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Bessey Upgrade... cause I can!

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Review by LittleBlackDuck posted 10-26-2020 05:10 AM 1254 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bessey Upgrade... cause I can! Bessey Upgrade... cause I can! Bessey Upgrade... cause I can! Click the pictures to enlarge them

Boys and Girls,

If you happen to be a Bessey clamp tragic or pay homage to the quality gods, this may be of interest and just skip to the next paragraph, otherwise you can save me time by not wasting the review and force me to translate into ”Philistineese”… and may I bid you French Moses.

I had the pleasure of spending a few+ shekels in buying and eventually reviewing Bessey K-Body Revo Vario Clamps... If you read the review, you may be under the apprehension that I love them and if you haven’t read the review, I’m telling you I love them.

Now I don’t baulk at parting with my shekels when it comes to quality tools… compromise for quality is not in my vocabulary.

In the past, I only purchased 4 of these Varios

and when I had the opportunity to put them to use, I found that the other Bessey clamps I had,

with the fixed heads

were sadly lacking in comparison… they were still good but the desire for more Varios kept dogging my glue up process. Like a true little battler, I persevered and after the project, vowed to forgo some casks of vino to save up for more Vario clamps…

After the not so prolonged drought, sacrificing drinking a lot of vino, dramatically shortened the overall potential cost accumulation duration. Armed with an abundance of shekels, I hit my favourite clamp suppliers only to be floored by the lack of stock. I found 2 suppliers… both with a single clamp in stock… hell, who buys a single clamp… or even an un-even number… DOH!...
Damn, I should have, one from each and I’d have at least two extra ones… I surrendered to the notion of paying the double shipping costs (from 2 separate suppliers) and while surfing for their WEB site, I came across the Bessey 95mm Quick Action Vario Revo Clamp Jaw KRE-VO which was about 1/3 the price of the full clamp… don’t freak out, that link is $Aust… and Yankees complain about costs.

It was not as much the cost as availability, determined to arm myself with more Vario clamps, I bit the bullet and decided to get some and finished up buying 4… the devil in me prompted buying 5, if only to bugger up some future unfortunate purchaser when only 1 would be left, but complacency took the better of me. While I had no assurance of compatibility due to lack of documentation, I was hoping that the “head” of some of my existing clamps could be converted… I considered it a worth the gamble.

”Where is the bloody review?”, you may ask… “Following!”, I answer…

The jaws arrived today

and I was straight off to the workshop. Hesitant to cut off the original heads (drilling out 4 rivets – 2 each side),

all I had to do was detach the handle, flip and rotate it 180° (no, that’s not 360°) and thread it on from the other end… I can then slip on the new ”Vario” jaw from that same end… just get the order right… and I suddenly had 2 new Vario clamp,


with 2 more conversions to follow.
So far the “down side” is that the original heads still sit on the other lazy end,

and will be removed scientifically (rivets drilled) or brutally (angle grinder) if they prove inconvenient.

Did a quick trial run with the new configuration,

I was so impressed, I immediately came up to write this review. Having used the Vario before I didn’t have to evaluate any further (read my review) and thought that any further delay could deprive other LJ’ers out there from early upgrades.

If you have enough clamps (you are a liar) then this is a reasonable way to upgrade existing Bessey clamps at 1/3 the price.

Gallery photo #3 was an unpaid false advertisement for use of these jaws (its a short clamp)… one of the major benefits of the Vario design is to centralise the weight which would not be of concern with shorter clamps… I have reserved the upgrade to 1m+ clamps.

Having sacrificed vino consumption to pay for the clamps, now that the jaws have arrived I can resume my regular vino intake.

Late addition…

I couldn’t sleep, knowing the original fixed jaws were hitching a free ride at the expense of my muscles… Decided to extricate them on this blog!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD




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LittleBlackDuck

5954 posts in 1734 days



18 comments so far

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cmmyakman

315 posts in 3570 days


#1 posted 10-26-2020 06:51 PM

I read the first sentence of the review and knew it was LittleBlackDuck who wrote it before I saw that LittleBlackDuck wrote it.

I get the feeling you could hugely successful at anything you wanted.

I love these clamps as well. Particularly, the short ones, as they are good for almost anything and are most easily wielded.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

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splintergroup

4121 posts in 2136 days


#2 posted 10-26-2020 10:11 PM

I nabbed a pair of the 60” when they went on sale w/free shipping a few months ago. I like them!

I have a large number of the “original” Bessys with the plain wood handles and I dread tightening those up since the handles are small and slippery. Someday I’ll apply the tricks shown here in LJs to correct that issue. I also have a few that I’ve over-tightened through the years and galled the ball end of the screw. These will only supply full force if I keep that ball-bugger well lubed.

I also love my JET clamps, plenty of power and the grip for the screw is awesome, but they seem very “clunky” compared to the Bessys, They will also mark and dent the wood from the hard plastic unless care is taken.

I want LBD to show us all how a good swish, swirl, and spit of a fine box bordeaux will aid in getting glue globs off the clamp shafts 8^)

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LittleBlackDuck

5954 posts in 1734 days


#3 posted 10-26-2020 11:48 PM


...
I love these clamps as well. Particularly, the short ones, as they are good for almost anything and are most easily wielded.

- cmmyakman


The beauty of these jaws is that they will let the large clamps be wielded nearly as easily as the smaller ones… though you will need to remove the original head… much like what the missus says to me.

... I want LBD to show us all how a good swish, swirl, and spit of a fine box bordeaux will aid in getting glue globs off the clamp shafts 8^)
- splintergroup

I buy them and review them… be buggered if I’ll use them if I have to clean ‘em. Cleaning is only for glue users… I dry fit and depend on my tight (not rrrs) dovetails… and a bit of BS.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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OnhillWW

270 posts in 2146 days


#4 posted 10-27-2020 12:18 PM


I want LBD to show us all how a good swish, swirl, and spit of a fine box bordeaux will aid in getting glue globs off the clamp shafts 8^)


Painters tape applied to the bar prior to glue up, easy peasy. Also Peachtree has some very cool silicone sleeves that work well too. https://www.ptreeusa.com/clamp_bar_protector.html

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

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Mike_in_STL

1340 posts in 1447 days


#5 posted 10-27-2020 03:33 PM

Having no Bessy clamps in my possession other that that of the iron C style used exclusively for brake jobs on infernal combustion propelled machines, my answer to having enough clamps is – I do not.

Forays into the house of chinesium allows me to procure blue F clamps on a whim, but I do so ever long for a wall full of Red and silver.

Thank you LBD for another equally entertaining and envy inducing review.

-- Sawdust makes me whole --Mike in STL

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LittleBlackDuck

5954 posts in 1734 days


#6 posted 10-27-2020 06:32 PM


Painters tape applied to the bar prior to glue up, easy peasy. Also Peachtree has some very cool silicone sleeves that work well too. https://www.ptreeusa.com/clamp_bar_protector.html
- OnhillWW

No idea why, as I am certainly not careful, I have never had issues with glue on my bar clamps as I wipe up squeeze out immediately if they get on the clamps… I don’t consider “water spread” on clamps a problem and that would only be on the handle/moving end… hmmm, I can see concern as there are now 2 moving ends… and because of the Bessey’s additional serrations I can understand additional procrastination…

Never been a fan of painters tape on clamp bars as they only come to mind after I see the squeeze out. And there’s no way I’m dismantling just to roll out some tape…

Those sleeves are new to me, however, they seem like a great idea… I first thought getting the right size combo would be a PITA unless you were on a production line, but then I thought you’d only need around 100mm (or a tad less) at each clamp’s ends under the glue line… as glue drips down (even here in Australia) you’d only need 4 or so pieces pieces which could be salvaged out of 2×12” lengths.
Thanks for the heads up… you should do a review on them OhWW...

Smart old man you have… if only more people accepted that truth!

Having no Bessy clamps in my possession…
- MikeinSTL
MiS, you only need to buy 1… even a cheap useless one… and you’ll never need to say that ever again.

... but I do so ever long for a wall full of Red and silver.
- MikeinSTL

Talking about long... can anyone ever have a wall long enough for clamps?

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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LittleBlackDuck

5954 posts in 1734 days


#7 posted 10-27-2020 11:46 PM


... I want LBD to show us all how a good swish, swirl, and spit of a fine box bordeaux will aid in getting glue globs off the clamp shafts 8^)
- splintergroup

The duck had a sleep on it...no revelation ...
then he had a drink... Ahha!

Without the “clamps”, you could always immerse the bar into a non-vino solution,

just make sure the PVC sleeve is long enough and sealed at least on one end or you’ll use a bucketload of detergent trying to soak it. Hopefully the stainless bar will not rust…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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LittleBlackDuck

5954 posts in 1734 days


#8 posted 10-28-2020 11:44 AM

If you happen to be Watching this review and haven’t come across it, I have added the next step at the bottom of the write up.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View RCCinNC's profile

RCCinNC

356 posts in 1240 days


#9 posted 10-28-2020 03:45 PM

As always Ducky, you are always both informative and amusing. I’ve always wondered about these high end Bessey clamps. I know people swear by them but I can’t make myself shell out the “shekels.” Or, more honestly…give up tapping the casks for awhile so I can rationalize the outlay… It’s the Porsche problem all over again. I’d love one, or twelve, but the old Honda, though lacking somewhat in style and finesse, gets me from point A to point B just fine. Still, maybe I’ll buy that one you left behind just to experience the thrill of it… ; )

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

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robscastle

7513 posts in 3118 days


#10 posted 10-28-2020 08:14 PM

I am always watching
I especially like looking at your eye lashes while you are asleep!

-- Regards Rob

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LittleBlackDuck

5954 posts in 1734 days


#11 posted 10-28-2020 08:22 PM


... It’s the Porsche problem all over again. I’d love one, or twelve, but the old Honda…
- RCCinNC

Baby steps RCC... I also drive a Honda (now) and is just a big tad down from a Porsche, but it’s a helluva lot better than the Gemini TD wagon I used for mobility for 15 years…

or the chook wagon pecking around in the snow,

Look at the Bessey as the Honda and pretend there’ a Porsche of clamps you are shekel pinching on.

While I loved my “original” Besseys, I found that the latest Varios has a lot more to offer and this is a good way to upgrade (did a blog on the full upgrade)... I do not recommend people go out and buy these jaws if they don’t own Besseys.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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LittleBlackDuck

5954 posts in 1734 days


#12 posted 10-28-2020 08:42 PM



I especially like looking at your eye lashes while you are asleep!
- robscastle

So that’s you breathing? Hell, I thought my CPAP was leaking.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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robscastle

7513 posts in 3118 days


#13 posted 10-29-2020 06:03 AM

Weli its almost haloween as I am a bit phycio I am gunna watch you in the shower next

-- Regards Rob

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robscastle

7513 posts in 3118 days


#14 posted 10-29-2020 06:08 AM

I had an NSU Quickly many years ago even before I had a licence.

Speaking of VWs I had a couple of rare VW scooters too you know

-- Regards Rob

View GaryCN's profile

GaryCN

481 posts in 4848 days


#15 posted 11-01-2020 02:50 PM

Wondering why not just slip off the operating jaw add the variable jaw and replace the operating jaw you would only lose a few inches of capacity and still have the original configuration when needed?

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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