Clamps and other things

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Blog entry by DaleM posted 03-08-2009 09:09 AM 2149 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As I’m heading down to my basement at almost 2 in the morning (or is it almost 3? damned daylight savings time) to un-clamp one glue-up and clamp another I can only marvel at my own procrastination. I don’t know how many times over the years that I’ve wished I had more clamps or I’ve had many parts ready for gluing at one time but had to do them sequentially (spelled it right after only two tries) due to a shortage of clamps. Throughout those years I’ve bought many tools: a bandsaw, a jointer, a planer, numerous hand tools and a few bottles of glue which I’ve somehow managed to use without buying more clamps. Right now, I’m building a guinea pig cage because my wife wants me to, for a friend of hers, so I must. It will be a two story cage, six feet long, with a full cage on top and a ramp to the lower part which will be half cage and half cabinet because that’s what she said it will be. It will be unstained and unfinished because apparently guinea pigs are sensitive to these things. Okay, so I’ve digressed just a little but I know tomorrow, without a doubt, I am going to buy more clamps.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

14 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4826 days

#1 posted 03-08-2009 01:49 PM

Dale, I can empathize with you as can, I am sure, most of the LJs on board here. It goes without saying that there are four things that we, as woodworkers, all need more of- space, tools, clamps and, of course, time. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Eduardo Rodriguez's profile

Eduardo Rodriguez

37 posts in 4375 days

#2 posted 03-08-2009 02:33 PM

Don´t worry…I own 432 clamps: C clamps, bar clamps, pipe clamps, band clamps, corner clamps, veneer clamps, sash clamps…but never enough. For a project, 70% of them are too big. For other, 70% are too small, and so on…
If a had a metal lathe (and the knowledge to use it), I will make my own clamps. In conclusion, for now… BUY!! Never regrets.

-- Tempus fugit...better work wood!!!

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

732 posts in 4623 days

#3 posted 03-08-2009 04:36 PM

Speaking of clamps…...for years all I had to use were the good old pipe clamps. To be exact, the cheap ones from Sears that use 1/2” pipe. Recently I bought a set of four of the Woodcraft knock-off Bessey style clamps. As far as I’m concerned, you can have them. There must be some trick to keeping yourself from blowing your brains out when using them. I am constantly struggling to get the head in the right position to bite on the bar. Pipe clamps = low tech = me.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile


528 posts in 4957 days

#4 posted 03-08-2009 09:01 PM

I need more too, but I got 4 sets of the Rockler 3/4 in Blue clamps and LOVE them. If you keep an eye out, they run them on special for $9.99 quite often. Next time they have them on special I plan on buying more.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 4388 days

#5 posted 03-08-2009 09:20 PM

Okay, I quit procrastinating and just went to Lowes and spent over 400 dollars, mostly on clamps. I’m still in shock at how expensive they are but I just couldn’t do without them anymore. I will still come up short again the next time I need some really long clamps because I only have one pipe clamp and one pipe but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now, I just needed some more that were at least 30 inches long. Thanks Adrian, I’ll keep an eye out for the next deal at Rocker. I bought a few other things based off of some things that were posted on LJs such as a full face shield (I don’t want a log to the face courtesy of my bandsaw), some more glue (mine is at least three years old), and a spiral router bit. I’m learning a lot from everyone on here, thanks.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View pyromedic602's profile


164 posts in 4752 days

#6 posted 03-09-2009 05:36 AM

I have a few cheap bar clamps and pipe clamps. I have got all the tools I will hopefully need for now and am saving up to buy some bessy clamps if can keep from getting sick from the sticker shock.

-- Pyromedic602, free wood is always good wood

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20239 posts in 4680 days

#7 posted 03-09-2009 09:35 AM

I gave my son clamps for Christmas and his birthday several times. He told me he has enough clamps, but I really doubt it :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4562 days

#8 posted 03-09-2009 12:39 PM

Remember what Norm always says: “A Man can never have enough clamps.” I buy some every time I see some on sale…...............LOL

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4898 days

#9 posted 03-09-2009 01:04 PM

I built a two story rat cage for the young sons rats and declined to finish the wood which I now regret as they urinate on the plywwod and wood and it stinks

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4758 days

#10 posted 03-09-2009 07:29 PM

Well if you bought clamps at Lowe’s and bought pipe you can always add a metal coupler and make the pipe longer. If you bought a long pipe and had it cut make sure you have the cut end re-threaded.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20239 posts in 4680 days

#11 posted 03-09-2009 08:33 PM

AS expensive as clamps are, I’m surprised someone hasn’t designed a good build your own model. Something along the lines of a pipe with a couple of blocks with round hole that just fit. Any pressure would hold the blocks in place like a hold fast. A wedge could apply pressure.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Rob1's profile


26 posts in 4403 days

#12 posted 03-09-2009 09:25 PM

Once a year for the last 2 years Lee Valley has a deal on alluminum bar clamps. Last year I got 2 sets of 10 clamps, 36” and 48”. When I run low of parallel clamps, I bring these out of storage, replacing the parallel clamps on the first piece clamped, and so one. The parallel clamps essentially square up, and set a project, then these Lee Valley clamps are use to keep that setup until the glue dries. So far this has worked.

I think it worked out to about $6 – $8 per clamp. Get on the Lee Valley mailing list.

-- Regards, Rob

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 4388 days

#13 posted 03-09-2009 11:50 PM

Thanks Rob, I’ll keep a lookout for the sales. I bought 6 clamps yesterday from 12” up through 50” plus a strap system for clamping frames and odd shaped things. I did buy one bar clamp and thought it would fit on an old pipe I had in my basement but I bought the wrong size. Of course I won’t return it. I’ll buy a smaller clamp to fit the pipe and a larger pipe to fit the clamp I bought. That’s one way to sneak an extra clamp purchase past my wife since I can justify it by pointing out that I had two useless things and now will have two good clamps. Roman, I would like to seal the wood somehow, but I asked my wife about it again after I read your comment and she said her friend didn’t want any finish on it. At least I won’t be the one living with the smell.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 4997 days

#14 posted 03-10-2009 12:37 AM

i think i have around 400 3/4 in pony pipe clamps i still run out isnt that sad

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

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