Too many Clamps. (OMG, what did he say?!?!) - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-02-2017, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Too many Clamps. (OMG, what did he say?!?!)

I hate to say it but..... I have too many clamps!! I know its blasphemy but for me this is a weekend hobby, I build a few things a month. I would ever have a project (or multiple projects at the same time) that will use a ton clamps all at once.

2 months ago I had about a dozen aluminum bar clamps from harbor freight, 6 quick grips and 6 each of 12, 6 and 4 inch Bessy F clamps. Then there was an ad on Craigslist for some pipe clamps for a good price so I bought them. The difference between using the pipe clamps versus the HF clamps was huge. So I decided to upgrade clamps and get rid of the HF clamps. I set an alert on Craigslist to get a notice whenever someone posted clamps. To cut a long story short. I now have about 120 clamps of assorted shapes and sizes. I lucked into about 30 of them for $50 from a guy that was moving out of state. Some were on sale or free with purchase from Rockler. On Amazon day, ¾ Bessy clamp heads were on sale for $10.

I don’t need all these and definitely don’t have the room for all of them. So, some of these are going back on Craigslist.

That begs the question, “which clamps to I keep vs sell?” I am thinking I will keep the ¾ pipe clamps and sell all the ½ inch pipe clamps. I have had the orange K body clamps for awhile and don’t like them so they are going on CL.

What are the groups thoughts on:
- quick grip clamps versus F style screw clamps?
- squeeze clamps versus quick grip clamps?
- 24 and 30 inch F style clamps, any reason I can do their job with pipe clamps?

You opinions are appreciated.
TT

Anyone in the OKC area that may me interested in some of these shoot me a PM and I will send you a link to the CL ad when I get it posted.
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-02-2017, 05:31 PM
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Interesting that you wanted to replace the lighter Harbor Freight clamps with the heavier pipe clamps. I have some of both and prefer the Harbor Freight ones as they are much lighter and easier to handle. Prefer 1/2" pipe clamps to 3/4" pipe clamps for the same reason.

George
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-02-2017, 05:52 PM
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You have a very good assortment of clamps. And it sounds like you purchased everything at good prices. I have a similar assortment. I tend to use the wooden hand-screw clamps the least of all. I like both pipe clamps and bar clamps for bigger projects. I think I use the shorter light weight clamps most of all.
As long as I remain active with woodwork, I would not want to sell a single clamp. No help for you.
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-02-2017, 06:35 PM
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What you have is a "start" in clamps. There are so many varieties for so many jobs.I wouldn't sell but add....When a guy says he has too many he needs to get out from behind the computer and start woodworking...
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-02-2017, 06:38 PM
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If i bought a bunch of clamps for the right price from CL, I would find some space to keep em'. That said, I find I use quick grip or trigger style clamps most. They are always there for a 3rd hand.
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-02-2017, 07:19 PM
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In the beginning, I bought clamps when I needed them for a project. Having a very small shop back then (12x12), I didn't have much room for a lot of things including clamps. I "make do" with 14 3/4" pony pipe clamps, 14 24" extensions and 7 6" extensions, 3 18" quick grips, 4 6" quick grips, 5 corner (picture frame) clamps, a few C clamps, a strap clamp, and a few spring clamps. They all store in a roll around cart that fits under my workbench when not in use. This seems to be quite enough for what I make. I guess that's the measure for those of us with limited storage space (or money). In my old shop, there wasn't enough room for all of the tools and some sat outside in the basement until needed.

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post #7 of 20 Old 09-02-2017, 07:33 PM
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Ditto on getting rid of the lightweight HF clamps and the 1/2" pipe clamps. I like clamps that actually clamp without giving. But, like has been said, do more woodworking projects and you'll find a use for even those!

David

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post #8 of 20 Old 09-02-2017, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
Ditto on getting rid of the lightweight HF clamps and the 1/2" pipe clamps. I like clamps that actually clamp without giving. But, like has been said, do more woodworking projects and you'll find a use for even those!
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David
What lightweight HF clamps we talkin about?
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-02-2017, 08:50 PM
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[RIGHT]

What lightweight HF clamps we talkin about?
I have half of what you have and on many occasions have used them all on a single project. Gue ups cabinets, drawers etc use many. Hang them, slide them upright, horzonial. Tom

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post #10 of 20 Old 09-02-2017, 10:32 PM
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The ones with the aluminum bar. I don't have any but have used some and they tend to flex just like 1/2" pipe clamps. For smaller, lightweight jobs they're probably fine but I want heavier and stronger clamps.

I have my share of lightweight plastic spring clamps but I use them on veneer and small jobs. Typically, when I need a pipe clamp or bar clamp I need a real clamp.

David

PS - this is just my $0.02, btw

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post #11 of 20 Old 09-02-2017, 11:57 PM
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I wish I had your problem ... :)

Clamps that flex alot would be at the top of the list. I have found that the older HF clamps flex less than the newer ones. but even they flex a good bit. That said, the 6" HF clamps are good, and the 12" ones are decent. Longer than that? MEH

1/2" bar clamps 30" or shorter flex very little, and can clamp stuff WAY HARDER than you will ever need.

Longer than that ... 3/4" is better.

Re sizes ... I'd keep 8 each of the different lengths. I can laminate 8' long boards with 8 clamps.

I never liked the trigger clamps, except to hold stuff together long enough to get a real clamp on there.

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-03-2017, 01:03 AM
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When I was in school I was always taught that if I could see my piece I wasn't using enough clamps. Of course that was a nice large shop, I can't afford to use space to store as many clamps as I would like to own. I feel your problem man...

God I love Trigger. Inferno Cop is exactly the sort of idiocy they do, It's what makes them so cool. Met them all, great guys.
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-03-2017, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
The ones with the aluminum bar. I don't have any but have used some and they tend to flex just like 1/2" pipe clamps. For smaller, lightweight jobs they're probably fine but I want heavier and stronger clamps.

I have my share of lightweight plastic spring clamps but I use them on veneer and small jobs. Typically, when I need a pipe clamp or bar clamp I need a real clamp.

David

PS - this is just my $0.02, btw
Okay ...Sash Clamps. Bessey did come up with a nice adjustable sping clamp but isn't solid enough for professional use. If they go metal I will buy many at $10 each..
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post #14 of 20 Old 09-03-2017, 11:23 AM
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Before the internet, I was an auction junkie, and that was before all the idiots came out of the wood work (pun intended) and started bidding tools up to more than they sold for

I could used to buy clamps at auction dirt cheap, those and hardware, I have so many clamps I forget some I ever had, but they all get used one time or another

I did buy some 6 foot HF bar clamps because some time or another I must have needed a few long pieces or 3/4 BIP and I stole it from my long clamps. They are kind of flimsy, but if you cut a piece of Baltic Birch I think it is 1 13/16 wide it will slide right inside of the aluminum tube and make them much more rigid
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-03-2017, 02:32 PM
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Not sure you can ever have too many!
The plastic clamps don't hold up in my commercial shop. We have a few shorter 1/2" pipe clamps. Lots of 3/4" pipe clamps up to 6' and they are threaded both ends so we can couple more pipes on when required. The 37xx Jorgensen clamps get used a lot but have found that anything over 12" gets trashed/bent. Had bought a few similar ones at Menard's but the bars were soft and got bent very quickly. I've got some 8" & 12" deep x 12" bar clamps but they are so heavy they aren't used unless desperation sets in. Same with some 3' steel bar clamps. The best setup for clamping is our Taylor clamp rack, 12' long, 36 clamps for 36" opening on 4 rows. It was bought when we were doing 100's of fitting room doors for chain stores. Still gets used to make wide boards and sometimes for clamping curved jigs. A couple of 5 gallon buckets full of 2" spring clamps for doing solid surface.
As a side note for guys making some 3/4" pipe clamps, pipe is available in several different wall thicknesses. Heavier is better in my shop!
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-03-2017, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry Schweitzer View Post
Not sure you can ever have too many!
The plastic clamps don't hold up in my commercial shop. We have a few shorter 1/2" pipe clamps. Lots of 3/4" pipe clamps up to 6' and they are threaded both ends so we can couple more pipes on when required. The 37xx Jorgensen clamps get used a lot but have found that anything over 12" gets trashed/bent. Had bought a few similar ones at Menard's but the bars were soft and got bent very quickly. I've got some 8" & 12" deep x 12" bar clamps but they are so heavy they aren't used unless desperation sets in. Same with some 3' steel bar clamps. The best setup for clamping is our Taylor clamp rack, 12' long, 36 clamps for 36" opening on 4 rows. It was bought when we were doing 100's of fitting room doors for chain stores. Still gets used to make wide boards and sometimes for clamping curved jigs. A couple of 5 gallon buckets full of 2" spring clamps for doing solid surface.
As a side note for guys making some 3/4" pipe clamps, pipe is available in several different wall thicknesses. Heavier is better in my shop!
We buy the heavier wall thickness at work but the guys make wood torque jigs and trash even the heavier threads. I told them to get I-Beams:smile3: but there scared they will trash them:frown2:...
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-03-2017, 05:27 PM
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Schedule 80 BIP has about twice as thick walls as standard Sch 40, but it costs about 3-4 times as much because it is seldom used

It would probably have to be gotten from a pipe supplier or ordered in
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-03-2017, 08:49 PM
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Murphy's Law will prevail- two weeks after you sell a bunch of clamps, you will need one that you sold and will need to buy the replacement.
I had a piece of iron pipe that I kept for years. I tossed it and two weeks after I tossed it, I needed it!
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post #19 of 20 Old 09-03-2017, 09:55 PM
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If your a hobby woodworker you can clamp a little at a time, but as a professional it's easy to run out on large production runs. I have a lot of clamps in my hobby shop and many at work I own. Combining them together wouldn't work even with a 600ft garage. I'm already compressed as it is with wood....
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post #20 of 20 Old 09-04-2017, 07:54 AM
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Take it from a confirmed tool hoarder. Don't sell them.

I had 350' of 3/4" & 1/2" air hose when I stumbled onto a deal about a year ago for about 250' of 1/4" & 1/2" hose for 20 bucks. There was lots of 5' & 10' hoses so I got a lot of couplers in the deal. A week later in a moment of weakness, I sold two 50 foot hoses to a neighbor.

I have never "needed" the hose I sold, but I have always regretted selling it.

My "job" is to collect stuff, not get rid of it.
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