Woodworking hand clamp evils


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  • BillyJack changed the title to Woodworking hand clamp evils

I’ve been buying clamps for 40 years. Over the years new clamps come out . Some are worth the purchase and some just look good. Clamps have different purposes. Just buying what’s+on the shelf isn’t always the best thing to do. Understanding what the clamp can and can’t do makes a productive or non productive difference. 

Depending on the kind of of woodworking you intend to do, will depend on the purchases you make. Many just buy everything and when it’s over for they have wasted+money on things they really didn’t need or just dont work well

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So your other thread is you saying that MDF, masonite, and PB are a waste of money? Is your original post here your own claim or something that you are seeing other people claim? I trying to understand the point of these threads.

I have some of each if these clamps and they have their place, I still use them frequently. 

The HF bar clamps allowed me to spread my budget further when first getting into woodworking so I could also buy tools, not only clamps. Buy once cry once is not always the smart way to go. 

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I'll agree that the racheting squeeze clamps in photo #1 are rather limited in utility. I own a pair that only get used when I run out of other clamps. Maybe not a waste of money, but certainly better for some use cases than others.

As for the HF aluminum clamps, I've never used them, but when I examined them in-store, they seemed pretty flimsy. I would put the in the category of "holding" clamps, to be used after the parts are squeezed tight by something stronger.

As with many such shop items, the quality level, and the accompnying frustration during use, that a hobbyist is willing to tolerate is likely to be far different than a commercial shop can tolreate, and still make a profit. Weak, fiddly clamps are not worth the savings on purchase price, in that case.

We all need to appreciate these different points of view.

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I've read that the HF bar clamps can be a good value but the bar needs to be stiffened. Many online have used their woodworking tools to put a wooden core inside the aluminum bar. Makes them heavy but also a lot stiffer.

I don't have any of those hand clamps but I bought some C clamps starting out, the ones that metal workers use. For woodworking those are pretty useless.... I haven't touched mine except to move them in 10 years. They probably have their place i just haven't found it yet.

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Milwaukee, Irwin, etc hand clamps.


I've bought and have both. I was impressed at Home Depot and bought 3 boxes. As you can see in the picture. I used them or tried to use them on a walnut job and they failed.  I late that week took them back.



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I found with the HD pipe clamps they are hard to keep upright when gluing up large panels. I know try and put Jorgensens on the bottom and HF clamps on top. They’re cheap enough , but not as good as name brand. The release springs set on the table and sometimes can  release if moving around ..




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Yeah, a couple of HF pipe clamps I use have had springs fail. 

I have some Irwin pipe clamps with spring clutches on both 'head' and 'dead' ends. Handy, in that they don't require threaded pipe, aggrivating in that almost every time I grab one, I accidentally hit the clutch on the head end, and the pipe falls out.

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On 11/23/2022 at 11:03 AM, BillyJack said:

Here’s one that HD sells (Bessey)that I found to be good in certain situations. Not sure why I didn’t buy more, price maybe.



I'll just have to chime in here.  When Lowe's decided to blow out all their Bessey I got a grip of these for $3.75 each.  Absolutely the first spring clamp I grab and more useful (due to the adjustability) than the others.  That said I do have a bunch of those "Huskey" 2" spring clamps that are $1 each.  I seem to pick up a couple every now and again.

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