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Thread: 1/2" vs 3/4" Pipe clamps

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Floydada, Tx
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    1/2" vs 3/4" Pipe clamps

    I am looking at getting some more pipe clamps and have a question. Is there any reason why 3/4" pipe clamps are better over 1/2" ones? I would think even the 1/2" would supply plenty of pressure. I was thinking that the 1/2" would save some weight. Is there much difference in weight? Any other reasons that 1/2" should not be used? I do not like the cheap bar clamps has they tend to flex when pressure is applied. This is my main reason for pipe clamps. Plus the cost does not hurt the wallet to much. Thanks in advance for your help on this matter.

  2. #2
    Steve Clardy Guest
    3/4 are considerably heavier.
    I use 3/4's for door panel glueups. 1/2 will work.

    1/2" on door assembly, etc.

    I-Beam clamps on table tops, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis area
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    1,697
    I really don't know why I have paid any attention to this, but I have seen many more bent 1/2 inch pipe clamps than 3/4 inch pipe clamps. Some people must use the pipe as a lever. Seems like a silly thing to observe. Maybe I have been to too many auctions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    29,079
    I've got four or six 1/2" pipe clamps, and haven't had any problems with bending, but then again I've not done much of anything longer than 24" or so with them. The ones I use the most are shorties -- about 24" long -- but since I got the Gross Stabil Scott Phillips parallel clamps (and now a few Bessy's, which I don't like as much as the Gross Stabil), I only use the pipe clamps to fill in the gaps after the initial glue-up. If you're wanting to add to the clamp collection inexpensively, I'd say go with the 1/2" pipe clamps and just try to avoid overtightening them. They can still withstand more than enough pressure. (Overtightening can starve the joint of glue anyway.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Nova Scotia's beautiful south shore
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    I have to line up on the side of the 3/4" clamps. Aside from weight, there's no disadvantage I know of. I can't think of any job I can do with 1/2" that I couldn't also do with 3/4". IMO 1/2" clamps are nice and light, but on spans longer than about 3' feet they bend like noodles. I've picked up a couple along the way, but I would never consider investing in a lot of them.
    All the best,
    Ian G

    **Now holding auditions for a catchy new signature**

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