Clamp recommendations

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Forum topic by leftcoaster posted 05-24-2017 03:40 PM 1419 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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370 posts in 1792 days

05-24-2017 03:40 PM

Hi all

I have a few 48” pipe clamps, a bunch of quick clamps and spring clamps.

What clamps would you invest in in the 24-48” range for flexibility across applications (panels, casework, drawers, other furniture projects), clamping force, and ease of use for a solo hobbyist?

I-beams? the aluminum equivalent?


9 replies so far

View JayT's profile


6414 posts in 3127 days

#1 posted 05-24-2017 04:06 PM

For casework and drawers, parallel clamps are the only way to go, IMHO. Not only providing the clamping force, but also helping to square things up and keep them that way. Plus, the deep jaws will work in situations the I-beam and pipe clamps can’t reach.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3514 days

#2 posted 05-24-2017 04:10 PM

I vote for parallel clamps where possible too. They do cost more, but they are worth it IMO.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile (online now)


6621 posts in 3324 days

#3 posted 05-24-2017 04:20 PM

HF has some inexpensive bar clamps that if you insert a wooden beam into them are pretty good clamps and bang for the buck. That is one option, some others to consider a few pipe clamps, or upgrade and get some good Bessy style clamps. Pipe clamps can be upgraded by making a wooden face and drilling a hole for the pipe to go through. This helps no mar the surface of wood, make one as template and you can make more whenever you need. Aluminum bar clamps are lightweight and the same cane be done for them, just a square hole.

To save space you can keep different length of pipe and assemble the clamps to it when you want. This would allow you to have say a 36” length, 48” length, or larger without a pile of clamps to store somewhere. Some would find this a pain but if you use them only on occasion and space is an issue, this is a good trick.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Kirk650's profile


680 posts in 1664 days

#4 posted 05-24-2017 04:58 PM

I like the Universal bar clamps sold by Woodcraft. Probably the best for the money. Bessey clamps are great too, but I actually prefer the Woodcraft ones. I have many but need more…always more.

View leftcoaster's profile


370 posts in 1792 days

#5 posted 05-24-2017 05:18 PM

Those Universal clamps are on sale just now and I’m tempted. The rocker competition boasts a wider foot but costs more. Unsure if that’s as significant as they suggest.

View EarlS's profile


4085 posts in 3264 days

#6 posted 05-24-2017 05:24 PM

Check out Bessey Revo clamps, the heavy duty ones, not the less expensive light duty version, expensive but they work well.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View pintodeluxe's profile


6231 posts in 3729 days

#7 posted 05-24-2017 05:34 PM

For panel glueups, nothing beats good ‘ol pipe clamps. I use the Bessey “H” style clamp heads on 1/2” pipe.
For most everything else I use Bessey parallel clamps, both the Revos and Revo Jr’s. The Revo clamps have a much larger head and longer reach, which is useful for case glueups.

I tried using parallel clamps on panels, because I have a couple racks full of them, and I actually prefer the pipe clamps for that task. I get consistently flat panels with alternating pipe clamps top and bottom. With the parallel clamps, even if I alternated them top and bottom, the panel was often cupped slightly.

F style clamps are the bottom of the barrel, and don’t get used much at all.

Specialty clamps like Kreg long reach vise-grip style clamps are great to have as well.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View JimmyH's profile


7 posts in 3825 days

#8 posted 05-24-2017 05:48 PM

Rockler has these 36” clamps on sale for half off. I’m a big fan of them and they’re at a great price right now. Usually 39.99 but now 19.99. Free shipping too.

-- - Jimmy

View DrDirt's profile


4615 posts in 4658 days

#9 posted 05-24-2017 08:07 PM

I got 8 of these… Because I needed to hold some bent lamination to a form.
They have ~6 inch throat depth, so that you have some reach, and solid Acme Screw threads that take some abuse. – - I got the 12’s but they come in 24 and 36 inch lengths too. 36 is just $13.99

Also get some of these for the inevitable boxes or odd case work.
The Jorgensen’s are the best IMHO….but are getting harder to find since Jorgensen/Pony has gone out of business.

Parallel clamps are nice, and I got a bunch, some new, some from auctions. Struggle with their value at 40-50 bucks each.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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