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BadBob

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Clamps, I got clamps big clamps, little clamps, shop made clamps  all kinds of clamps. The only clap I can think of that I don't have is a set of parallel clamps. For years I never seemed to have enough. For years I would scout for clamp deals around Christmas and would find a good deal from time to time. For the last two years I scored Bessy clamps for less than the Harbor Freight copies. Now I have clamps in packages that haven't been opened. I guess I have enough. Until I don't.

My most used clamps are the quick grips. My wife bought me some for a Christmas gift the first year they came out they never leave my work bench. They have two issues. They are bulky and difficult to get into tight spaces and they don't apply much pressure. In most cases the ability to clamp with one hand and the built in padded jaws are exactly what I need. The two in the photo have been in my shop for maby 30 years and get used every time I'm woodworking. The Harbor Freight version of the quick clamp breaks to easy and slips.

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F-Clamps are my work horses for glue ups. I don have a clue how many I have but I kept running out and buying them. Most are the lighter duty clamps that cam apply 400-600 pounds of pressure. I have a few heavy duty Jorgensens that can apply 1200 pounds of pressure. The Harbor Freight clamps are OK. The Chinese Bessy clamps are better. The heavy duty made in USA Jorgensens are amazing. I can crush stuff with these. They are never on sale and they are not cheap. When I found out they were moving to China I bought every made  in the USA version of this clamp I could find in my county. As far as I know the Chinese versions may be just as good but I prefer the hardwood handles the made in USA version have.

Clamping multilayered Play Pal Trucks. It took three clamps per body for most of them. A hundred trucks would take 300 clamps. Not really. At some point you could start reusing clamps.

20151008_130753.jpg 
Comparing Harbor Freight (left), Jorgensen (center), Bessy (left)

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More glue ups with F- Clamps - Freaky Fords this time. Some of these took four clamps.

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Spring clamps, I have them. I use them from time to time. I've never quite got the hang of them but they are some times just what you need. I like the plastic ones better than the metal ones. Plastic spring clamps have jaws that try to stay parallel and glue doesn't stick to them. Plus the plastic clamps are cheaper. As far as I can tell the cheap ones in the net bags at Home Depot are jut as good as the expensive ones. My favorite spring clamp is the little ones they sell in the jar at harbor freight. I've bought about four sets of these. When I use them I usuall use a lot. The only ones of these that broke were out side in the Florida sun for two years.

Spring Clamps.jpg 

I have some shop built clamps made specially for clamping up small blocks of wood to make Norm Marshall car bodies with. I don't have any photos of them and they are not stored where they are easy to get at. If I make more of these in the future I'll dig them out. They are just some 2x2 pieces of oak with threaded rods lock nuts and wing nuts. Lots of wax to keep the glue from sticking to them. Tip: Wax your clamps before using them! Dried glue just pops right off a waxed clamp.

Hand screws. Every body should have at least one or two of these in the smaller sizes. Have you ever cut something very small on you scroll saw or had to drill a hole on a part that was so small you felt unconformable holding it with you fingers. Use a hand screw. I keep two 4 inch hand screws clamped to the back of my drill press so they will be in easy reach. I saw some one cutting some compound cut Christmas ornaments using a hand screw to how it with. Need a board to stand on edge a hand screw will do it. Need to clamp some thing at an odd angle a hand screw will do the job. Since the jaws are hardwood they can be modified easily for special clamping needs. Need to apply a lot of pressure. Yep, hand screws. I'd used the 12 inch hand screws to clamp bowed 4x4 into alignment so I could bold the together.

Mine are from Harbor Freight. The smallest they carry right now are the eight inch ones.




Hand Screw.jpg 




I have other clamps but they are not much use for making toys.



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Greg

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Reply with quote  #2 
No one ever has enough clamps. I an envious of the many you have,
Thanks for the tip about the wax. I will be using that starting tomorrow
Camnight

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Reply with quote  #3 
BadBob Now i know my problem i do not have another clamps
i have about a 1/4 of what you guys have i will buy some more clamps today.
Also it is a good idea with small parts i will have to get a set them clamps. 

George
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg
No one ever has enough clamps. I an envious of the many you have,
Thanks for the tip about the wax. I will be using that starting tomorrow


I have shop built clamps because I didn't have money to buy clamps. I've spent many years picking up a few here and there to get to where I am now. It took me most of my life to get what I have. I'm 64 and I've been accumulating clams since I was 9. That's the youngest I can remember having clamps.

You can make clamps.  Take a look at these luthiers spool clamps and use your imagination.  Although if you have to buy everything it might be cheaper to buy them. Things are funny like that.

These are used for clamping guitar bodies together. This looks like enough to glue up one guitar. It takes a lot of them.

You might also want to Google DIY clamps.  Search the images.

maxresdefault.jpg 




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john lewman

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks guys for the useful wood clamp info. I use a variety of hand clamps and I also love toggle clamps. I find them extra efficient especially when mass producing wood toys. This photo from Woodworker's Journal shows one of the many uses. toggle clamps.jpg
I have used most of the styles shown below. They can be found online from many different vendors.
Toggle-Clamps.jpg 

phantom scroller

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Reply with quote  #6 
It's Clamp heaven! great ideas.[thumb]
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Rod T

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Reply with quote  #7 
Up until now I felt guilty coming home with more clamps. Occasionally new ones, but mostly old ones from auctions or garage sales etc. More often than not, the old ones are better than new "Chinese" crap that is everywhere now.
Thanks Bob, you have cured me. What a champ.

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Rod T
ctowne

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Reply with quote  #8 
There is no such thing as too many clamps, garage sale is a great source. 
BadBob

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For me garage sales don't work well. While I have found bargains at garage sales. However, the amount of time and effort involved makes just buying new clamps very attractive. Besides I done want to give up my Saturdays to browse though piles of junk at yard sales. 


For example:

Lets say I drive 20 miles checking out yard sales. Using AAA numbers the real cost to drive 20 miles is $15. Lets say I do this for four weeks before I find a pair of clamps. Two clamps cost me $60 plus maybe 16 hours.  Today I can buy 6 inch Harbour Freight bar clamps for $2.99 each. If you spouse makes you spend your Saturday mornings going to yard sales with them by all means look.


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Rod T

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Reply with quote  #10 
I agree Bob, I don't go hunting for them, I just come across them every now and then. 

The local auction house here has a "Tool" sale every now and then, bit of fun picking up a box of old tools for $10 or $20. Can sometimes get a nice surprise when I get home and rummage through the box.
My trouble is that I keep most of it and try to hang it somewhere in my shed. I just love all the old tools.
Sometimes... but not very often (Not often enough says she), I'll bundle up some of the not wanted ones and sell off in the next Auction. No money to be made out of this, but it gives me an excuse to get the next one.

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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #11 
Rod T, Auctions used to be fun but the last few I went to had crazy people with auction fever. They would pay more for stuff than it cost retail. I see that on eBay all the time. I have some eBay searches running for some very specific clamps and other tools. Once in a long time I find a deal. I pick up a couple of Jet corner clamps awhile back for 1/2 retail. They were new old stock.
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Rod T

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Reply with quote  #12 
That's interesting, the live auctions here tend to be pretty good. The regulars that I see seem to be re-sellers, so not hard to out bid them. Our Local Online auctions are not worth the hassle. eBay however, seems to be more expensive, particularly when adding freight etc. It is not unusual to pickup a good Stanley No. 4 plane for around $15-$20 at the local live auction, whereas the same item on eBay goes for anywhere between $45 -$120 + freight starting at $10. But I have been to a few of the local live auctions where a few serious collectors have been there and gone up to $150 for one. So I guess it just depends on the day. We did go through a bit of a phase here, where we had the auction crazies. I think they come out when re-runs of auction hunters and American pickers are played on tv.

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Rod T
Greg

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Reply with quote  #13 
Just wondering if any Canadians out there have ordered from Harbour Freight  
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