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Forum topic by janice posted 12-18-2010 07:04 AM 2304 views 1 time favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View janice's profile


1122 posts in 4062 days

12-18-2010 07:04 AM

I want new clamps this year for X-mas but I don’t know what to ask for. When I built my entertainment center last spring I had a real hard time pulling the sides into the shelves with my clamps. I have 5 inch bar clamps. That’s the biggest I have. They are long enough, just not deep enough. What should my husband buy me????
Are strap clamps good for this? I really don’t know how they work, but I think maybe that’s what I need. I need to be able to pull the center of a 18 or 24 inch side in.
Any suggestions for corner clamps would be good to.
This is really bad. I’m putting my X-mas list on line. Just trying to make my Christmas list for my husband and kids. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I hope everyone here has a wonderful Christmas!

-- Janice

34 replies so far

View 4woodturning's profile


187 posts in 3618 days

#1 posted 12-18-2010 07:31 AM

Sure-Foot Aluminum Bar Clamp 4-Pack are on sale at Rockler, was 129.00 now 79.00. 2-48” and 2-24” clamps. now that is if you have been good this year. LOL

-- Jeff, Missouri ,"Just because your not bleeding, dont mean your turning safely!"..............

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3828 days

#2 posted 12-18-2010 07:35 AM

As a grab bag gift he could get you ratcheting tow straps. I clamped my sons head & footboard togeather
when I built his bed, brought the mortice and tenons togeather as tight as could be.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View janice's profile


1122 posts in 4062 days

#3 posted 12-18-2010 07:42 AM

I don’t think that’s it Jeff. I need deep. I think your talking about length. Now I’m laughing. But seriously, if a side of furniture is 24 inches wide I need something to pull it in at the middle. Do you understand what I’m talking about?

-- Janice

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3940 days

#4 posted 12-18-2010 07:43 AM

hi janice, ive missed you..i know you have had a tough year, but i hope you will be better this coming, and maybe be around a little bit more…there is a saying …’‘YOU NEVER CAN HAVE ENOUGH CLAMPS” knowing what kind of projects you will get into, its good to have a little variety as far as size of suggested , look for ones that are on sale if you can find them, strap clamps do come in handy for certain projects…, i like having some of each..short , medium, and some long ones….ive used bar clamps for most of my projects…but the newer ones that are lighter and have the nicer handles are good also…look at the different kinds at wood craft to give you an idea of what you might want…some folks have had good luck with harbor freight…they cheaper, but sometimes quality is lacking…you can have good clamps that will last a lifetime, you spend a little more, but to me its worth it…good luck and merry christmas…..god be with you…....grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3883 days

#5 posted 12-18-2010 07:52 AM

Rockler has Bessy clamps and the Uniclamps on sale. Jet and Jorgensen are good also. They have a deeper reach than bar clamps. To reach the center of a 18”-24” piece, you’ll need to use a caul of some sort with a clamp on either side to hold it in place. You can use bar clamps to hold cauls in place.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18818 posts in 4313 days

#6 posted 12-18-2010 07:54 AM

Good thing you said that 36 seconds ago KayBee, saved me typing about using a caul to reach 24” center ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3883 days

#7 posted 12-18-2010 07:56 AM

Happy to oblige : )

Oh, bar clamps are cheaper too.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View janice's profile


1122 posts in 4062 days

#8 posted 12-18-2010 07:59 AM

Hi Grizz. I know you can never have enough clamps. I just want the right ones for everything. I have to tell you my brother laughed at me and said, there is no such thing as scrap wood for you, is there? Laughing at me, because I kept everything till it’s gone. Last year I did throw away so many scraps that now I know what I could have done with it. Know I’m kicking myself.
And Merry Christmas to you to!

-- Janice

View janice's profile


1122 posts in 4062 days

#9 posted 12-18-2010 08:09 AM

Kaybee, I’m stlll trying to soak in what you said. I think I tried this, but still couldnt draw the center in. Help me here.

-- Janice

View janice's profile


1122 posts in 4062 days

#10 posted 12-18-2010 08:25 AM

Bob, my husband uses those tow straps for alot of tie down things when towing. I’ve never used them for wood working before and I was wondering how good they would be. Hmmm, now you got me wondering. Maybe from underneath and not around it?

-- Janice

View Kevin's profile


508 posts in 3842 days

#11 posted 12-18-2010 08:39 AM

Hey Janice, is this for a new project or existing one? If it’s a new project is the side panel cupped or bowed just a little? It’s much easier to get the panel flat and straight before it goes on. Use of bar clamps and pipe clamps along with some cauls on top and bottom for the bows help too.

I have to ask since I don’t know, so don’t take any offense ok :) You make all of your cuts that have the same dimension at the same time correct? From the sounds of it, it appears that you started out with a bowed board to begin with and attached it without getting it flat to begin with?

But back to your original question. I bought quite a few aluminum bar clamps off ebay awhile back. Pretty good deal, 3 24” for 16 bucks with like 10 s/h. For panels like the sides I use 3/4 plywood provided i’m doing my project in oak. It’s cheaper, doesn’t take as long to build, pretty darn straight right from the beginning too. I use my bar clamps the most then it’s probably my irwin 6” quick grips. I use those for a lot of stuff.

You can never have too many clamps :) I’m asking for bessey clamps this year, the big ones that are 45 bucks at lowes for one.

Good luck,


-- Williamsburg, KY

View tdv's profile


1203 posts in 3707 days

#12 posted 12-18-2010 12:18 PM

Janice best wishes to you You will not find anything to put pressure on the centre of a 24” side panel I have Bessey deep throat clamps but the don’t make ‘em with long bars I think mine are 18-20” they would just flex too much (leverage & all that) & are really only specialist jobs like gluing bridges onto acoustic guitars. So what you do is lay a 2×4 ACROSS the side panel of the bookcase & clamp it with your Bessey clamps one at each end of the 2×4 This is called a CAUL the pressure is distributed along the 2×4 i.e. across the bookcase side thus pulling the shelf into the dado,the beauty of using a caul is you can give it a tap with a hammer in the middle if it’s a bit tight. SO AFTER ALL THAT I suppose the best bet is to buy clamps long enough to cover any job you may want to tackle plus a few shorter ones for convenience & don’t worry to much about the reach 80 – 100mm is fine. Now I could say something cheeky but I won’t
Have a clamping good Christmas you & yours
Best wishes

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1590 posts in 4202 days

#13 posted 12-18-2010 01:01 PM

Does this help Janice? They seem simple enough to make or buy a couple of these.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3752 days

#14 posted 12-18-2010 02:56 PM

hello Janice
I second Timbo here make some cauls you can make them pretty easy in different length
here is a very good 7 pages articel on how to do it step by step

and I know I have seen a blog or two on L J about it too

I wish you and your fammely Merry Chrismas and Happy New year
take care

Edit : and for other sizes and types of clamps just such L J there is alot of them
and how to make them is allso descriped

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3746 days

#15 posted 12-18-2010 04:15 PM

Janice, I am fond of the 48” and 36” Jorgensen clamps pictured in this blog when it comes to working with larger panels and for items that require shelving or to clamp up corners for carcasses, I like these right angle clamps I posted on this blog. You are going to get a hundred variations of what you need around the shop. When I moved to higher quality clamps, I wanted a couple large cabinet clamps, a couple 36” clamps, about half a dozen 12 and 6 inch spreader/clamps, and a couple 24 inch varieties to build from. Pipe clamps are also useful for large panel glue-ups and you can buy pipes of varying lengths to put them on.

Some people will feel I am right on, some will insist I am full of crap :) but for a collection to have handy and build from, I would offer the following suggestion -

2-3 48” Heavy duty Cabninet style clamps – Jorgensen or Bessey
2-3 36” Cabinet style or spreader clamps
2-3 24” spreader clamps
6 – 12” quick grip style
6 – 6” quick grip style
3-4 3/4” sets of pipe clamps with varying length iron pipes to match.
F style 6 inch and 12 inch clamps are handy to have.

You can get a good mix for about 150-200 dollars. There are a large variety you can build up over time. wooden cauls can be used to supplement and help expand the utility of the clamps, as well as the right angle clamps.

Nice to see you posting,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

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