LumberJocks

Pipe Clamp Users Questions...

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by NorCalQ posted 07-27-2018 02:28 PM 668 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View NorCalQ's profile

NorCalQ

25 posts in 2192 days


07-27-2018 02:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’ve never used pipe clamps, but I’d like to give them a try. I’ve seen the Bessey 3/4”, but I was hoping to get them for less than the going rate of about $13/set. I know places like HF have their own, along with others and at a better price. Are there any good pipe clamps at a good price? Do they work as well as K clamps, on things like panels?


12 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1879 posts in 581 days


#1 posted 07-27-2018 02:37 PM

it boils down to what will you be using the clamps for and how often.
also – what amount of accuracy do you expect from your clamps.
if you can give some details on that, the feedback will be more accurate.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1577 posts in 2149 days


#2 posted 07-27-2018 02:44 PM

if you do decide to go with pipe clamps, make sure you use black pipe instead of the galvanized pipe. Also, be sure to have the pipe threaded on both ends. I say this as all my clamps are over thirty years old and have started to take on a bend at the threads. When that happens, unscrew the head and put it on the other end. .............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5585 posts in 2912 days


#3 posted 07-27-2018 02:51 PM

Pipe clamps have done a lot of projects for a lot of years very successfully. I don’t see them nearly as useful as the parallel jaw clamps, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used. The Harbor Freight ones are not so bad, I’ve had the clutches slip a few times, but that just meant resetting the clamp…for a low buck way to clamp they would be hard to beat. Be sure to observe the advice above about black iron, the galvanized pipe lets the moving head slip a lot easier.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Firewood's profile

Firewood

845 posts in 2053 days


#4 posted 07-27-2018 02:58 PM

K clamps, or parallel clamps tend to work better because the jaws stay parallel to each other while clamping. It makes clamping easier because all the clamps can be setup on one side of the piece being assembled.

Pipe clamps on the other hand tend to bow, applying more pressure to the edge against the pipe which tends to bow the piece being glued as well. To mitigate this, pipe clamps are staggered on each side of the piece to balance the pressure. Pipe clamps can apply a lot of pressure – more than is necessary for a good joint. The extra pressure makes the bowing effect worse and can squeeze out too much glue, starving the joint.

Both clamps are good. Pipe clamps have been around forever. I’ve not used any of the aluminum clamps, so will not comment on them. Hope this helps

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)

CaptainKlutz

1494 posts in 1913 days


#5 posted 07-27-2018 05:10 PM

Enough comments from others about differences between pipe and parallel jaw clamps, so will help you buy pipe clamps cheaply:

HF 3/4 inch pipe clamps are best value set available. Hard to beat the price with coupon for a pipe clamp that has integrated foot to lift it off table. Occasionally they go on sale, and ALL 3 of my local stores are sold out in a few days.

Use only Black pipe. Clean black pipe with lacquer thinner, or mineral spirits to remove the oily residue before 1st use, or you get black tar like residue on wood. Best to buy full 8 foot lengths and cut to length as needed. Can get (2) 4 foot pipes from each pipe as you only need threads on one end (makes ~42 inch clamp).

HD and Lowes sell black pipe (BP), and will cut and thread to any length with purchase. So you can make custom length bars for your clamps. Some will cut/thread to various lengths for free, mine will only make one cut and thread ends for free. Ace hardware also sell BP, cuts/threads for free; and when having plumbing sale costs less than HD.

Cheapest place to get BP is plumbing supply. My local plumbing supply will make 1 cut and thread for free when you buy minimum order amount, just like HD.

Hope this helps.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

276 posts in 949 days


#6 posted 07-27-2018 06:36 PM

I have a number of pipe clamps and I will say that the HF ones are good, the Rockler ones are better. They will both apply a lot of pressure, the Rockler ones seem to work smoother.

That said, I have grown to hate pipe clamps. Too heavy. Unless I need something really long, I tend to use F clamps of aluminum bar clamps. Harbor Freight has both and, provided you don’t grab one off the shelf with a machining oops, they are a good value.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1879 posts in 581 days


#7 posted 07-27-2018 06:37 PM

and when you use black iron pipe (which is recommended) or steel bar clamps,
and the glue from underneath the joints puts big ugly black stains
on your freshly sanded wood, you will figure out your own way of preventing that.
ie: masking tape, waxed paper, duct tape, PVC pipe, wood or plastic spacers, yada yada yada

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View NorCalQ's profile

NorCalQ

25 posts in 2192 days


#8 posted 07-27-2018 07:06 PM

Thanks for the input. I’ll have to check out the HF clamps and see. Appreciate that!


Enough comments from others about differences between pipe and parallel jaw clamps, so will help you buy pipe clamps cheaply:

HF 3/4 inch pipe clamps are best value set available. Hard to beat the price with coupon for a pipe clamp that has integrated foot to lift it off table. Occasionally they go on sale, and ALL 3 of my local stores are sold out in a few days.

Use only Black pipe. Clean black pipe with lacquer thinner, or mineral spirits to remove the oily residue before 1st use, or you get black tar like residue on wood. Best to buy full 8 foot lengths and cut to length as needed. Can get (2) 4 foot pipes from each pipe as you only need threads on one end (makes ~42 inch clamp).

HD and Lowes sell black pipe (BP), and will cut and thread to any length with purchase. So you can make custom length bars for your clamps. Some will cut/thread to various lengths for free, mine will only make one cut and thread ends for free. Ace hardware also sell BP, cuts/threads for free; and when having plumbing sale costs less than HD.

Cheapest place to get BP is plumbing supply. My local plumbing supply will make 1 cut and thread for free when you buy minimum order amount, just like HD.

Hope this helps.

- CaptainKlutz


View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1577 posts in 2149 days


#9 posted 07-27-2018 09:27 PM



and when you use black iron pipe (which is recommended) or steel bar clamps,
and the glue from underneath the joints puts big ugly black stains
on your freshly sanded wood, you will figure out your own way of preventing that.
ie: masking tape, waxed paper, duct tape, PVC pipe, wood or plastic spacers, yada yada yada

.

.

- John Smith


Ok John, why would you be joining freshly sanded wood? It’s always been my understanding that you join wood together, then sand it. That way, it will have any and all impurrfections removed while being sanded. ....... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View Ted78's profile

Ted78

401 posts in 2419 days


#10 posted 07-27-2018 09:39 PM

Couple of OLD jorgensen pipe clamps I use on occasion. Pros: they can be as long as you need them just grab a longer piece of pipe or screw a couple pieces together. I guess old chunks of pipe aren’t quite as ubiquitous as they used to be but I always seem to have plenty. I find galvanized or black both work fine. Lots of clamping power, easy overdo it if you really crank them down.

Cons. Just really a pain to use, heavy, awkward, things spin around, get dropped on ones foot, the pipe you grabbed is too short or too long and in the way. They work fine, just not pleasant to use.

-- Ted

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2357 posts in 2408 days


#11 posted 07-27-2018 11:03 PM


Ok John, why would you be joining freshly sanded wood? It s always been my understanding that you join wood together, then sand it. That way, it will have any and all impurrfections removed while being sanded. ....... Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs

I finish sand all pieces, except pieces of a panel glue up, prior to glue and clamp. It can be difficult or impossible to sand with the grain after assembly. Sure there’s joint clean up etc after, but sanding before comes out much better for me.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1879 posts in 581 days


#12 posted 07-27-2018 11:14 PM

I guess I didn’t think it through before I said spots on the finished surfaces.
I was thinking about the boards run through the drum sander prior glue-up.
thinking it over, I guess everyone doesn’t do it that way or that everyone has a drum sander.
ok – disregard the spots on the “freshly sanded wood” .

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com