Bar Clamps V.S. Parallel Clamps


WoodWizard33
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I use parallel clamps.  I like them better the pipe although pipe clamps served me adequately for many years.  There are also a lot of members here that have both parallels and bar clamps so you are probably going to get a lot of input. 

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I think it is a preference thing. I only use pipe clamps. The main reason is because pipe clamps are cheaper and you can adjust the length by switching the size pipe. I also like that they are lighter and I can get more clamping pressure. I don't like the plastic deals they put on them so I cut pieces of cork and glue them on with spray adhesive. This helps keep from marring the wood especially if you have to glue something up after finishing it. I do this with face frames for cabinets.

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I have several of the Irwin pipe clamps from Lowe's. I find them handy, because both ends are clutch-attached, so threaded pipe isn't necessary. That let me re-purpose several pieces of rigid metallic conduit I already had.

The down side is that I nearly ALWAYS manage grab the screw head in such a way as to release the clutch, usually dropping the pipe on my foot.

@Coop, there is one more reason for shoes in the shop!

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Funny you should say that. Last week I had 3 of the HF bar clamps in my hand to put them back in their rack when one slipped and fell on my big toe nail. It is ingrown anyway and made it that much painful but maybe the nail will come off without me having to go to the foot doc. 

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I get criticized at times for not posting work pics here, but I am not doing the sexy work very often at all. I am being called on to repair things like a single kitchen drawer that blew out. At times like that, the depth of the jaws of a parallel clamp means half as many clamps. The clamps that come with studs that will lock them into dog holes can also be nice in that kind of arrangement. All of that can be done with pipe clamps and cauls, but that is more work and more clamps. This is part of why I keep both around. I use what works best for any given situation. 

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