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Clamps and where to start !

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Jonathanfry

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Hi I’ve recently cleared out the garage and I’m setting up a hobbyist work shop in the garage and would like to know what affordable clamps you recommend? Thanks !
 

fezman

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Well I guess it depends on what you are wanting to clamp.

I use these from Wilko for small clamps. https://www.wilko.com/wilko-speed-clamp-6in/p/0339068 . I've had a few for about 3 years now and the only thing wrong with them is the rubber pads are starting to split. I've had a number of similar style ones from Lidl-De-Aldi and they have all broke without much use - the wilko ones seem significantly better.

I've got a few Irwin Quick Grip clamps for when a bit longer reach is required. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001DZQ3HA

For longer stuff I use the generic aluminium ones available in loads of places - but essentially these are them https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000LFXIGC

I also have quite a few parallel clamps now from either axminster (https://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-t ... p-ax945386) or Bessey (https://www.besseytools.co.uk/bessey-fl ... -quad-pack) . This style have quickly become my favourite.

Lastly I've also got a bunch of C , G and F clamps - all no name brand and cheap as chips, hardly ever use them, but they are nice to have as backups when "just one more clamp" is required.
 

Woody2Shoes

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+1 for the 'horses for courses' point made above. I find that single-handed bar clamps are very useful for all sorts of general stuff, I buy the Irwin quickclamps when I can see them at a 'special' price and own several - they're very good. I also have some from Lidl/Aldi and they're not bad and a lot cheaper e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe-lXn9o9Ug
 

bourbon

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I pick the ones from aldi/lidl. Whenever they are in. You can never have enough clamps. Must admit, the aldi ones are a little better than the lidl ones. I also have a couple of 700mm bar clamps from silverline, they were cheap enough at a show and have a steel bar on them.
 

MikeG.

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Blackswanwood":2p7wjm3g said:
I would agree that the single handed bar clamps are a good all rounder......
I find them a bit feeble. For one handed clamps I use these. They're bomb proof. For 95% of clamping duties I use F clamps.
 

Blackswanwood

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MikeG.":20mxk9ec said:
Blackswanwood":20mxk9ec said:
I would agree that the single handed bar clamps are a good all rounder......
I find them a bit feeble. For one handed clamps I use these. They're bomb proof. For 95% of clamping duties I use F clamps.
Feeble? :D

AAD39C4A-EC41-438F-8093-6BE6A13021B5.jpeg


Actually the ones Mike has posted are very effective
 

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Sideways

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+1 to the style Mike recommended.
Usually a little discounted in 10's
They are super easy to use and fairly light. Just pile them on until you have no more room and the clamping is nicely distributed.
I use them far more often than any others so that's what I would start with.

That said, they aren't all the same. Some nice new yellow ones from toolstation turned out not to be as good as the scruffy old orange things I've been using since Screwfix used to sell screws and not much else. Silly little details about imperfect alighment, slightly sloppy fit of the ball joint on the plastic pad, the hooked back end tending to foul where a simple L shaped tail is doesn't. So check them out if you can before you order a bunch.

Future options
Various companies do promotions on the Irwin one handed clamps. These are nothing special but they are light and handy and made in different lengths. Try a pair when they go on sale.
If you get into track saws, they need special clamps.
Small paramo / record / whatever traditional G clamps with a screw are handy in small sizes - buy when you find you have nothing else to do the job.
Personally I don't much like clamps were I have to twist a handle screwdriver style - but I'm a bit feeble and it didn't stop me buying the Axminster clone of the big Bessey revo clamps for assembling bigger jobs.

Clamping is agame of it's own. Do you want to put pressure in the middle of a panel ? Clamp a 2x3" timber across with a little packing under each end and inflate a "win bag" between the timber and the panel ... you adapt what you have to the job and if you have nothing that will do, it's time to buy a new type of clamp :)
 

Jonathanfry

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Thanks all the advice is much appreciated I already have a pair of Irwin and solo zip clamps and two dewalt ones for the plunge saw was looking more at sash clamps but these bits of advise are much appreciated thanks
 

Woody2Shoes

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Feeble! Pah! :shock:

Don't forget the usefulness of opposing wedges if you want to make your own clamping arrangements e.g.
 

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Sideways

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:)
clamps_2.jpg

Total hodge podge on a simple storage box for sawblades made up out of repurposed / leftovers.
Jet clamps, Irwin, Axminster, Veritas, Quick Grip, and some cheap tat mitre clamps.
Long clamps are great except when you're storing them :)
 

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Woody2Shoes

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Sideways":fm55ny68 said:
:)

Total hodge podge on a simple storage box for sawblades made up out of repurposed / leftovers.
Jet clamps, Irwin, Axminster, Veritas, Quick Grip, and some cheap tat mitre clamps.
Long clamps are great except when you're storing them :)
Looks like the clamp mating season is well under way... :oops:
 

beech1948

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I have Bessey, Irwin, etc etc in all about 40 clamps.

I am faced with a contract due in 2 months for an 18Ft long board room table which is 4 ft wide. I have estimated that I will need around 20 or so new clamps.

The cost of these clamps is prohibitive at around £1300 or more if made by Bessey.

After much research I intend to use two methods to progress.

1) Folding wedges where possible

2) Self made clamps based on a design by John Heisz.

If I don't use these two approaches then the profitability of the job is significantly compromised with a much much reduced profit.

I'll let you all know how it goes.
 

MikeG.

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beech1948":2wun891w said:
.......I am faced with a contract due in 2 months for an 18Ft long board room table which is 4 ft wide. I have estimated that I will need around 20 or so new clamps........
Why not add a few ratchet straps into the equation? If you can put some rounded-over packers on each edge then they can be a useful additional bit of pressure, albeit not you want to have as your primary clamping. And they're cheap, cheap, cheap.
 

Woody2Shoes

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beech1948":2t1frdre said:
I have Bessey, Irwin, etc etc in all about 40 clamps.

I am faced with a contract due in 2 months for an 18Ft long board room table which is 4 ft wide. I have estimated that I will need around 20 or so new clamps.

The cost of these clamps is prohibitive at around £1300 or more if made by Bessey.

After much research I intend to use two methods to progress.

1) Folding wedges where possible

2) Self made clamps based on a design by John Heisz.

If I don't use these two approaches then the profitability of the job is significantly compromised with a much much reduced profit.

I'll let you all know how it goes.
A quick google reveals more than a couple of places that will hire out clamps - assuming they're still functioning with c19 - would this be an option (either that or maybe finding someone to lend you some)?
 

Inspector

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When I started out I got a number of Jorgensen/Pony pipe clamp heads because you can use them on a variety of pipe lengths or use a threaded coupler to join them to make them longer and scrounging pipe was easy. Even though I have a decent number of K-body, F-clamps, one handed quick grips etc., I still reach for them often. From your location I would buy the 3/4' Bessey Pipe Clamps. The pipe is cheap enough and readily available here, don't know about your neck of the woods, and they let you do what other clamps can't...............make them longer. :)

https://www.besseytools.co.uk/bessey-wo ... et-bpc-h34

Pete
 

heimlaga

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Anything of decent quality that you can find cheap secondhand will come in handy one day. I have a strange mix of just about any odd cramp from any odd maker in the latest century and they all tend to be used.
My latest purchase was three rather large nameless bar cramps of seemingly good quality. Purchased for 50 cents a kilo at the local scrap yard.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Simple rule: if you see clamps for sale, you MUST buy some. Even if they are rubbish, they are still clamps. Eventually you will be able to become more discerning, because you have nearly enough clamps, but it will take some years.

The only exception I have is the lidl single handed bar clamps everyone is raving about on the first page of this thread - I bought four, broke three on their first time out, and haven't ever used the fourth because what's the point? I bought them 15 years ago, so perhaps things have changed since...
 

Bod

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No matter how many you have, you always need more...
IMG_0213 (2).JPG

Vast majority from car-boot sales.

Bod
 

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