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Hello,

I have a very small collection of mostly plastic clamps and I'm looking to add some pipe or parallel clamps for longer clamping. Any suggestions of brands that make good quality clamps of these variety and don't break the bank?

-Mike
I have mostly Pony pipe clamps in my shop however for a while they disappeared from the stores. During that time I bought some that look just like them from harbor freight and they work just as well.

The pipes for the clamps are cheaper if you buy the black pipe in 10' lengths and just cut them in two. Of course they could be cut in shorter lengths but would have the expense of having the extra pipes threaded.
 

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Termite
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Lead pipe used to be cheaper...

You can still find some around in barns and garages, but not new.
You can find it often. I buy galvanized. I think I got used jorgensen Pope fixtures sitting drawers. Just dont need them.

K body clamps are heavy...
 

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Termite
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I have mostly Pony pipe clamps in my shop however for a while they disappeared from the stores. During that time I bought some that look just like them from harbor freight and they work just as well.

The pipes for the clamps are cheaper if you buy the black pipe in 10' lengths and just cut them in two. Of course they could be cut in shorter lengths but would have the expense of having the extra pipes threaded.
Harbor frights clamp okay but dont sit on the table very well,unless they have changed this?
 

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You can never have enough clamps!

My current favorite the Krieg Automax



Russ
 

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Buy the size of clamps for each job as you need them. I guess that's a real insight into the obvious.
I have 8(?) bar clamps to do 12" - 16" glue ups for carving.
Maybe I want a particular book fold/butterfly pair of cedar pieces. Once a year? Once every 2-3 years? Maybe.

If you're really careful, you can use a 12" piece of 120lb railroad track as enough weight to do a glue up.
Just get it balanced and stable and go to bed.

Otherwise, the wood I need comes already glued together. Called a log.
I can get 30" x 16' in through the door but it weighs several tons.
Now the bigger risk is that the damn thing will roll over on me.
This is why I love those strap clamps so much = you can get a grip on a log for safety's sake.
Never unload this stuff alone.
 

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The great thing about pipe clamps is that you can have as many sizes as you have lengths of pipe, and if you thread both ends of the pipe you can "grow you own" lengths. I have a 3/4" pipe threader so I can get a 20 ft length and cut it into what ever sizes I need. you can have pipe threaded at any larger hardware store as well as at the home centers. Habitat for Humanity or similar recycling or salvage outlets may have 3/4" pipe for much less than the home centers.... I donno, but it's worth looking into.
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Termite
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As you can see its not as well magpie as Jorgensen. This creates a rolling problem on large glue ups... pipe clamps are nice to have for cabinetry, but you require more types of clamps depending on the woodworking. As you can see in the bottom picture , pipe clamps had no value in this project
flanges_holding_up_clamp.jpg
grinding_will_eminate_the_flange_rise.jpg

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As you can see on the bottom shelf, I bought into the Milwaukee hand clamp. The look good, but a waste of money for serious woodworking.
user323_pic12537_1519049541.jpg
 

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You can never have enough clamps!

My current favorite the Krieg Automax



Russ
Kreg does make good clamps in the automaxx, problem is there not cheap. Kreg clamps and Irwin deep reach clamps can be exoensive. The other alternative is Harbor Freight and Northern tool. These don't have the reach but have a lot of use sage in tge shop..
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Rebel - Nice!

Curious is that on a plastic worm? I just never could get the knack of using those.
 

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Rebel - Nice!

Curious is that on a plastic worm? I just never could get the knack of using those.
Zoom Green pumpkin Brush Hog on a XPS 5/0 wide superLock... lately they only thing has been green pumpkin zoom lizards or hogs.

Few hits on PB&J

Lucky walmart had some, but I've got to go to Basspro to get Culprit black/silver worms...
 

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The type of clamps you need depends on the type of projects you do. Most of my clamps are 3/4" clamps with feet (e.g. they raise the clamp up and prevent the pipe/clamp from rolling).
428146

Look for sources of pipe, it can/will get expensive. I was lucky and had a friend that worked for a plumber and he would give me pipe that was leftover from jobs. Some was gas pipe and originally painted black which I removed with my sander. At one time I estimated that I had about $2K of clams just in pipe clamps! I suggest making the pipe 6" longer than an even foot measurement, e.g. 42" rather than 36". You cannot clamp a 36" project with 36" pipe. As suggested thread both ends of the pipe, one end will hold the clamp, put a coupling on the other end to protect the threads. As others have suggested you can then make your clamps as long as needed. It is very easy to apply too much pressure with pipe clamps. They are my go-to clamp.
I have a huge A-frame stand for my clamps. It sets on 5" very heavy duty wheels and can be easily moved around the shop. I now have so many clamps I need to build another storage stand.

I also use a lot of Jorgensen bar clamps I've purchased from Lowes.
428145


As some have posted pictures of projects with a LOT of clamps. This is rather common for me, e.g. to use a LOT of clamps.
 

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Still my favorite clamps..Universal Clamps from Debuque, Iowa.. They'll eventually replace all of my HF clamps.. Well, not ALL of them, but most..and yes, that is a cheapo molded door under it..
428147
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Great advice all… for the time being I added some Jorgensen clamps… reasonably priced and so far working very well. I guess I’ll buy as needed until I have a nice inventory.
 

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The thing I learned about clamps towards the end. I hate all the turning , twisting needed to apply clamps. That's when I started looking for alternatives.
 
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