A clamp like no other.

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Review by vipond33 posted 01-14-2013 03:02 AM 14009 views 6 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A clamp like no other. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

It is a very old saw that one cannot have too many regular clamps. At work for instance I run about 40 of the Jorgensen 3700 series and still wish I had more at times. Yet it is the specialty clamps that we have that sometimes get you out of a jamb or simply make life a whole lot easier.

To that end I have spring clamps, band clamps, little tiny C-clamps and a host of others that step up only when that seems the way to work. I’m sure you all have them too.

One of my specialty tools is the American made Dubuque models 76 & 76-A.

Made from cast aluminum and using a 1/2” true Acme screw, they are well designed and constructed with a good fit and finish to the parts. The screw is smooth and powerful, allowing precise adjustment of pressure. The casting ridges are nicely softened. There is a tiny rubber insert dowel put into the clamp pad holes so the thing won’t swing around by itself when you’re trying to offer it up with one hand. Nice.

These deceptively simple clamps work on the principal of a folding parallelogram (or of an inclined plane); the more pressure on the screw, the tighter the clamp faces grip – but parallel, even to the work-piece, not perpendicular.

This unusual design has a couple of advantages. For one, the clamp can be engaged very close to the joint. This means that very long pieces of wood need not require a long heavy clamp (and sometimes two people, and often damage). It also means that the squareness of the joint is easier to control.

This is a perfect clamp for pocket screw applications, difficult chair assembly (where it is impossible to clamp on a curve with normal tools), and furniture repair (where you do not want to disassemble or rip off and re-glue completely).

and as always, where you need to work on only one joint at a time.

As supplied they will handle stock from 5/8” to 7/8” thick and with the optional low cost “knuckles” up to 1 1/2”. Thinner stock than 5/8” can be clamped with a shop made wedge placed under one jaw face.

One problem that I did encounter with them concerns those jaw faces. These are rough machined (deliberately textured) to stop from slipping.

It is claimed that they do not mar the wood but I found that on very soft woods such as pine, this was not so.

However, this is easily remedied. I filed the faces smooth on mine and epoxied jeans weight 120 grit sandpaper to them. No marring, long lasting, perfect grip.

As far as I can tell from searching they are only available online from Lee Valley (Garrett Wade’s version is Chinese) but you may find other sources. They are also not to be confused with the Shop Fox knockoffs available from Highland, which have had poor reviews. There is also a mitre clamp attachment available for the Dubuque which, after inspection, seems to be of dubious utility & value.

Not for everyone, not for everyday, but a welcome addition to a complete problem solving kit, lumberjock or your daily routine.
and hello to anyone from Iowa, thanks.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3271 days

32 comments so far

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 3541 days

#1 posted 01-14-2013 03:20 AM

Thanks for the Review. I’ve never seen these before. I’ll have to get a couple of them. I sure could have used them when I was building an eight foot shelving unit. If I had those then I wouldn’t have had to put sections of pipe together make nine foot pipe clamps.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View bonobo's profile


301 posts in 2829 days

#2 posted 01-14-2013 03:21 AM

I never knew about these. Thanks for the great review.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3791 days

#3 posted 01-14-2013 03:27 AM

Thanks for showing what else we need to buy and have to have!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View a1Jim's profile


118066 posts in 4350 days

#4 posted 01-14-2013 03:36 AM

Interesting one clamp I don’t have.


View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2827 days

#5 posted 01-14-2013 03:36 AM


-- Joel

View nomercadies's profile


590 posts in 3112 days

#6 posted 01-14-2013 03:49 AM

Thank you. I would love to see more reviews on tools that are off the beaten path. Very nice.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 3440 days

#7 posted 01-14-2013 04:52 AM

Buy direct from Dubuque Clamp Works in Iowa and save money.

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View mbs's profile


1668 posts in 3713 days

#8 posted 01-14-2013 05:09 AM

I have seen something like these before but I haven’t used them yet. Excellent review. Very informative.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4666 days

#9 posted 01-14-2013 06:31 AM

5 *

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

View nomercadies's profile


590 posts in 3112 days

#10 posted 01-14-2013 07:04 AM

If I could build a clamp I would make it like a “C” clamp but on the end opposite the screw, I’d put a claw like the claw on a claw hammer or the nail removing end of a crowbar. That way I could drill or hammer a nail directly opposite the pressure applied from the other/screw end. Has anyone seen a clamp like this because I would like some of those too along with the fine clamps reviewed here. Thank you.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3577 days

#11 posted 01-14-2013 01:29 PM

Thnx for the review. Maybe you could glue a piece o leather to help with the clamp marks.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3271 days

#12 posted 01-14-2013 01:46 PM

Terry, I searched long and hard but could not find a site for the clamp works (unless it is, which is down). If you have a link please post it.
Roger, I was thinking of leather but thought it would slip and also it would take away from the clamp capacity, which is tight as it is.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View 2bigfeet's profile


65 posts in 3452 days

#13 posted 01-14-2013 02:14 PM

Been using these for decades in my cabinet shop. I also have some of the “knock offs”. Needed a half dozen more for a bigger job once, believe I got them from Woodcraft at the time. Unlike the rough surface on the originals, the knock offs are smooth with sticky backed sand paper. Eventually the paper peels off. I found the smooth surface worked just as well without the tape. You just keep a little pressure on them as you tighten. No marring of the work. So, I actually prefer the cheaper ones for that reason. I have no complaints with the cheaper ones.

View nomercadies's profile


590 posts in 3112 days

#14 posted 01-14-2013 02:42 PM

Never mind the search for the “C” clamp I mentioned above. i found one. It is called the “double headed C clamp” and is just like I was thinking.

I found it at:

I haven’t shopped around for price or quality yet, but it is interesting to see something that was before just a thought bubbling up through the mud of my mind.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 3440 days

#15 posted 01-14-2013 03:23 PM
scroll down to UC-76

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

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