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Is there a trick to opening Bessey Revo Jr's?

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Forum topic by Forseeme posted 03-05-2019 08:12 PM 332 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Forseeme

32 posts in 1269 days


03-05-2019 08:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bessey revo jr parallel clamps open using parallel clamps clamp

I got a set of Bessey Revo Jr’s for christmas (18”, 24” and 36”) – always wanted “fancy” clamps, and finally got around to using them this past weekend on a tall cabinet project. The big question – is there some trick to getting them to open? I believe I understand how they work. I loosen the twist handle, and then try tilting the “arm” that the handle is attached to (hoping to disingage it from the teeth on the bar), but I get very mixed results. Sometimes no work, sometimes work, sometimes work for a bit then just gets “stuck”. Do they need to be “worked in”? Lubricated a bit?
One of the clamps seems much easier than the rest – if anything the sliding head tends to slide down/open on it’s own. I eventually got them all in use, but I looked like a monkey trying to work a sewing machine. I have loads of Bessey f style, and love them.
I’m at least 80% sure I’m doing something wrong, since it seems unlikely 6 clamps are bad in some way.


13 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

8920 posts in 1465 days


#1 posted 03-05-2019 09:02 PM

Well, they say that if you sit a monkey at a sewing machine long enough eventually it’ll sew Shakespeare.

Bessey clamps can be finnicky IMO. I have some that slide freely and some that are a lot harder to disengage from the bar. And, some that are harder to get to engage the bar when tightening. I keep thinking I’m going to take one apart and see how stuff goes on inside there but never have gotten around to it.

But, you’re doing it right. Back the screw out and lift the handle (or is it push down, can’t remember) but move the handle until it disengages the pawl from the bar.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6474 posts in 3521 days


#2 posted 03-05-2019 09:35 PM

Also be careful not to get glue on the bar(s) cause when it dries between the “teeth” or on the side of the bar, that makes it a little harder to open also.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a 2 hour nap".....!!

View Andre's profile

Andre

2545 posts in 2133 days


#3 posted 03-05-2019 09:44 PM

Yup very finicky IMO and never never tighten when they closed together!
I have some Dubuque Aluminum Bar Clamps that I like a lot better.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5323 posts in 2678 days


#4 posted 03-05-2019 11:40 PM

Yes, they are finicky. One thing that have found that helps, is to wax them. Wax lubricates as well prevents glue from sticking on them.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

355 posts in 506 days


#5 posted 03-05-2019 11:52 PM

My trick was to throw them away and just use pipe clamps. I hated those things.

I would be cautious using wax. Could be a contaminant when finishing.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2649 posts in 2675 days


#6 posted 03-06-2019 12:05 AM

Finicky for sure. I think jiggling the handle up and down will usually cause it to disengage. Of course I have glue and stuff on mine which doesn’t help. I’ve also used steel wool on the bar to smooth the edges of the ridges down a bit too.

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

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

273 posts in 3120 days


#7 posted 03-06-2019 12:36 AM

Thanks for the warnings. I will stick with my pipe clamps!

View Forseeme's profile

Forseeme

32 posts in 1269 days


#8 posted 03-06-2019 05:02 AM

Interesting – I thought EVERYONE would tell me, “you just have to…and they will work fine.”
No glue on them – first time using them.
I will wax them – I wax or fluid film everything in the shop – lest it rust.
I ended up using a few pipe clamps and even a harbor freight clamp. Pipe clamps have their own grief – mine are long and cumbersome and heavy, and occasionally the end slips. On the plus side, you can see all the moving parts on a pipe clamp, so if something is not working right, it is always fixable.
Harbor freight clamp has a short throat, and always feels like it is about to break.
Do they get better with use?

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5897 posts in 3140 days


#9 posted 03-06-2019 05:10 AM

Revo Jr’s are actually one of my favorite clamps in the shop. Don’t use wax. Many complaints online about slipping parallel clamps once waxed. That would be worse than your current problem.

I take the jaw pads off, and file the opening a little bit. This makes sure the jaw pad doesn’t rub on the bar as you slide the clamp head. This made my Revos and Revo Jr’s work much better.

Don’t give up on them!

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

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Forseeme

32 posts in 1269 days


#10 posted 03-06-2019 05:30 AM



I take the jaw pads off, and file the opening a little bit. This makes sure the jaw pad doesn t rub on the bar as you slide the clamp head. This made my Revos and Revo Jr s work much better.
- pintodeluxe

You mean the plastic removable pad? So slide it off and file the notch a little deeper?

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pintodeluxe

5897 posts in 3140 days


#11 posted 03-06-2019 05:34 AM

Yes. Deeper or wider. Wherever it contacts the bar.

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

View Forseeme's profile

Forseeme

32 posts in 1269 days


#12 posted 03-06-2019 05:38 AM



Yes. Deeper or wider. Wherever it contacts the bar.

- pintodeluxe

Cool. I will give it a try and post back results

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

8920 posts in 1465 days


#13 posted 03-06-2019 01:45 PM



Revo Jr s are actually one of my favorite clamps in the shop. Don t use wax. Many complaints online about slipping parallel clamps once waxed. That would be worse than your current problem.

I take the jaw pads off, and file the opening a little bit. This makes sure the jaw pad doesn t rub on the bar as you slide the clamp head. This made my Revos and Revo Jr s work much better.

Don t give up on them!

- pintodeluxe

Thanks pinto! I have been meaning to take mine apart to see what needs to be done but never think about it until I need to use them. Now I know :-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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