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Thread: First time clamp buyer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Indiana
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    130

    First time clamp buyer

    I'm looking to go buy some clamps here in the next day or two and after getting the project put together in sketchup i can see i'm going to need some long ones atleat 60" I havent found any bar clamps that size so i'm looking at pipe clamps and found Bessey's at Lowes and was wondering if anyone had any negative opinions about them before i go out and get them. I'm probobly going to be picking up 4 or 5 along with a bunch of pipes. Also has anyone used Rockler Pipe Extension

    Thanks

    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    The Besseys are nice in that they have the feet that the Jorgies that I have lack. The Rockler item is a bit pricey since you can use a threaded coupler to do the job for about a buck. Just thread both ends of your pipe. I used galvenized pipe and have never had the staining problem that black pipe gives and galvo is not that much more $$. Some folks have claimed slipping with galvo'd pipe but I believe it turned out to be poor pipe (bad sizing) rather than the galvo that was the problem. I can crush things without any slip so I have not had the experience. I got the pipe and had it threaded at Lowe's.

    Pipe clamps are great to have but my dozen or so long ones have been in their rack for well over a year since their last use. All I'm saying is that unless 60-plus inch requirements are going to be your normal thing, really long clamps may not get much use. My long Bessy K-body clamps rarely see use either. At the time I bought them I figured better too long than too short. Well, I ended up getting tired of fighting the extra length and bought shorter ones anyway. On the other hand, with pipe clamps, all you need is some shorter pieces of pipe and you can have shorter clamps.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 05-06-2009 at 06:27 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Dont be cheap

    Chris my advice is follow Glenns advice and I would add some more to it.

    1) Where I come from we had a saying (Goed koop is duurkoop) translated it means buying cheap stuff is usually buying expensive stuff in the long run.

    2) So dont do what I did. Somehow I managed to spend disproprtionally on certain tools. Why I do not know. In the clamp area I got cheap and regret it and will now be slowly replacing my junk.

    3) In my opinion pipe clamps are a thing of the past. Too heavy and too much trouble. Look at clamps like the Bessey or better still the Jet K body type and a set of F clamps from Bessey.

    Dont waste your money on pipe clamp extenders when you can get a piece of pipe for less money and if you are bent on using pipeclamps just change over the pipe.

    Look at Amazon and see the Bessey sets and spring for a set to get you going. You wont regret it.

    I also find the IRwin pistol grip clamps in smaller sizes to be very useful when gluing up especially to hold things together while you get a decent clamp on them.

    But seriously the weight and clumsyness of the pipe clamps sometimes frustrates me and I have the Rockler ones with the good high foot.

    Best of luck with the decision. I guess you going to get a ton of different opinions on this one.
    cheers

  4. #4
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    Jul 2008
    Location
    Indiana
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    Thanks, I'll stop by Lowes on the way home tonight and check out their pipe prices as I cant find them online. If the price is good when I buy them I'll probably get a couple 2 and 3 footers with threads instead of 5 or 6 footers.


    I didn’t notice the Bessy K Body got up to 60" It was just looking like my only option for that length was pipe clamps, I'll take a look at those also as an option.. I got a rockler close to my work. Probably won’t hurt to have a good variety of clamps.


    Chris
    Last edited by Chris Marlor; 05-06-2009 at 07:24 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    I'll agree that pipe clamps are not as nice as the Bessy K bodies. But I used pipe clamps for many years and turned out some nice work.

    I definitely agree with Glenn, though. My long clamps don't get much use. Mostly I use 24" and 12" clamps.

    Given that, use pipe clamps for your long clamps and get some Bessy (or other brand) for your shorter clamps.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    falcon heights, minnesota
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    as for me, i've used pipe clamps since the start, and have had no problems. every now and then i would get some black, but that's usually from glue squeeze out from panels or legs. nothing a little sanding can't fix. but if you're dead set on buying those connectors from rockler, go to home depot, get the connector, and send the balance to me... lol
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lincoln AR
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    142
    I used a lot of cheaps for short (not over 2ft) and I have 50 or so plastic crimp clamps for segmented turning. You can always those real expensive bessy but I find the bars just as reliable as the Bessy. You can't not have enough clamps!!

    But if you just starting out in wood working , buy some tools and make something to use the clamps on! http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ilies/wave.gif

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Indiana
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    Well i'm never dead set on anything and realy clamps are the final tools I need to get for the project I broke out all the parts on paper trying to figure out how many clamps i would need for it.. looks like at any 1 time i'll only need 4 clamps max in use with the longest being 2 58" and 2 50" at once and so what I "might" do is get 4 60's because for the smaller glue ups on the project they will still work but just be a bit of extra bar in my way but shouldn't hurt me atm. There are a couple future projects "honey do's" where they would be usefull also so I'll probobly get a few more uses and since 60" bar is the longest i can find i'll probobly hold out on pipe clamps till I have something larger hmm going to have to sleep on it..

    Also gota figure out how to buy these clamps without the wife knowing.

    Chris
    Thanks for all the advise!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    always remember chris, there will always be the three prices you will pay for anything. the first is the price you actually paid, the second is the price you tell the wife you paid, and the third is the price you will pay when the wife finds out what you actually paid.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Honolulu, Hawaii
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    1,103

    First time clamp buyer

    Yeah but, Dan,

    Chris said there were some "Honey Do's" that the clamps will be used for. He's good to go.

    Aloha, Tony
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

    "Time flies like..... an arrow,,,Fruit flies like..... a banana." Groucho Marx

    Ah,,,to live in Paradise!

    Registered voting member

    Fighting for all I am worth, and praying every day.

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