Which Clamp Sizes for Newb?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Boomer34 posted 12-14-2018 02:49 PM 1046 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Boomer34's profile


8 posts in 813 days

12-14-2018 02:49 PM

Hey Everyone,

First post for me here, so figured it should be about clamps! Haha

I’m pretty new to wood working, and have aspirations to make furniture (beds, dressers, night stands, tables) on the side going forward. My grandfather was a craftsman his entire life, so I know it is in my blood.

Anyway, I am in the process of acquiring tools (new, facebook and craigslist) and am currently trying to figure out what size clamps to start purchasing.

I know you can never have to many clamps, but I am trying to get a Christmas wish list to the wife and family members, and would like to pick up some of the Bessey K Body Revo clamps…and I am wondering what sizes I should get (I see they come in 12, 24, 31, 40, 50 60 inches)? Let’s say I can purchase 4…and my first few projects will be making farmhouse style tables…what size clamps should I buy?

24 replies so far

View tomsteve's profile


1144 posts in 2224 days

#1 posted 12-14-2018 03:16 PM

60” clamps canclamp down to 12” but 12” cant clamp up to 60”.
my most used ones are 36”.
however, if your fist project is farmhouse style tables, get the size of clamps that will help with that project.

View Monty151's profile


86 posts in 846 days

#2 posted 12-14-2018 03:30 PM

Hey Boomer,

My very first woodworking project was a farmhouse table myself. As far as clamps go, if you can get the Bessy clamps id go with at least 40”. I however used pipe clamps to save money. I get that they are heavier and a bit more cumbersome to use but they get the job done for me. I would also recommend getting some cheap 12” harbor freight clamps to aid you in your build.

As always have fun building and be safe

View GrantA's profile


3019 posts in 2412 days

#3 posted 12-14-2018 03:32 PM

All of them! Haha
Welcome aboard, Steve is right, 60” clamps can go down to 12” but they’re a royal pain to work with when doing so! I recently picked up some Yost parallel clamps off Amazon at a good price and they’re great. A little lighter duty but plenty of clamping power for gluing straight boards together. If you know you want to make tables you really want to have 6-8 not 4. Get the size best suited to the job.

View LittleShaver's profile


725 posts in 1624 days

#4 posted 12-14-2018 03:35 PM

You can get a heck of a lot of HF clamps for what you would spend for a few Revo’s. Pick up some 3/4 pipe clamps and some lengths of pipe with couplers, then you’ll have the sizes you need.

-- Sawdust Maker

View ChefHDAN's profile


1802 posts in 3854 days

#5 posted 12-14-2018 03:45 PM

Always hunt the deals, for table tops/panel glue ups, pipe clamps work great and you’re only limited by the length of the pipe. You can also get union fittings to join 2 lengths of pipe which can be helpful when the odd very long job comes along.

I am always watching for deals like this Bessey clamp set at HD I’ve got at least a dozen of these in each size, $5 for a Bessy Clamp is a good deal for an F clamp. Revo’s are great clamps but the Jorgensen Pony’s are good too, and they often come up on special deals.

My MOST used clamp in the shop is the Bessy DUOClamp These clamps give GREAT clamping strength and have wonderful one hand operation convenience. I do have irwin/dewalt quick clamps but if I had it to do over again I’d only spend my $$$ on these Duoclamps.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Monty151's profile


86 posts in 846 days

#6 posted 12-14-2018 03:53 PM

+1 on the Bessy DUO’s. Really smooth operation.

View MikeDilday's profile


287 posts in 1464 days

#7 posted 12-14-2018 04:04 PM

I 6 12”, about 8 36” and two long (I think 52”?). That has worked good for me. I make cabinets and furniture. For multi-board joined tops and sides the 36” work great. Bessey clamps are probably one of the best IMO. Bessey makes a connector that can be used to extend to any length. I would go with 36” and 12” and a few connectors.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

View JRsgarage's profile


389 posts in 1514 days

#8 posted 12-14-2018 04:17 PM

I skipped the 12” and bought 24”s …bought the 12” in the Tradesman f clamps. After I have added 40’s and 50’s in K body to cover the rest

-- “Facts don't care about your feelings.” ..., Ben Shapiro

View Boomer34's profile


8 posts in 813 days

#9 posted 12-14-2018 06:25 PM

Wow, thanks for all the input! I am really excited to plug into this community. Very encouraging! I’ll post a few other questions today about some other newb questions…but thanks again!

View EarlS's profile


4289 posts in 3353 days

#10 posted 12-14-2018 06:36 PM

Nice thing about Bessey Revo is the extension piece you can buy (or make) that allows you to connect 2 clamps together to make a longer clamp. Check around for the best Bessey prices.

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

View jutsFL's profile


198 posts in 846 days

#11 posted 12-14-2018 07:35 PM

Those are very nice clamps, and I’ll start by saying id love to have many pairs of varying sizes for them. That being stated, I get a good amount of work done with nothing more than HF clamps. You can sure get.most everything you’ll need for the price of just a handful of the ones you list. Id go with getting a setup of the 60inchers in the nice one’s – say 4. And setup all the smaller of the HF clamps. I cant find anything wrong with their 6in F clamps for about 2.50 each. Ive probably got about 20 of them!

-- I've quickly learned that being a woodworker isn't about making flawless work, rather it's fixing all the mistakes you made so that it appears flawless to others! Jay - FL

View JohnDon's profile


145 posts in 2174 days

#12 posted 12-14-2018 07:47 PM

+1 on HF bar clamps- get a variety of sizes to get started. When your projects and experience get to the point where they don’t meet a specific need, then move up to higher priced clamps- the HF ones will always be useful, though. I’d avoid HF pipe clamps, though- I always have trouble getting them to grip the pipe.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1802 posts in 3854 days

#13 posted 12-14-2018 07:57 PM

Boomer welcome to LJ, keep in mind that many newbie questions can be answered by searching the forums, lots of knowledge here.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View muleskinner's profile


941 posts in 3441 days

#14 posted 12-14-2018 08:02 PM

I’ll second the HF clamps. I’d like a wall full of those nice pretty Bessy clamps but as far a bang for the buck it’s hard to beat HF. They seem to squeeze the glue out just as well as the few higher quality Bessy and Irwin bar clamps I own. Out of 16 36” ratchet type that I got, I ended up tossing one that wouldn’t grab. Not bad when you consider they’re about 1/3 the price of the premium name clamps.

With pipe clamps, I use 3/4” rigid aluminum conduit. Makes them much less bulky and cumbersome.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View pottz's profile


14691 posts in 1989 days

#15 posted 12-14-2018 08:20 PM

i give a thumbs up for the hf clamps,ive had good luck and the price is right.also i have used pipe clamps for years with good success,i just cant justify the price of the k body clamps,i mean the purpose of a clamp is to apply pressure and they all do that.being new id go for quantity over fancy high dollar ones.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

showing 1 through 15 of 24 replies

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