Bessey 3/4 pipe clamp

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Forum topic by Jim K posted 02-12-2010 03:55 AM 4960 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim K

94 posts in 3161 days

02-12-2010 03:55 AM


I got 4 Bessey pipe clamps 1 is a 1/2 inch while the other 3 are 3/4 inch. After buying the black pipe for the clamps and putting them on. I’m having trouble opening and closing them. They seem to want to hang up not so much when closing but opening them is a 2 handed struggle. I oiled them and even went so far as sanding the black coating off and it helped a little. I wonder if the pipe threading dies at my local hardware are off or I screwed the end on to tight?

Any thoughts would be helpfull

9 replies so far

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3313 days

#1 posted 02-12-2010 04:10 AM

rockler has a thing called an easy clutch and this might help product #38765

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3737 days

#2 posted 02-12-2010 04:46 AM

I just got a pair of shop fox through grisly, About half the price and they work fine. Bought 3/4 in pre threaded at Lowes and they went on perfectly.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#3 posted 02-12-2010 08:27 AM

I buy Hf 3/4”pipe clamps when there on sale for about $ 3.50 each and they work fine when i put a little vaseline on the threads.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Rick7938's profile


3 posts in 3053 days

#4 posted 02-12-2010 09:31 PM

Is it the fixed end that threads to the pipe or the moveable end that is adjustable? If it is the fixed end, I don’t think that the pipe threads nor how tight you put them on would cause them to bind. When you say that you sanded off the black coating, do you mean from the pipe itself or from the threads of the screw? If you are having trouble loosening the clamping mechanism, sometimes the moveable jaw (the one at the end of the screw) will bind as you open the jaw. Try keeping that jaw vertical to the pipe as you turn the handle to loosen the clamp – still a two hand operation.

If it is the moveable, sliding end (and I’m not trying to be smart), but you are releasing the clutch plates when you are opening the clamps, aren’t you.

I just bought a couple of 3/4-inch Bessey pipe clamps to start replacing the Irwin pipe clamps that I have. The Irwins do not require threads on the pipe. It is a good concept, but doesn’t work in practice. I have the same problem open and closing the clamps as you do – the screw is binding both opening and closing.

Good luck and let us know how they work out.

-- Rick, NC Sandhills, USA

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3744 days

#5 posted 02-12-2010 10:07 PM

I’ve had the same problem with the Besseys. Gradually buying the clamps and the black pipes, the first three worked fine. The last one didn’t. Both holes in the clamp were smaller than the previous clamps. I had to grind the openings with drill bits to make them bigger. They still are not the smoothest.

The other day, I looked at the 3/4” Bessey clamps at Lowes. The holes look small on those too. I’m not sure that I’ll be buying any more of this model. When it comes to clamping, I like them to be easy to use. Seems like the quality control is lacking.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Jim K's profile

Jim K

94 posts in 3161 days

#6 posted 02-13-2010 03:34 AM


I was out in the shed an hour ago i took the threaded end off. Looked at the round piece at the end of the threads. The casting is very rough and tomorrow I will file the inside of the round piece at the end of the threads.

Hey rich I don’t think it matters if the bessey clamps were bought at Lowes or wherever. The three Bessey clamps I have 1 was from Lowes the other 2 I got from

View 459fitter's profile


30 posts in 3090 days

#7 posted 02-13-2010 07:42 AM

The threaded end or stationary end of the pipe should not have any effect on the moving end of the clamp. Most likely you ended up with cheap import pipe which has a crudely welded seam down its entire length. Rigid electrical conduit works very well as the seam is welded to a much higher standard, to allow wires to be pulled through with out damaging the insulation. Also the galvanized pipe will not stain your work pieces like the black will. I tried some 304 Stainless and had very poor luck as the stainless is to hard to get the clutches to bit into it. The electrical conduit will be more expensive but will yield better performance. Rockler sells some pretty nice pipe clamps for a decent price if you can find them on sale. I got a few pair awhile back for $13 a set, I think they have a 20% off one item sale until 2-14-10, might be worth checking out.


-- Andy ---- Missoula, MT

View Phillywood's profile


16 posts in 3049 days

#8 posted 02-13-2010 09:20 AM

well, guys I wonder why you are still hanging on to an inferior product. why not call bessy and let them know that you are having this problem and let them replace the pipw clamps you all have. Also, if you have Big Lot stores in your town, sometimes check them out and they bring good discountinued clamps. but if It wer me I insist on someone replacing them for me, since we will use them for a long time. It’s not like a soda that youwon’t like the taste and you go buy another one. I know it took me almost 26 years to accumulate what i have for wood working though, unless most of youguys have special funds set aside for this expensive hubby of ours.

View Jim K's profile

Jim K

94 posts in 3161 days

#9 posted 02-14-2010 07:05 AM


I can put this issue to bed this morning I Sanded the casting on the movable put of the fixed end of the clamps. after using a rat tail file then medium grit sandpaper the clamps worked just fine.


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