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Thread: General Clamp Questions

  1. #1
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    General Clamp Questions

    I have a variety of different brand clamps. I don't have a million of them like the member here who has the "wall of Bessey Clamps", but I have some Irwin, (blue) quick release, a few Bessey, like this and this, and a few Samona.

    The Samona are terrible. In fact, I'm going to give them away. The Besseys are great, but expensive. The other day I was clamping something to the table (not a glue up) and one of the Irwins snapped. It broke. LOML says I clamp it too hard. I say that's ridiculous. Clamps are for clamping. I don't like stuff moving around so I clamp it tight, and I'm not strong enough to squeeze the handle like you guys. So who is right?

    Question 2. On the Bessey Clamp like this one, what is the red button on top for? I can't for my life figure out what it does.

    Thanks all, and good morning!
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  2. #2
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    It all makes sense now...

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  3. #3
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    I'm guessing the little red button is for tool-less removal of the head for reversal to make a spreader. That's also how I remove/replace the head to use the clamp as a bench holddown.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dog holes explained 013.jpg   dog holes explained 014.jpg   dog holes explained 015.jpg  
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-20-2011 at 02:55 PM.
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  4. #4
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    do you guys see any pictures i dont????
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  5. #5
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    I provided links to pictures. If you move your cursor over the words, they light up for the links....

    here are the ones I'm giving away. I'm taking a bag of stuff to the Habitat for Humanity "Restore":
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Cynthia White; 11-19-2011 at 04:56 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Cynthia,

    i don't have that specific Bessy (with the red button). On a similar clamp I have, you press in on the red button to unlatch the fixed head which will then slide off the bar. You then either remove and reverse the adjustble head and put the fixed head back on backwards OR you can reattach the fixed head at the opposite end (pointing out) and use the clamp as a spreader instead of a clamp.

    HTH,

    Tom

  7. #7
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    I have a ton of clamps I have picked up at bargain prices over the years. Not a one is a Bessy and most have names I bet you would not recognize. I bet if you looked at what I have built you would never say or think "Should have used a Bessy when you built that." Don't sweat the brand name, just make sure it works.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    I have a ton of clamps I have picked up at bargain prices over the years. Not a one is a Bessy and most have names I bet you would not recognize. I bet if you looked at what I have built you would never say or think "Should have used a Bessy when you built that." Don't sweat the brand name, just make sure it works.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You said a mouthful that couldn't be more true Jeff. My favorite clamps are the bar clamps you have towards the camera in that picture. I had an opportunity to get about 20 of them for free in 3 and 4 foot lengths. Didn't want to be selfish and only took 6 of them.

  9. #9
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    Cynthia i too have broken one of those Erwin blue clamps. Here is the thing. These types of clamps are not intended for much more than holding. Take a look at the construction and how it holds the head in place. On those there is generally only one plate and that is the trigger plate.

    Now have a look at a F clamp that is of reasonable clamping ability and you will find two to three friction plates along with on the good clamps a serrated edge to help with. Try pressing down on these springs plates to release the clamp and you get an idea of the huge difference.

    I like those bar clamps that Jeff and Alan have mentioned we used to call them sash clamps when i went to school but i aint sure that was the correct name either. However they do have one or two disadvatages in my view,

    1) They have T style handles that is a bar through a hole. Yeah putthem down on a bench and now try tightening them up quickly in a glue up. Not the greatest when you look at how high the tightening bar will be off the workbench.

    2) Clamping face. The height and surface area of the clamping face is not that great either if the object you clamping up is wide. Then not all of the makes had square faces.

    The other disadvantage is that you dont quiet feel the leverage you exert so you can easily over tighten. I have found i do this on any type of acme thread clamp like the general C clamp as well as the bar clamps.

    BUt when you have a straight inline handle then you have to wrap your hand around it and tighten the screw.

    This is true for the F type clamps and the Bessy type clamps and it gives you better feedback on how tight you getting because it relies more on your grip and wrist strength.

    Its easy to overtighten and squeeze all the stuffing out of the object you clamping and marring the workpiece you working on.

    The big jaw of the Besseys and others like Jorgenson well they have


    a) Square jaws and

    b) Larger surface areas over which to apply the clamping force.


    My biggest regrets in tool purchases are being cheap and buying cheap clamps. Now i am tormented by these and have to muster laying out the loot for what i consider to be the right ones.

    I started by getting some decent F clamps from LV not the Jeorgenson but the LV red ones are perfectly fine and a reasonable price. Their jaw depth is good and they come with jaw protection.

    When i have sufficient of these in both jaw depths i wil add a few Bessy style cabinet clamps.

    The other thing to have is some pipe clamps. I really could not have made my bench top without them and they pretty cheap and if you go to the depot and get them to make you up threaded pipe from the plumbers area in different lengths then you can have quiet a range of clamping with them. Plus you can always join two pieces of pipe with a union and lengthen the distance between clamp head and end.


    As to that Brand Samona well in my experience nothing i have bought with the brand name on it has been of any good. I bought the item because it was cheap and got what i deserved and inadequate knock off of the proper thing. Dont even burden some poor soul with them put them in the garbage.

    Dont forget with the holidays coming you can load up on your wish list at LV and send it to your friends and family. My sons got me clamps for Xmas a year or two ago.


    Now as a Canadian lady you did yourself a disservice , i remember clearly hearing John Sillaots at a Canadian Home workshop show seminar saying ......"Men will take $500 and see how many tools they can buy for it, while woman will read the instructions enquire about them and spend the $500 on a single tool.

    Well i 100% agreed with John at the time given my cheap purchases. now however you have upset the balance.
    cheers

  10. #10
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    You are a silver-tongued thing aren't you, Rob. Okay, I'll watch for sales, i'll get some pipe clamps, and I'm done with Samona. I did give them away though. I had a bag of tool stuff I didn't want and put an ad on CL. "FREE if you come get it." and by George, I got 4 emails, and someone picked them up this evening. The truth is I'd probably spend that $500 on books about tools.
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