Harbor Freight bar clamb/spreader upgrade.

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Blog entry by redeft posted 01-23-2012 03:13 AM 2091 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few years ago I purchased 4 bar clamps from Harbor Freight, the cheap ones that arnt much good for anything, but they were cheap and I dint know much better. After a few minutes with them in the shop and I found out just how “cheap” they really were. Since then I’ve aquired much better clamps and the HF clamps were in the “just in case pile”. The other day I went to use one and the frist one I grab the handle breaks off in my hand, I toss it aside finish clamping my project and went to inspect the pieces of the clamp. Thinking that I was gonna trash the thing anyway I went to dismantling it. I instantly found the problem, the small plastic pins the handle pivoited on sheared off under the pressure of my squeese. Looking at the rest of the clamping mechanism it was sound enough seemed a shame to just toss it so i went to fixin it.

Start with removing the screws from the side of the clamp.

Drill a 3/16 hole through the center of the pins that hold the orange handle.

Place a 10-32×3/4 machine screw through the back, through the handle,

replace the cover and screws add a nut to the machine screw and your finished.

6 comments so far

View poopiekat's profile


4188 posts in 3153 days

#1 posted 01-23-2012 03:26 AM

Yup, Don W just showed how this is done here: go to entry #16.

-- 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!!

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2651 days

#2 posted 01-23-2012 03:31 AM

Seems like something HF could do cheap and easy…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2109 days

#3 posted 01-23-2012 04:56 AM

I’ve done that and the next time I squeezed the handle, the top jaw snapped off! I’m not buying or repairing any more!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2727 days

#4 posted 01-23-2012 06:06 AM

Those HF clamps are a bunch of crap. I had several and the had virtually no clamping pressure and could hardly squeezr glue out of a joint. They also broke very easily.

View Egor's profile


135 posts in 3369 days

#5 posted 01-23-2012 07:02 AM

I also made the mistake of buying a few of those and regret doing so. Never again.

-- Brock, Illinois

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2353 days

#6 posted 01-23-2012 11:03 PM

Same thing here: never again.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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