I've got several of those and they work fine, a real bargain. The bars ARE as
as the Jorgensens, and the the bars have teeth ribbings to bite into, which the
don't have. The quality of the steel of the bar is probably a tad less, but
it for the time it will take for them to warp, which I have seen with an
old jorgy clamp of the same type. In fact, I will buy more when needed. I say:
"go for it"!
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
Actually that is incorrect. I just made a comparison of both, the bars of the
have those ribbings but only on one edge, and each 'pit' between the teeth is
deep as the HF ones.
Another difference is; the bars of the HF clamps have a gutter running the
each side, 1/4 inch wide by about 2 or 3/64 inch deep, pressed in or poured that
I don't know. The Jorgs bar sides are flat and just a micro tad thicker.
upand_at firstname.lastname@example.org (in
| Can I safely go cheap with these bar clamps from Harbor Freight:
| Or are they not worth it? Perhaps the bar isn't as thick as the
| Jorgensen clamps I can get at Home Depot (for twice the price).
I bought a batch of the 36" clamps a while back and like 'em. They
(the 36" clamps) periodically go on sale for about half of the price
of the 24" at that web page. If you aren't in a big hurry you can save
about half (or have twice as many clamps for the same money).
At about the same frequency, HF puts their 3/4" pipe clamps on sale
for even less and I like 'em well enough to have accumulated a bunch.
These I like even better than the Jorgensens.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
My son bought some of these and they work fine for what they are. You just
have to remember that you're working with light weight clamps and use them
for light weight clamping. But... then again, that's what light weight
clamps are for, right?
Mine work fine also, but you are the second person
to say they are for light weight work. I beg to
differ. If you clamp tighter than these can
provide, you will put a dent in the wood even if
you are using a pieces of wood to spread the
effect pressure. If you need more pressure you
are doing something wrong or bending wood. I use
pipe clamps but primarily for really long stuff or
because the the pipe clamps just easy the set up
They will certainly dent wood - that wasn't what I meant by light work.
Actually what I had in mind when I posted that was the idea of a 36" bar
clamp being used to really pull a piece of wood where a pipe clamp would
likely be better. At that length and any serious amount of pulling, I'd
rather be using a pipe clamp than a bar clamp. If for no other reason, just
because of the flex you can get in a long bar clamp. I can also get a lot
more force behind my pipe clamps simply because of the crank mechanism as
opposed to the small handle on the bar clamp.
I have a bunch of them. They work and have held up fine. The handle is
small and it actually hurts to use them too much. Nothing is free.
I much prefer my one Bessey that I got when HD closed them out, but the
price difference is hard to justify.
I didn't mean that the clamp part would dent the
wood, I meant that even if you use pressure
distribution block that the wood at the actual
joint would be compressed. Easy enough to do with
a soft wood, more difficult but not impossible
with many hardwoods. I usually stop tightening a
pipe clamp when I could actually get another 1/2
turn on the crank of a pipe clamp and I'm pretty
weak. But I'm more concerned about smashing the
wood at the joint than not getting the joint
sufficiently tight. As a caveat, I'll say that I
don't glue any curves where the wood has to be bent.
you're right, Mike, but also talking apples and oranges...
Comparing HF bar clamps with pipe clamps is about as accurate as comparing
Jorgensen bar clamps to pipe clamps...
Please remove splinters before emailing
I was thinking more along the lines, as Mike was, that especially for longer
clamps the bar clamps really flex which makes me uncomfortable. Plus, the
smaller contact area means that for situations where more clamping force is
needed you will need to use a block of wood to spread the force out.
I bought several of varying lengths about 9 months ago and have used
them with good success. They have a slightly less "meat" in the metal
parts and the fits between parts are a tad sloppier than a couple of
Jorgy I've had for many years. But these nits don't affect
functionality at all. In addition, mine came with plastic jaw pads,
which the Jorgys didn't. The pads look like crackerjack junk, but so
far they have held up and unless you are really cranking down they do a
fine job of preventing surface marring.
I've got 4 of these, and they're OK. I have had some issues with 'em - a
couple of 'em tend to slip under load, in certain places along the bar.
They're not perfect, but they were cheap. If I'm doing a big glueup, I tend
to use these last, relying on the Jorgensons and other various clamps first,
with these as the final "oops, forgot that bit over there" clamps.
I have a few, ut use them for light work only. I've found the same ones at "
Odd Lots" . Here's a link for a 10% off coupon. Someone sent this link to me
and, like he said, save the link and the coupons will be there.
Past 24" or so they bar will deflect downward, which will cause the
heads to leave any resemblence of 90 degrees. I tend to use them
inbetween pipe clamps or my cabinet master/Bessey's for the last bit.
Should probably be using cauls, but that is another item to be held
into place before you can start to clamp.
The 6" I have used extensively and NEVER had a slip. The 12" less
often and have noticed no deflection. Always pick them up when they
are on sale.
One thing hasn't been mentioned. HF has two different bar clamp lines,
one marked Pittsburgh and the other not. Stick with the Pittsburgh
Similar thing on their 3/4" pipe clamps. The "heavy-duty" ones work
fine, the others are junk.
And as others have said, don't buy them till they're on half-price sale.
Happens about quarterly IIRC.
On 1 Jan 2006 18:47:44 -0800, upand_at email@example.com wrote:
I've been using them for years and never had a problem...
Wait, if you can, for them to go on sale... they're 1/2 price often and that's
the time to stock up.. (6" clamp $1.99, etc.)
DON'T buy their cheaper ones that don't have the clutch... they're really,
really cheap and don't work well..
I have two of the 36" ones that I clamped on the rafters to hold other stuff...
only thing that I've found that they work at...
Please remove splinters before emailing
I have many of them, of various lengths, and they work fine.
Make sure you buy them when they're 1/2 off, or you'll be kicking yourself.
Menard's also sells them, and when on sale (usually in the spring), are
cheaper than HF.
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