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Forum topic by Eric_S posted 10-14-2009 07:25 PM 1257 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Eric_S

1521 posts in 1946 days


10-14-2009 07:25 PM

So I’m still setting up shop, but should be ready to start on my nightstands within a month…hopefully. I just finished adding some extra lighting to my garage, painted the ceiling white (unfinished drywall), and added extra outlets to the walls near my workbench and tools on a couple of new circuits. I’m also getting a Grizzly g0555 bandsaw in a few weeks after hearing crappy reviews of the Delta 28-276 and great reviews of the Grizzly 14”.

Anyways, all I currently have for clamps are 8-12”, and 2-18” squeeze clamps which are only good for very small projects or glue ups. My nightstands are going to measure roughly 20×20x24 with framed sides and curved legs (still working on the sketchups and will post when finished). So its time to buy some new clamps. The only problem is I can’t afford the nice pricey Bessey/Jet parallel clamps right now since I have a Bandsaw bill and thickness planer to pay off. Are pipe clamps a good alternative? 1/2 or 3/4 inch? Any other alternatives? I’m trying to buy the most I can for the money. Any downsides to using pipe clamps versus parallel? What are good brands? Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks LJ’s.

Eric

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN


29 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112933 posts in 2328 days


#1 posted 10-14-2009 07:49 PM

Hey Eric
I feel the best clamps for the money are pipe clamps and HF 3/4” to be specific. I usually buy 10-20 at a time.
I find that not all of the clamps I receive turn properly some just need a little vaseline on the threads and some are junk but you can return them for replacements. These clamps sell from $4.99 to $ 2.30 on sale. When you buy the brand name pipe clamps the are around $15 each so you get at least 3 times more clamps for the money. I don’t buy many tools from HF but I have always had good look with these clamps after the initial
opening and testing stage. I have other high end clamps like Bessy and others but the pipe clamps are cheap and strong and buy changing the size of the pipe you can use them for many projects .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Eric_S

1521 posts in 1946 days


#2 posted 10-14-2009 08:04 PM

Thanks Jim for the suggestions. I’ve heard bad things about HF except for clamps. Is 3/4 necessary though? Does 1/2” not provide enough pressure?

I plan on buying Bessey clamps later, I just can’t afford them right now. However, Amazon is having a Cabinetmakers sale on Jet parallel which include 2-24” and 2-40” Jet parallel clamps plus 4 holders for $146.99, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000F79022/ref=s9_simz_gw_s0_p60_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0VD7VR0112K24SNGPBSR&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

Also, they have Bessey REVO 2-24” and 2-50” clamps for $159.99, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001HSO6VI/ref=s9_simz_gw_s0_p60_t4?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0VD7VR0112K24SNGPBSR&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

Too bad that is still too much for me right now. I’ll have to remember to look at Amazon sales at a later time. I think I’ll stick with the pipe clamps for now. Thanks.

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN

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Rustic

3156 posts in 2347 days


#3 posted 10-14-2009 08:04 PM

Pipe clamps are always a good go to clamp. I don’t own any right now but I will soon.

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112933 posts in 2328 days


#4 posted 10-14-2009 08:10 PM

Eric
There are lots of bad things to say about HF products and these clamps are not all perfect ,but HF is good about returns as long as you do it in a timely manner . I like 3/4” clamps because there stronger and flex less when under load but 3/4 pipe does cost a little more. If you go this route I would suggest black pipe not galvanized.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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sry

146 posts in 2359 days


#5 posted 10-14-2009 08:11 PM

Agreed, pipe clamps are definitely the biggest bang for the buck, especially for longer clamps. I’ve never tried the HF models, but I have nothing but good things to say about the Rockler ones (when they’re on sale, that is, mine were $5 each a few years back)

Downsides of pipe clamps vs parallel are mostly in the jaw size (they’re very short) and the fact that the jaws don’t stay parallel (although the amount they deviate is very small). But they do have the added flexibility of resizing at will with different sized pipes. Both styles can apply large amounts of clamping pressure.

You might check out the clamp episode of the wood whisperer, or some of the overview articles (ie the free ones) at finewoodworking.com

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sry

146 posts in 2359 days


#6 posted 10-14-2009 08:14 PM

Expanding on what Jim said a little bit, I had read somewhere that waxing the bars of your clamps is a great way to keep them safe from glue squeezeout, which can be particularly problematic it if bridges between your work and black pipe
So I waxed the black pipe
And it was great, nothing stuck to it at all
Including the movable end of the pipe clamp fixture
Oops

View Eric_S's profile

Eric_S

1521 posts in 1946 days


#7 posted 10-14-2009 08:15 PM

One more question Jim. Would you go with the 3/4” ones with the base to stand on for $8.99(http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=94053) versus the regular at $6.99 (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=31255)?

It looks like th $6.99 ones should stand as well. Too bad they don’t have sales on them right now.

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN

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TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2427 days


#8 posted 10-14-2009 08:17 PM

Jim, Why balck pipe?

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

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Eric_S

1521 posts in 1946 days


#9 posted 10-14-2009 08:20 PM

Thanks sry for the recommendation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Rockler’s are on sale right now. Yes Jim, why Black pipe? Does that not leave marks? I’ve heard I cover the pipes in saran wrap to prevent marking.

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN

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sry

146 posts in 2359 days


#10 posted 10-14-2009 08:27 PM

I believe that black pipe is stronger than galvanized. I don’t remember if it’s just the surface or if the whole pipe is different, but at the very least the black pipe surface is stronger. Black is usually cheaper too

But you’re right, it can leave marks if you’re not careful
Saran wrap is a good solution. So is masking tape. Don’t wax like I did :)

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112933 posts in 2328 days


#11 posted 10-14-2009 08:28 PM

The reason I recommend black pipe is that in time the galvanized pipe gets scared up and slips.
Eric the ones with stands are easier to use so it the price difference doesn’t bother you I would go with those.
It seems I’ve seen both for almost half that price and someone was talking about a 20% off coupon at HF
That they found on line. So If your not in a rush you might ask for a catalog and wait for a sale. Many times they have the same item on page 3(as an example) for $5.99 and on page 22 for $3.99.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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a1Jim

112933 posts in 2328 days


#12 posted 10-14-2009 08:41 PM

All pipes can leave marks on your work that’s why it’s best to clamp so your pipe clamps don’t contack your wood.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

536 posts in 2232 days


#13 posted 10-14-2009 09:06 PM

I used pipe clamps for years before coming to the shop I’m at now where they have Bessy’s. They are great, and a real advantage to pipe clames over any type of bar clamp is that if you need a real long one, just rund down to your local hardware store or home center and pick up a coupler and an extra length of pipe and you can make them as long as you need.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

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hairy

2109 posts in 2283 days


#14 posted 10-14-2009 09:09 PM

You can cover the pipe with foam pipe insulators. They are cheap, used for insulating water pipes. You can also cut squares out of plywood or wood scraps, with a hole drilled in them you slide them on the pipe to keep your work off of the pipe. I keep a roll of wax paper handy to keep glue off of what I don’t want glue on.

-- in the confusion, I mighta grabbed the gold ...

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Eric_S

1521 posts in 1946 days


#15 posted 10-14-2009 09:30 PM

Thanks everyone for the help. I’ll keep a look out for a few weeks for the clamps jim, but I think I’ll buy the pipes now :)

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN

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