The Garage Shop Ministry

Specializing in VBS & Woodworking for People of Faith!

Clamps

You can never have enough clamps...

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The clamp rack is modeled after Norm's 'Rolling Clamp Rack' on New Yankee. Mine is much smaller and hangs from the wall on a French cleat, since I only have a few clamps that I have collected, as they were needed for various projects. I also have very limited floor space in my garage shop, so a roll around rack is nice, but not functional for my shop. Canting the rack 5 degrees is wonderful! My old rack (a ripped 2X4) allowed the clamps to launch off when they were bumped and crown me. This is a MUCH better solution.

Total cost, nothing really, as I made it from the plywood scraps I had in my plywood pile. By the way, this plywood is a multi-laminated 3/4" ply from a 4X8 sheet that I purchased at Lowe's for $29! Much cheaper than dropping a bunch of $$ for a quarter sheet of Baltic birch for roughly the same price.

I used to reach for my two lone
Bessey K-Clamps first for cabinets and table top glue ups. Then one day I dropped one while gluing up a tall book case, the case shattered and it does not work very well once the plastic covering is violated. Now I reach for Rockler’s bar clamps. At a fraction of the price, the Rockler clamps are the way to go!

I have four 3/4"
Rockler Sure Foot clamps. Rockler certainly got it right with these clamps. They are 2.5” tall so they stand off the work surface making it easier to get cross clamps on. These are great clamps!

An example: I just finished gluing up the aprons to the bench I am building. The aprons are just over 66" long and have a 1/4" by 1/2" deep groove routed in them. The same groove is routed into the edge of the bench top slab (three sheets of 3/4" MDF). Into these grooves goes a 1/4" piece of hard board as a spline. When I was doing the fit up, I noticed that it was a tight fit. If it were not for the cranking power of the Sure Foot clamps. The aprons would have never seating tight on the slab. Not even the Bessey’s had enough cranking power. I am VERY glad I decided to pick up four of these pipe clamps on sale!

These pipe clamps are the 'trick' in having enough. I have made these four clamps reach over eight feet long. I would hate to think of the cost of bar clap that long!

I use the Bessey 'F' style Tradesman clamps all the time. They are the first clamps I reach for! I have a couple light duty Jorgensen clamps and some inexpensive imports, but the former flex too much and latter do not have as smooth of clamping action.

For FAST one handed clamping, nothing beats the Quick-Grip® clamps. I have two 18" and two 12". Use them ALL the time! The 12" clamps are my poor man's version of Bessey clamps. I see Norm using these all the time...I just don't have his producer's budget for tools! The Quick-grip clamps also make great spreaders as well!

For clamping up picture frames or hardwood trim on countertops, etc., I reach for the Bessey strap clamp. This is a GREAT strap clamp. Costs a few dollars more than a simple strap clamp but worth he extra cost in the ease of one-hand glue-ups!

Rockler came out with a new Heavy-Duty 'F' style clamp that looks very promising and are a bit cheaper that the Tradesman. The next time I am shopping for more clamps, I think I will pick up a couple of these.

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—Mark

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