|Review by gamygeezer||posted 01-27-2014 05:03 PM||12500 views||0 times favorited||31 comments|
Heat wave yesterday! All the way up to 57F! So I decided to go shopping. I rinsed off the sawdust, trimmed the ear hair, unclogged the sink and cranked up the old DRam. I went to Harbor Freight to check on the locking casters reviewed recently, but really had to browse the whole store.
I found a rack of aluminum bar clamps almost exactly like the ones I really like from Jorgensen. Had to get one (or so) of course. I picked the “36 inch”, a handy size, which actually has only a 32 inch capacity (minus a star for that). They had four sizes from “24 inch” to “60 inch”. “Life time warranty” Made in China.
Comparison with Jorgensen:
Aside from the color difference, the heads are identical. Handle is longer on the HF clamp. The Jorgensen head is riveted on, the HF has what looks like an automotive push fastener.
The tail pieces are also the same. Both have the same fastener. In this photo you can see that the HF bar has a slight reveal down the side, so there might be a little less aluminum in the bar. The bar dimensions are the same, except for the length.
I got the 32” clamp for 10.99, the 24” Jorgensen is 24.97 at my HD.
I have used the Jorgensen clamps for about eight months and love them. Light weight, non-staining, and strong enough for all my glueups. If you resist “Made in China”, there are very similar ones made in the USA available at http://toolsforwoodworking.com/.
Of course CharlesA and LJ are right, a review of clamps should show some clamping going on. The primary use for clamps is to pull glue joints together, especially problem joints. When I think of problem glue joints, I naturally think of Southern Yellow Pine, the most contrary wood I’ve ever met.
So I rummaged around in the garage, found a short 2X8, ripped into 3 and 4 inch widths, and watched as it relaxed into a classic crooked mess. I clamped one end together with my strongest 12” bar clamp and measured the gap at the other end at 5/16 inch.
This is my test bed. I then clamped the other end, first using the HF clamp and then a pipe clamp. Results shown below.
The clamps were both tightened to “thumb pain” pressure (very scientific here), which is the only measure I have. By the way, both clamps forced the other end to gap open against the bar clamp.
Thanks for your comments and patience.
-- What's a vibrant young guy like me doing in a broken down old body like this?