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Clamp Guides - how useful??

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Mike B

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Hi
I am becoming more and more tempted by the idea of a clamp guide or two mainly for use as a subfence. Therefore, what I am wondering is:

1) are they actually as useful as they appear??
2) what size is the most popular??
3) are they any good as a light duty clamp (i.e. should I consider a pair) or just as a straight edge??
etc etc

Any comments would be most appreciated.

Wishing everyone a belated "Happy New Year"
Mike
 

gidon

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Mike
I have just one - and find it pretty useful. Mine is a Axminster one and get's used as a straight edge (pretty accurate), very lightweight clamp and a saw / router guide. I think mine is 36" - I could do with a smaller one. The only trouble with them is you still need to measure the offset for your router and saw and so I tend to use custom made guides just as much.
Cheer
Gidon
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Mike

Happy New Year to you as well.

I have two clamps, the 48" and 24". They are excellent for clamping things up quickly and giving you a straight edge. The only thing you have to do is ensure that you are clamping square.

IMHO you would use both.

Cheers
Neil
 

JFC

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I have the 1200mm and the 2440mm and use them all the time in the workshop . They are great for building things like wardrobes .
 

mailee

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I wouldn't be without mine. I have two 50" ones and a 36" one and use them as sash cramps too, only light duty of course. I found that the Dekota ones sold by Rutlands are superior to the Axminster ones as the clamping lever presses down as opposed to sidewards. Pushing the lever sideways could pull the guide off line is my thinking. Anyway at the price the Dekota ones give Trend ones a run for there money. Hope this helps.
 

special bone

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I've got the 5' Axminster one. It works great as a guide for the circular saw but make sure you use the correct side. The above mentioned clamp goes sideways and it you use the wrong side, you'll get the sound of TCT on mild steel!

Rich
 
A

Anonymous

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I've got the 1200mm and the 2440mm form Axminster

Use the 1200 loads but rarely use the 2440

I also have a short Trend one (about 24") which is seriously useful
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Gidon

gidon":1y77nxz5 said:
The only trouble with them is you still need to measure the offset for your router and saw and so I tend to use custom made guides just as much.
What you need is a piece of scrap 6mm mdf to use as your offset. Just clamp it, mark where the clamp starts and then saw through it. You now have the exact offset for that saw and blade combination.

Cheers
Neil
 

Garrett in Victoria BC CA

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I have three.

I bought a 50" that will cross-cut a fulll 4x8 panel and a shorter "back-to-back" 20 years ago. I use the former often and the latter almost never.

With my shop in the basement, full-size panels just don't work well for me, so I adopted the practice of cutting them in the garage. I made a framework of inexpensive softwood that I can sit on saw horses or the garage floor. I simply lay a sheet on it and use a guide clamp and a circular saw with a 40 tooth blade to accurately cut the basic sizes I require. (The saw cuts through the panel and into the framework below.) Adding a zero-clearance plywood sub-base to the saw helps to eliminate veneer chipping.

I like this approach so much that having to use a wooden straightedge and small clamps to cut panels lengthwise became quite frustrating. When I saw a 103" clamp guide for sale at a recent woodshow I bought one, and am just as pleased with it as with the shorter 50" model.

One word of advice, however. I think you would findit a mistake to try to save some money by buying only a single extra-long clamp to handle everything. Aside from being a little awkward to handle, it quickly gets quite tiresome walking around the protruding end.

Cheers, Garrett
 

ByronBlack

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I can only re-iterate what others have said. I have the axminster 5' one and have used it on an almost daily basis, its mostly used for cutting MDF where the panels are too big for the table or bandsaw. It gives me almost perfect edges. I definitly recommend one.
 

Wanlock Dod

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I've got a 3 foot one from Axminster, which I've found quite handy, but as has been said before you need to know the offset, it needs to be square and I've found that tightening the clamp can cause it to shift a little. Still a great buy at around a 10er I think.

Dod
 

newt

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I HAVE A 36" TREND VERY USEFUL AS A STRAIGHT EDGE. ON THE SUBJECT OF STRAIGHT EDGES I PUCHASED A 750MM FROM AXMINSTER, GOT HOME CHECKED IT AND FOUND THE WIDTH VERIED BY 1.5MM OVER THE LENGH AND THE EDGE WAS CONCAVE. I TOOK IT BACK CHECKED 3 OTHERS ALL THE SAME, RON WHO SERVED ME WAS NOT SURPRISED. HOW CAN THE TREND EXTRUDED CLAMP GUIDE BE MORE ACCURATE THAN A GROUND STRAIGHT EDGE. AS ALL THE BATCH WERE THE SAME I ASSUME THAT SOMEONE HAS COCKED UP THE SOFTWARE ON THE CNC.
 

Midnight

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I tend to use my 5ft ones as edge guides rather than clamps... they're handy for making multiple cuts... just gotta watch that they don't shift a little when you lock up the clamp...
 

Mike B

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Thanks for your thoughts everyone, most helpful.

Seeing as Rutlands have kindly extended their sale I think I may be forced to give on a try...

Cheers
Mike
 
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