All Replies on Pipe Clamps

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View PhilLight's profile

Pipe Clamps

by PhilLight
posted 02-15-2018 04:40 PM

18 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2721 posts in 1042 days

#1 posted 02-15-2018 04:51 PM

for me, it is all about the price.
black iron is cheaper than galvanized, and in my opinion, both perform the same.
and once you start “collecting” clamps – you will soon find you never have enough.
I purchase 10ft lengths and cut them in half for two 5 footers, the same with smaller pipe,
6ft = 2 3 footers, 4ft = 2 2 footers…... you can buy the threaded conduit couplings to make
clamps that are two city blocks long – limited only to your imagination and space.
with any metal clamp configuration, a strip of masking tape between the metal and wood
will prevent glue stains from the metal seeping into the wood .

jus my Dos Centavos


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View johnstoneb's profile


3156 posts in 3052 days

#2 posted 02-15-2018 04:55 PM

black pipe is cheaper.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Andybb's profile


2883 posts in 1483 days

#3 posted 02-15-2018 05:07 PM

Wouldn’t worry about the rust. You can wipe down the black pipe with acetone or some other solvent if it has residue on it. No need to spend the extra $ on galvanized IMO.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5308 posts in 4840 days

#4 posted 02-15-2018 05:11 PM

The black pipe will allow the clamp mechanism to grip the pipe better unless the clamps have the “clutch” feature.

-- [email protected]

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3394 days

#5 posted 02-15-2018 05:17 PM

Agree with Bill.
The zinc on the galvanized can actually allow the clutch plates to “slip” a bit over time, so you might clamp something up and come back an hour later to find that the clamp is not very well clamped.
I have not bought galvanized pipe in decades.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12258 posts in 4308 days

#6 posted 02-15-2018 05:18 PM

My pony clamps seem to grip black pipe better.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Robert's profile


4038 posts in 2360 days

#7 posted 02-15-2018 05:25 PM

I’ve been using galv for many years and yes the galv pipe can become galled over time and slip.

But to me the biggest drawback is they can also leave a nasty black stain on a glue line that is very hard to get out..

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Mike_D_S's profile


605 posts in 3094 days

#8 posted 02-15-2018 05:42 PM

I don’t use a lot of pipe clamps, but my neighbor cleans up his and sprays a coat of rattle can lacquer on the pipe for his clamps once in a while. He says it helps keep them from rusting and prevents staining of the piece.

I don’t know if this is common, but he claims it works great.


-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4438 days

#9 posted 02-15-2018 06:00 PM

Make sure you bring a pair of gloves when you go to buy your black pipe. My hands got so oily from carrying them up to the checkout that I had to go wash my hands before I could pay.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1779 days

#10 posted 02-15-2018 07:07 PM

My galv pipes are now junk. Too much slippage. There all gouged up.
Easy way to keep black pipe from leaving marks, don’t let them touch the wood.
I usually put 1/4” blocks to raise them up a little.
This also lets you get a rag under them to wipe glue, (if your a wiper)

View PhilLight's profile


12 posts in 1136 days

#11 posted 02-15-2018 07:21 PM

Thank you all! I greatly appreciate the help. Where I was looking the price was the same but if galvanized pipe allows the clamp to slip that’s a deal breaker.

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1779 days

#12 posted 02-15-2018 07:29 PM

Thank you all! I greatly appreciate the help. Where I was looking the price was the same but if galvanized pipe allows the clamp to slip that’s a deal breaker.

- PhilLight

The galvanized will work ok for a while, but as they get older and used, they start to fail.
I still have a few that I use, sometimes they slip, sometimes they don’t, just depends on where they catch on the pipe. (pipe gets pretty beat up over the years)
Bummer is, they slip when I don’t want them to, and in the middle of a glue up is not the time to have to change one out.

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3689 days

#13 posted 02-15-2018 10:09 PM

I have approx 40 3/4 inch pipe clamps (pony by jorganson)

Only …maybe 5 or 6 are black pipe….the rest are galvanized

I have no problems,,,,

If you do get a little slippage,,,,,just rough em up a bit with a used 80 grit belt (slice belt and wrap by hand)

Every ten years or so you may nead to reverse the cam plates in the clamp body on a few of them to enable them to get a new bite

View Kazooman's profile


1540 posts in 2832 days

#14 posted 02-15-2018 11:04 PM

Add me to the chorus singing out against galvanized. I tried it once, thinking I would pay a small premium in price to avoid all of the grunge issues with black pipe. In my case the clamps never held. They (good Pony clamps) could never get a grip on the galvanized pipe. I guess it might depend on the thickness of the galvanizing.

Disclaimer: I have to point out that I posted in another thread that I really dislike pipe clamps for anything less than about four feet. Reasons? Heavy, therefore awkward to use. Usually pretty short jaws. Non-parallel jaws. The issues of contact of the clamp reacting with glue on the piece (yes, you can add shims or plastic wrap, but that is another bother when in the middle of a glue-up). One can never have enough clamps, but the clamps one has should be good ones. MHO. YRMV

View woodworm1962's profile


145 posts in 980 days

#15 posted 02-15-2018 11:20 PM

Speaking of black pipe. You are going ot have to take the JAPAN BLACK off of most of it or it will get on everything you use them on…

The best way I know how is Coarse steel wool, heavy stripping gloves and lacquer thinner.


-- No one likes the truth...

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9690 posts in 3208 days

#16 posted 02-15-2018 11:34 PM

As noted already…. they grip very well on the black painted surface and not well at all on the galvanized surface.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View AlmostRetired's profile


221 posts in 1594 days

#17 posted 02-16-2018 03:24 PM

I went with the black pipes originally to save a few bucks but with all the effort and stuff you need to do to keep the black off your wood I would just buy the galvanized again in the future…I’m have been slowly replacing the black ones with the galvanized one.


View BlasterStumps's profile


1822 posts in 1319 days

#18 posted 02-16-2018 03:57 PM

We live out in a rural area and our place has a big canal running all along one side if it. Several years ago, when the water users shut the water off at the end of the season, I found a 6’ pipe clamp laying down in the bottom of the canal. It was a pony clamp and has galvanized 3/4” pipe. I cleaned it up and hung it on my wall with a few other 6’ clamps I have. Works fine and I have used it quite a bit. No rust. Turned out to be a nice find.

When I put my other pipe clamps together, I just wiped the black pipe down with WD-40 or possibly mineral spirits. I have had them for nearly 40 years. They work as they should and I have not had any issues with the black pipe except some now have spots of glue on them. The clamps are Pony.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." MIke in CO

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