Clamps for Wood - Recommendations?


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Old 02-11-06, 03:22 PM
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Clamps for Wood - Recommendations?

I bought a new miter saw and table (the Dewalt 708) and now that I have the ability to cut a straight line, I plan to do some odds and ends this spring and summer with wood. I'll need clamps, but don't know what kind. I'm brand new at working with wood, and will not be building fancy cabinets or other projects of that caliber.

I'm thinking bar clamps vs. pipe clamps. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Why would somebody pay $30 for a pair of 12-inch QuikGrip bar clamps instead of some pipe clamp jaws and some iron pipe (can make his own lengths)? Also, what would be a good start-out quantity and type?
 

Last edited by Pipsisiwah; 02-11-06 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 02-11-06, 03:51 PM
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I use Irwin bar clamps, pistol grip tightening. They work great in lots of situations and weren't expensive. You can get them at any hardware or box store I would think. I have 3, about 20" long.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 04:27 PM
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Me too, a bunch, li'l bitty ones to 36"
Not the best quality available I'm sure but work pretty good
Never had a complaint
Very convenient to use
 
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Old 02-11-06, 07:24 PM
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Some of the cheaper pipe clamps do not hold well. I got 3 sets as a "present" and I had to really file on the pipe to get them to hold. Sometimes they still slip. I bought a few Bessey bar clamps in assorted sizes and am really happy with them. Not cheapest but worth the lower amount I paid for them. You just can't beat having enough clamps when woodworking. Even some of my small jobs use up 6 or 8 clamps. Good luck.
 
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Old 02-12-06, 05:58 AM
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I like my pipe clamps, but you have to watch out for quality and "slop" in the mechanism. Personal opinion, the quick grip clamps just don't exert enough pressure in comparison to the pipes. I have about 20 in various sizes. For smaller work, of course, the Jorgensen wood clamps are unbeatable, especially for exerting angular pressure on items. I would also consider the 3/4" over the 1/2" pipe clamps, mainly because of the size of the face. Welcome to woodworking. There are no monthly addict meetings, and you will have to deal with "are you out in the shop again?", but, gosh it is a rush!!
 
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Old 02-12-06, 10:50 AM
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OK, I'll buy that if you needed a significant amount of pressure the quick clamps wouldn't be the ticket. They're great for holding things in place though. Yesterday I used mine to hold the long edge of a plywood ceiling panel in place while I nailed it in, worked like a charm.
 
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Old 02-12-06, 08:14 PM
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I don't know, maybe I am expecting too much from the squeezing action, as it seems to bottom out when I get just about where I want, and it won't go any further. I keep the squeeze clamps on my jobsite trailer to hold things, but still prefer the bar or pipe clamps.
 
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Old 02-13-06, 03:01 AM
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I have a few quick-grip clamps that are great for light temporary pressure and the pipe clamps on 3/4" pipe that I used for one task a long time ago.
The clamps that get used the most, primarily with 2x materials, are a pair of welding clamps by Bessey. They slide to adjust but have a threaded tightening mechanism like a C-clamp. Sufficiently strong to pull warped metal together, there is no problem leaving an impression in the wood. With the 8" size it's no problem to hold 2x6 material together - one edge to one face - 7" opening.
 
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Old 02-15-06, 03:55 AM
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Agree, the Bessey's are tops. I wish I could afford 10 of them. That's why I have so many pipe clamps, I guess.
 
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Old 02-15-06, 08:38 AM
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I got my Besseys on sale through Woodcraft. 4-6" and 2-24" for $40. I try not to buy "cheap" but I get all over those sales.
 
 

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