While gluing up my workbench top with pipe clamps, there was one part of the bench that didn’t want to cooperate and so I had to exert an extra bit of force to close up the gluing gap. It worked. All the glue joints are tight and strong. However, in the process I broke a pipe clamp, which for me was a first. I’m not surprised that it was one of the Harbor Freight Pittsburgh clamps and not a Pony clamp. The “Pony” clamps are definitely of better quality and the screw turns nicer, but at fifty percent more they are usually not worth it. That is, until a clamp breaks on you and you’re in a bind.
Actually taking apart the HF clamp I noticed just how cheaply they were made. The metal rings that grab the bar were all bent and one of them was even cracked. The tip of the screw had been busted off. The “cast iron” broke in two places. Plus, the paint chips on these things like a snake shedding its skin.
I realize that I probably applied too much pressure, but I’ve never seen anything like this happen to a pipe clamp, which I always thought were relatively indestructible. I’ll get a replacement from Harbor Freight, but I think the next ones I purchase will be the “Pony” version.
-- "hold fast to that which is good"