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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was at a consignment store and it looked like someone had some rockler pipe clamps and replaced the actual pipe with black iron pipe... The nice thing about the clamps is they were about 60+", perfect for large pieces...

What should I expect to pay for something like this? Are these good clamps? I didn't notice any rubber to protect the wood, but I imagine I could glue some felt or something like that to the jaws.

I currently own Bessey clamps, but my biggest clamp is 50", just bought a new clamp (Revo style) last night and I want larger clamps and these seem like they could be modified to make them pretty much as long as I wanted...

Wanting to know if I should return my Bessey and get these... I paid $60 bucks for my Bessey and that could buy me a lot of pipe clamps IMO.

I guess I could buy some smaller clamps and do the same thing?

Basically wanting to know if the quality of these clamps and how much I should look to spend. Looks like from Rocklers site the small ones are around $20, but I can't seem to find large ones.
 

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When you purchase "pipe clamps" you usually only buy the jaws. They do not come with pipe. Pipe is expensive so that must be considered when comparing prices.

The one problem I have with pipe clamps is that they are heavy. I have never gotten any of the expensive clamps such as Bessy. I have pipe clamps and also Harbor Freight clamps. They do all I ask.

George
 

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I have both pipe clamps and the bessey revo k's.

The pipe clamps are cumbersome to me and they don't have a long reach like the bessey's.

While I like the besseys and will continue to add them over time, I don't like that they are assembled to make it difficult to disassemble them. I do love the jaws on them, their reach and how I can pull things square with them. On the other hand, sometimes the movement is sticky on them. They are kind of temperamental too. I use paste wax to ease the movement when I'm doing my tool maintenance.

In a perfect world, I would love to have the bessey parts separate from the bars, be able to purchase the bars at various lengths. But that doesn't net Bessey a whole lot of money.

I suppose they could be modded to do this. I wonder if they use an unusual/proprietary diameter for their threaded bolts...

There is this though:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. Looks like those K extenders might be the way to go. I will give them a shot and report back.

Thanks again!
 

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Bessey f clamps drive me nuts. I use'm frequently but they are limited. Try cleaning glue off of them. I finally discovered steam cleaning works very well. They will never clamp down as tight as pipe clamps unless you use channel locks or hal taylor's ugly grip trick. The black pipe is better because they don't bend. Rockler pipe clamps are as good as if not better than bessey pipe clamps. Both are around $14 a piece. I think you need both. $60 is a deal for 2 with pipes, but not a great deal. 4 for $60 is a lot better, but still not all that great. I bought 4 bessey's for $48 on amazon and 4 36" black pipes from HD for $36. Hope that helps.
 

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Rob Brown said:
black pie is best for pipe clamps. Galvanizing makes them slick and they don't grip as well.
Might be but I don't recall my 30 year old clamps slipping or not gripping. I like them because black pipe is sticky and dirty.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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Back in 1979 I bought a bunch of the Jorgensen I-bar clamps, the best clamps I ever used. I don't like the pipe clamps, they will bow under pressure. I was shocked to see what the Jorgensen I-bar cost now days. I still have all of these clamps, still in great shape.
 

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I look for a true Acme type screw on my clamps of any kind. The screws won't be plated, painted or dyed. It's the easiest way to determine if a clamp is a good one or a wannabee knock off. The Acme screws don't self jam in the clamp head which can lower the clamp pressure to the work and also cause the clamp to twist as it's tightened. I've owned many different pipe clamp fixtures but got rid of all except the Pony brand and I prefer 3/4". Rockler sells some nice zinc plated pipe but much more expensive than other pipe choices. All pipe isn't equal, some black pipe can have a light coating while others can have a thick sloppy paint on them. Galvanized can be plated or hot dipped. Some of the hot dipped can be very rough. Both thick paint and rough galvanized can chip off, be soft and the pipes become serrated with long term use.
 

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I use both ½" and ¾" pipe clamps. I find the lighter weight of the ½" easier to handle when used in shorter lengths. If the pipe gets bent, it's likely from using too much clamping pressure. I have both black pipe and galvanized. Both will work, but I prefer the galvanized.

As for the pipe ends, most of mine were bought at flea markets or garage sales for anywhere from $3.50 to $5.00 each, with discounts for multiples.






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jiju1943 said:
Back in 1979 I bought a bunch of the Jorgensen I-bar clamps, the best clamps I ever used. I don't like the pipe clamps, they will bow under pressure. I was shocked to see what the Jorgensen I-bar cost now days. I still have all of these clamps, still in great shape.
Lucky you. I remember back in my school days the shop class had them. Rock solid.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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Hammer1 said:
I look for a true Acme type screw on my clamps of any kind. The screws won't be plated, painted or dyed. It's the easiest way to determine if a clamp is a good one or a wannabee knock off. The Acme screws don't self jam in the clamp head which can lower the clamp pressure to the work and also cause the clamp to twist as it's tightened. I've owned many different pipe clamp fixtures but got rid of all except the Pony brand and I prefer 3/4". Rockler sells some nice zinc plated pipe but much more expensive than other pipe choices. All pipe isn't equal, some black pipe can have a light coating while others can have a thick sloppy paint on them. Galvanized can be plated or hot dipped. Some of the hot dipped can be very rough. Both thick paint and rough galvanized can chip off, be soft and the pipes become serrated with long term use.
Good point on the plated or Acme screws. I do the same.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 
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