good use for broken harbor freight bar clamps

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Blog entry by AaronK posted 10-26-2009 10:00 PM 4000 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have two of these that worked fine until the fixed end snapped off. being a cheapskate i kept them around figuring they might be good for something. cleaning up yesterday i looked at them and an idea struck me: why not use them as holdfasts? here it is:

what remains should be plenty strong since it’s better reinforced and doesnt have as much torque applied to it. the dud end stays in place and is held beneath the bench through 3/4” dog holes. the only other modification (other than breaking the original product) is to remove the rivet at the other end (vise grips to the rescue!). to use it you just remove the moving clamp, pass it up through the dog holes, and reaffix the clamp. to make it easier you could probably rig a swinging pin on the bottom (fixed end) so you could make it pass through the top.

16 comments so far

View Dan Hux's profile

Dan Hux

576 posts in 2411 days

#1 posted 10-26-2009 10:12 PM

I have those,,I can’t get that lucky,,, the ratchet end breaks on me..

-- Dan Hux,,,,Raleigh, NC

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 2233 days

#2 posted 10-26-2009 10:16 PM

I have 2 with a broken retchet ends also. LOL

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2614 days

#3 posted 10-26-2009 11:09 PM

HF rides again. although I have purchased some good tools from them.

-- Custom furniture

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 2805 days

#4 posted 10-26-2009 11:44 PM

very nice… my ratchet ends are the ones that break too but ive used that technique on my bench plenty of times…. works great

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2701 posts in 2324 days

#5 posted 10-27-2009 12:11 AM

I have found that Harbor Freight makes great boat anchors.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View Napaman's profile


5435 posts in 3114 days

#6 posted 10-27-2009 12:14 AM

good idea…I just bought a bunch last month when they were on sale at 1.99….now I will know what to do if they break…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 2470 days

#7 posted 10-27-2009 12:29 AM

IRWIN will replace theirs for FREE if they break. I know first hand

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View AaronK's profile


1411 posts in 2502 days

#8 posted 10-27-2009 12:37 AM

so strange for the other part to break. oh well, it’s HF after all. they’re like radio shack is with electronics – even if you dont think anything like that could possibly break, they will prove you wrong!

anyway, for 1.99 they are hard to pass up – as matt can attest – and when they fail at least some of them can have a second life.

View eastside's profile


97 posts in 2299 days

#9 posted 10-27-2009 01:13 AM

I belive that harbor freight will replace them also. No sale slip needed, just walk into the store with the broken one and leave with new one’s.

-- Mike, Westport MA.

View ROY53's profile


77 posts in 2215 days

#10 posted 10-27-2009 04:54 AM

I made new ends for mine out of scrap oak.

-- Roy L, Arizona

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 2790 days

#11 posted 10-27-2009 05:53 AM

every one that had the red handles has broke, I took them back and the manager said that I was out of luck. Left them at the counter.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 2468 days

#12 posted 10-27-2009 06:01 AM

Thanks for the idea. I have 1 broken and 1 godd (so far) Could use a hold down so this is great for me.

Thanks for the inovative idea.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

663 posts in 2304 days

#13 posted 10-27-2009 02:42 PM

i have several of those broken clamps. but at like $1 per clamp what can you expect?

i will say they work good as long as you dont put too much pressure on them. for light clamping deeds they work great

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

785 posts in 2870 days

#14 posted 10-27-2009 06:26 PM

Like most, the ratchets break on mine. They are dirt cheap on sale so if I break a few no big deal.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3059 days

#15 posted 10-27-2009 06:40 PM

I hate em,No grip, they slip, and at worst, they break.

They could do a lot better with very little effort and a few pennies more for materials.

But, it you are buying them why bother?


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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