The Go-to standard for Pipe Clamps

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Review by paxorion posted 12-15-2013 03:40 AM 9856 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Go-to standard for Pipe Clamps No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

After discovering the inadequacies of F-style clamps in the greater than 12” range (too much flex), I decided it was time to begin my pipe clamp collection. Binge watching episodes of New Yankee Workshop must have done a number on my perspective of pipe clamps, as the only one I thought would fit the bill was “Pony Orange”. Thankfully, my cheapskate tendencies kicked in and made me look for alternatives, making the HF 3/4 Pipe Clamp Fixture the first of my pipe clamp collection. Nevertheless, there was a twitch inside of my that kept whispering “Pony Orange”, to the point where I felt I’d have to bite the bullet and buy at least one to shut that voice up (or skip pipe clamps and go straight to parallel clamps). Fortunately, both my inner cheapskate and the nagging twitch was satisfied when I discovered Ace Hardware’s periodic 50% off any 1 item under $30. That made the price of “Pony Orange” within HF range ($19×50% = $9.50). Armed with the coupons, I picked up a total of 4 over the course of 2 such sales.

When it comes to performance, given the inadvertent brainwashing that I must have succumbed to, I find little reason to doubt that “Pony Orange” wouldn’t deliver. And true to that initial (baseless) assumption, when I ran my comparison test with the HF pipe clamps, I they served as a great baseline for performance. Clamping pressure is fantastic, and the screw spins to tighten the clamp head without any problems. These clamps snug up joints nicely and helped me repair several poorly constructed knockdown furniture items from my early post-college bachelor days (of which I hope to replace with my own creations). Negatives about these clamps have more to do with the type of clamp, rather than the brand themselves, such as:
  • Being heavy once the black iron pipe is added
  • Ease of marring the wood being clamped
  • Risk of staining the wood that is clamped

While I have since begun my parallel clamp collection, I suspect my Jorgensen Pony clamps will continue to make an appearance, if I don’t have any parallel clamps available, or long enough to fit the bill.

-- paxorion

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1107 posts in 2853 days

10 comments so far

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4128 posts in 2998 days

#1 posted 12-15-2013 03:43 PM

thanks for the review,i’ve not tried the pony’s yet but i do have some bessey’s that are real good also.on black friday i ordered some jet 3/4 pipe clamps for $8 so i’m anxiously awaiting i increase my collection i’ll look in to the pony’s.thanks.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

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22 posts in 3093 days

#2 posted 12-15-2013 04:08 PM

I’ve been using my Ponys for over 25 years. I have quite a few and the thought of using a different brand but the cost required doesn’t warrant changing brands. I don’t understand why people are using black pipe with these. None of my clamps have black pipe.


-- I can fix anything. Just ask my grandkids.

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1107 posts in 2853 days

#3 posted 12-15-2013 06:46 PM

Al – Out of curiousity, what type of pipe do you use for the clamp fixtures?

-- paxorion

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135 posts in 3853 days

#4 posted 12-15-2013 10:24 PM

I have both the pony and the bessey pipe clamps. I prefer the Bessey. They are both high quality clamps. The bessey came with pads, no marring and it has feet which make it stable and you can crank the clamp easier than the pony. They are equally smooth in operation. I have never tried the rockler pipe clamp, but it looks similar to the bessey. I have used both black pipe and galvanized pipe, I prefer the latter because it does not stain the wood.

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Gene Howe

12220 posts in 4236 days

#5 posted 12-15-2013 11:08 PM

In my experience, the grippers on the Jorgies tend to slip on the galvanized. No slip at all with black pipe.
I try not to let the work rest on the pipes. If that’s not possible, I use waxed paper.
Oak is especially bad about staining.

-- 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

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2901 posts in 3322 days

#6 posted 12-16-2013 12:46 AM

Who doesn’t have a few or more Pony pipe clamps around the shop? I always use black pipe, but it sometimes leaves black marks. Sometimes the galvanized slips. Maybe just me. Recently, I’ve been buying the HF units, adding my own black pipe, and I have to be honest, they are just as good, and I get the ones with the legs cheaper than regular Pony clamps. All 3\4, of course.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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13442 posts in 3188 days

#7 posted 12-16-2013 02:52 AM

I have some Pony and generic (not HF but basically the same) pipe clamps and there is no difference in performance. The Ponys look better but that’s it.

-- Rick M,

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Gene Howe

12220 posts in 4236 days

#8 posted 12-16-2013 12:55 PM

Rick, Your sig line is profound!

I made a bunch of triangular MDF blocks, about 3 12” at the base and 1 1/2” at the apex. Drilled holes for the 3/4” pipe and screwed them to the clamp heads/tails using the holes provided.
Makes for great stability and serves to keep the head/tail aligned during clamping.

-- 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

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257 posts in 2876 days

#9 posted 12-16-2013 06:19 PM

I see that is advertising 3/4” Belley for $9.95…

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View HarveyM's profile


106 posts in 2830 days

#10 posted 03-09-2014 01:08 PM

I’ve have a recent disappointing experience with Bessey pipe clamps; of the four one had a slipping clutch and two others had skewed threading in the head casting. The jaws wouldn’t align with the feet flat on the table. That’s aside from casting flaws & voids. They came in cardboard boxes, rather than the clear plastic packaging. I replaced them with the Ponys for slightly higher price, but they’re head and shoulders above the Bessey ones quality wise. Sad, I have a dozen of the original Bessey parallel clamps that I love.

-- Just a Duffer

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