2:56 PM, dpb wrote:

<http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?pD651&cat=1,43838,43850,44647&ap=1>

<http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p1194&cat=1,43838,43850,44647&ap=1>

For the slight diff in price I would go with the Jorgs... made in the USA and a very good F clamp.
--
Jeff

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On 6/10/2013 7:29 PM, woodchucker wrote:

...

...snip...

Then have to go somewhere besides Lee Valley to get 'em now...kinda' what struck me as to why they seem to have dropped them. Unless, the markup on the others is far better, maybe.
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I bought the 1/4" x 3/4" spring-steel bar standard clamps primarily because I could feed them through a dog hole on my work bench and use them as a hold down.
Not as good as the Veritas Hold-Downs, but significantly cheaper.
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I just found 8 of them at a cabinet shop supply and grabbed them. Before I had been buying them a couple at a time from Home Depot and they were suddenly no more. I have been slowly changing from 3/4 to 1/2 for some years. I really like Jorgenson if for no other reason than I am accustomed to them. I use lots and lots of clamps.
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