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A good tool for the price

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Review by Mark Shymanski posted 12-16-2008 03:18 PM 3715 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A good tool for the price No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

On the Friday before my weekend o’sawdust I went the store closest to Lee Valley we have here in Brandon, Wooden Edge intending to buy just some nobs, T-nuts and mitre slot material for some jigs I was intending on making. Well the buying frenzy came over me (note to self: never go to hardware/tool stores with a loaded credit card) and I bought the required stuff but some baltic birch plywood, and this clamp thingy from Samona.

The image of this tool is from the Samonoa web site (http://www.samona.com/site/) 2008 December 16.

This clamp thingy (sorry for the excessively technical terminology :-) is a piece of alumnium channel with a rod down the middle. A clamping mechanism not unlike a pipe clamp slides up and down the channel to set your width and works against a pad fixed at one end.

Now I am always a bit dubious about low priced tools so I bought this half expecting to be annoyed with it and return it later that day…but to my surprise it actually works as advertised and at Can$29 dollars not too bad of a purchase. The helpful fellow at WE recommended not to tighten it too hard…which concerned me but in using it I found that tightening the wee offset cambered lever that snugs up the straight edge to the edge of the panel you are trying to mark (or in my case route) was sufficiently robust to securely hold the clamp in place. I used the edge as a guide for my router to route out the mitre slots on the new table top for my router table (an exercise in frustration the last time I did it without this straight edge) and had no problems setting it up, moving it around and even re-setting it up on old lines to re-route some grooves.

I noticed a small amount of deflection in the aluminum channel as I was testing it to see how hard I could push sideways on it to see if the clamps would let go or if it would bend (my two expectations of such an inexpensive tool). the deflection was on the order of 1mm over the 1200mm span that I had clamped so I thought that was acceptable considering the way beyond normal tool guiding force I was using. Used reasonably I think this too would be a great asset, it is yet to be seen how long it will last but I figure I’ve already got my money’s worth out of it so any additional uses are a bonus.

Thanks for reading.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2




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Mark Shymanski

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3 comments so far

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2402 days


#1 posted 12-16-2008 04:36 PM

I have one of these that’s the Boomer brand. Looks just like this one. I’ve had it about 10 years and it’s been a great clamp for using as a saw or router guide. I use mine all the time. Sometimes the 50” length gets to be a pain on smaller work, so I’ve got one of the smaller (maybe 24 or 30”) clamps on my “buy” list. Like you said, if you don’t push overly hard against the clamp, it doesn’t deflect. Right now MLCS http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/ has these and an upgraded version on sales. Always free shipping.

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davidroberts

1002 posts in 2143 days


#2 posted 12-17-2008 04:50 AM

This past weekend, I bought the package deal from Rocklers (12”, 24”, 36” and 50”) on sale (still are). The 48” has too much deflection and needs a backup. The remaining straight edge clamps have no discernable deflection to speak of. Had I known of the large deflection in the 50”, I would probably reconsider the purchase. However, I’ve heard most 50” store bought straight edge clamps have enough deflection that they need a backup. I didn’t need all of the clamps at the moment. It just seemed like a good deal at the time. I probably push too hard when routing. You can buy a router, jig saw or circ saw attachment to fit the clamps.

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=17813&filter=Rockler%20Outlet

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2370 days


#3 posted 12-17-2008 05:41 AM

Thanks for the links Tim and David. I can see where a shorter clamp would be useful and less awkward.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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