18" F clamps

Bill Arnold

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Thomasville, GA
The common statement among woodworkers? "You can never have too many clamps."

But, the specific type of clamps can depend on what you're building. I started with an assortment of F style clamps: 12", 18", 24" along with pipe clamps. As I designed and built larger projects, I began to amass a collection of Bessey K body clamps and now have 12", 24", 40", and 50" that I use for most projects.
 

larry merlau

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Delton, Michigan
like bill mentioned, it depends on the project, for example a project that needs a 13 or 14" clamp area wont get clamped with a 12" but a 18" would work better room wize than a 24". i actually wish i had more 18" clamps and i have plenty of the 12"
 

glenn bradley

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SoCal
The clamps you need between long and short will vary. As Larry pointed out, if a 12" is too short and a 24" bar is too long to fit in the position required, the 18" generally fills this bill. If you have not met the requirement, wait on spending your money. Money spent on clamps you don't use is as wasted as the money spent on those router bit sets that you've had for years yet 4 or 5 bits remain pristine and unused. Buy as you require (or when there is a stupid-cheap sale) and your clamp stable will self-tailor to your needs.

Bar clamps that flex too much due to "bars longer than that clamp oughta have" are also candidates for length reduction to make them more serviceable. These can then be replaced with clamps of the original length that are better made. I have also picked up clamps with "bars longer than that clamp oughta have" on stupid-cheap sales and cut them down to 8" and 16" clamps for those requirements. JMHO.
 

Darren Wright

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Springfield, Missouri
I find that sometimes I need clamps that are just longer than what I have on hand, so will often hook the stationary ends of two clamps and use the tightening screw of each on the outside of the piece to have a clamp long enough. I've even done this with another clamp in the middle. You will want to lay some cardboard or some thin material if the clamp ends in the middle are touching your work piece to protect from dings and scratches.
 

Brian Timmons

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94
Location
Arkansas
It sounds like there is a place for the 18" clamps. I'm sure they will get used. I think I will go ahead and pick up a few to have on hand. I had never thought about linking clamps for larger projects. That's a great idea.
 
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