What Size C Clamp is Best?

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 12-30-2015 04:56 PM 1027 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As a proof of concept, I made a C-Clamp out of wood. I intend to eventually make a few more, but I’m wondering what would be the most useful size to build. The one in the photo is about 6 inches square with the clamping capacity of only 2 inches with a 4 inch deep throat. Any suggestions?

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

6 comments so far

View sras's profile


4773 posts in 3065 days

#1 posted 12-30-2015 05:44 PM

Tough question – it depends on your needs. I have C-clamps from 2 inches to 8 inches. I use the 6 inch ones the most – mostly for holding jigs to my bench. Building ones with throats that are deeper than their reach seems like a good idea – those are harder to find.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View TheFridge's profile


9112 posts in 1422 days

#2 posted 12-30-2015 05:55 PM

Check out

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Holt's profile


227 posts in 2565 days

#3 posted 12-30-2015 05:57 PM

The capacity between the jaws varies based on the use, but the C clamps I use the most have a very deep throat. Got a 6 pack of Jets years ago and it’s amazing how many times those things come in handy…

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

View CFrye's profile


10074 posts in 1776 days

#4 posted 12-30-2015 07:11 PM

It seems I grab the 3-4” C clamps the most. I do wish they had deeper throats.

-- God bless, Candy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1685 posts in 2124 days

#5 posted 12-30-2015 11:33 PM

It sounds very like I should keep the deep throat, since those type of clamps are expensive in metal. just did a test and my little example clamp (above) is already big enough to clamp the finger board on my wife’s dulcimer. Since that’s the most likely use I’ll have immediately, I think I’ll make a few more of this size. I can move up larger from there, maybe going in 2 inch increments to maybe 6 or eight. I know I can add reinforcement with a length of threaded rod near the spine. I like the primitive look of these.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View oldnovice's profile


6692 posts in 3304 days

#6 posted 12-31-2015 12:16 AM

I think an upper case ”C” is the best!

I have two deep throat C clamps and use those a lot.
When my local OSH, Orchard Hardware Supply, moved to a new location they sold off a lot of items instead of moving them and I bought two of these for only $20@.

And I wish I would have bought the other six that were avaiable!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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