While working on my current project, I realized that there are some tools in full view, within easy reach, that I NEVER USE! Or, at least, I reach past them for my favorites. For example, I have lots of C-clamps varying in size, but some have machine-threads. It takes an eternity to open or close them, very inconvenient when you’ve got glue setting! So, I think I’ll consider getting rid of any C-clamp that does not have Acme threads, those so-called ‘square threads’. Maybe I’ll replace ‘em, maybe not. Now, I cast a jaundiced eye at any bar-clamp that has no clutch discs….those that rely on friction, or an off-centered bind to grab the bar. I’m sick of these suddenly dropping off, often at a very inconvenient time. Ditto for F-clamps that never seem to get the job done. Heave-ho! Now pipe clamps, some of mine, including 4 that I’ve owned and managed to hang on to since perhaps the late 60’s, with green ‘hammer-finish’ paint. I remember buying these at a place called “Kauf’s” now long out of business. These are indeed the old-style eccentric-teeth grabbers in the tailstock, rather than the more reliable Jorgenson-styled multiple clutch grip. I haven’t got the heart to get rid of these, even though they are only 1/2” pipe when all my others are 3/4”!
Then, of course, the squeeze-jaw spring clamps, my metal ones are slowly disappearing and I’ve replaced them with cheezy plastic, carbon fiber, or other crap, most have lost their little jaw inserts or cushions. My old Ponys have outlasted them! And if I look hard enough, I might find the 6 or so that are missing, like holding up Christmas lights, suspending open trash bags, or other non-woodworking use.
Ah, yes… all my speed-clamp trigger-handled bar clamps… If they’re not original ‘Speed Grip by Vise-grip” brand…they’re getting replaced. Those original ‘speed Grip ones are awesome, with the cushy rubber jaw protectors are great; the cheezy imports and store brand ones with the hard plastic tips stain the wood and tend to slip off when pressure is applied.
Then of couse, I have the crappiest tool ever, a clamp that was manufactured from probably rejected caulking guns, yes folks I got one and it’s even embarrassing to even look at it. Kind of ingenious to look at, but utterly worthless. I also have cantilever clamps, useful for fixtures maybe but I’ve never used them, despite owning them since the mid-eighties, and those wrench-turned c-clamp thingies that you use to suspend lights and hvac from steel roof trusses. Why the heck do I keep this stuff? Don’t use the H-word, I’m no hoarder, I just use no judgement when it comes to keeping stuff. Awright… nobody tell me I can send my surplus to your workshop… How’s your herd?
-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!