I am looking at purchasing some of these clamps because I am in need of one
right now so I thought I would get a couple. I noticed at Lee Valley that
there is quite a few different sizes. Is there a "most common" size for all
around use? If so what is it? Regards. -Guy
That's a tough one. So much depends on what you want to use them
for. First of all, if you're clamping things to your workbench, you
need to take into account the thickness of the bench and the stock you
will normally be clamping. Make sure the screw has enough travel to
accomodate them both and leave a decent amount of slack.
I like to use a handscrew when cutting dovetails. I set up a
batten and use the screw(s) to hold the batten in place for chopping.
If the board I'm chopping is not too wide, I actually use the
handscrew itself (the side of the wooden jaw) as the batten. So there
again I need the screw to be long enough to accomodate the bench
thickness plus the board thickness, but here the reach of the jaws
also comes into play.
I sometimes use handscrews to hold narrow pieces vertically to my
benchtop for jointing. Here it's helpful to have a good reach with
the jaws to stabilize the piece.
Handscrews can also be useful for holding irregular-shaped pieces
for carving or spokeshaving work. Here the reach of the jaws doesn't
seem to come into play as much, but the height (thickness) of the
wooden jaws can be an issue as well as the length of the screw.
So, that's a long-winded way of saying you should buy some
medium-sized ones and use them until you find what works best for you.
Maybe buy some of the 10" jaw length ones to start and see how you
like them. I'm assuming that LV's excellent return policy would come
into play here, so if you tried one and didn't like it, you could
still return it.
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