Cheap Surface Clamp

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Project by sidestepmcgee posted 02-12-2009 12:10 AM 4043 views 9 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

If your like me and dont have any money,you will like this.I did when I needed a surface clamp, and the only ones I could find were the solid metal prong type or the lee valley 80 dollar clamp.So I found this site I cut off the fixed end ,where he drills out the other and adds a extra bar at the bottom which I found you dont need beacuse when clamping down it presses at a angle and holds in the bench hole.Hope someone finds this useful,total was 8 bucks.thanks

-- eric post, tallahassee FL

14 comments so far

View Partridge's profile


296 posts in 2993 days

#1 posted 02-12-2009 12:26 AM

wow grate idea

i did this with a griping type clamp.

if you make the ends round they will not dig into wood. take 3/4 in dowel and cut notch in it to fit clamp shaft

-- I get out in the shop when I can

View clieb91's profile


3396 posts in 2972 days

#2 posted 02-12-2009 01:57 AM

I just recently saw this idea in a book I was reading and planning on implementing it soon. A great idea.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 2486 days

#3 posted 02-12-2009 02:16 AM

very nice idea…great way to save some money and I’m into that!!

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View oldskoolmodder's profile


797 posts in 2717 days

#4 posted 02-12-2009 04:14 AM

Nice idea, I’m all about saving a few bucks this way. I just can’t help thinking that there’s got to be a way to use the “head” with a threaded rod and wing nut, or something, to make yet another clamp/hold-down.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Dusty56's profile


11777 posts in 2725 days

#5 posted 02-12-2009 08:03 AM

Why wouldn’t you just drill out the rivet instead of cutting the bar ? How much money have you saved if you now have to go out and buy another clamp in the future ? It will probably cost you more than the $8 to replace the one you sawed through . Thanks for the other link on how to do it properly .

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


16424 posts in 2713 days

#6 posted 02-12-2009 08:15 AM

great idea. Thanks for posting it. I think one could probably use the top part with a slotted dowel or two halves to function like a hold down. You wouldn’t have to put the toggle on or fiddle with it to get it unhooked ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View SteveKorz's profile


2133 posts in 2751 days

#7 posted 02-12-2009 09:30 AM

Great idea… I like anything that is frugal…. thanks for the post…


-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View sidestepmcgee's profile


158 posts in 2762 days

#8 posted 02-12-2009 03:39 PM

I did drill out the rivet on the bessey clamp and spend a while prying on it.The bar is also welded on this clamp so no go on following the original directions, the original instructions use another brand clamp.

-- eric post, tallahassee FL

View Dusty56's profile


11777 posts in 2725 days

#9 posted 02-12-2009 11:53 PM

Ok , I wonder if you could grind off or drill out the lower rivet , slide the clamp off , and then slide the bar up through your bench hole , leaving the clamp head intact and then slide the clampworks back onto the bar . Maybe this is too difficult an operation or would take too much time . I don’t have a “real” bench yet , so I’m just offering an idea to save a Bessey from extinction. LOL

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View LocalPride's profile


13 posts in 2458 days

#10 posted 02-14-2009 02:00 AM

I cut the top stopper off. The top slides off and all you have to do is line up the holes.

-- Dan -- Always work like a gentleman.

View sidestepmcgee's profile


158 posts in 2762 days

#11 posted 02-16-2009 06:41 AM

wish I had that luck,dustys idea is good though.But I use mine just for the bench more and more everyday.Just think if you bought one from the catalog,it would also be a dedicated bench clamp and a lot more expensive.Thats the great thing about design, you can modify it to suit your needs.thanks

-- eric post, tallahassee FL

View AaronK's profile


1411 posts in 2502 days

#12 posted 04-23-2010 03:12 AM

nice! this probably is a lot more sturdy than the one i made with a broken HF quick clamp.

View CrazyCraftsman's profile


27 posts in 1512 days

#13 posted 10-29-2011 03:42 AM

Nice! my neighbor has an identical rig on his bench. Thought about doing it for my bench too. Glad that worked out for you! (And yeah I don’t have any money either! haha)

View Ben Simms's profile

Ben Simms

191 posts in 1329 days

#14 posted 03-31-2012 01:27 PM

fantastic idea, thanks.

-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.

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