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I hate Bessey clamps

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 04-15-2016 07:18 PM 1360 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

3926 posts in 2703 days


04-15-2016 07:18 PM

I have 6 Bessey bar clamps and I curse them when I have to use them. They are heavy and trying to hold it in place while turning the screw is an exercise in frustration. The teeth don’t want to grip the movable jaw until I fuss around with it. The screw runs out without tightening so I have to turn the screw back out and reposition the jaws again. This can be very annoying when trying to hold glued parts in alignment and tighten a heavy clamp. I revert to my Harbor Freight bar clamps and the job is done.


20 replies so far

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

623 posts in 1412 days


#1 posted 04-15-2016 07:32 PM

Why not donate them to a good home? I’ll take them off your hands and will even pay shipping.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2527 days


#2 posted 04-15-2016 07:33 PM



Why not donate them to a good home? I ll take them off your hands and will even pay shipping.

- Kazooman

dang u you were faster than me.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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Kazooman

623 posts in 1412 days


#3 posted 04-15-2016 07:55 PM


Why not donate them to a good home? I ll take them off your hands and will even pay shipping.

- Kazooman

dang u you were faster than me.

- bonesbr549

You snooze, you lose. Those clamps are mine! They will look nice on the rack next to my eight four footers.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4852 posts in 2273 days


#4 posted 04-15-2016 08:22 PM

Parallel or F style bar clamps? Which model? The more I use them, I favor the Revo Jr. clamps. They are smaller and easier to engage than the big K body Revo’s.
For some jobs though, the larger clamp pad and rubber handles win the day and I use the Revo’s.

If you lever the handle toward the bar as you tighten them they engage more quickly, but I know what you mean about them being temperamental.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View DMC1903's profile

DMC1903

243 posts in 1787 days


#5 posted 04-15-2016 08:26 PM

I feel your pain & frustration, those clamps have made a simple glue very chaotic.
Oh ya, Disclaimer…. My clamps are glue free and I do know how they work.
Just not happy wth their performance

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

976 posts in 913 days


#6 posted 04-15-2016 08:56 PM

Betcha they’re Bessy ‘heavy duty’ with the accent on heavy. Try med or light duty before giving up!

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2591 days


#7 posted 04-15-2016 10:09 PM

I don’t use anything but Bessey’s. Yes, they can be a little tricky sometimes, but they’re far superior to anything else.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2227 posts in 1906 days


#8 posted 04-15-2016 10:54 PM

The K body clamps are tricky but once you know the trick they are somewhat less frustrating, I admit I have swore at them during glue up many time but what other choices do we have, these clamps are the only ones I know that can distribute even pressure with their extra-large jaws.
My biggest beef is with the old handles and how slippery they can get ,I just bought some high friction tape to wrap the handles with,we will see how it works.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5170 posts in 2654 days


#9 posted 04-15-2016 11:17 PM

I have about 30 of the Bessy’s…I use all of them…None better…”nuff said”....

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

914 posts in 1553 days


#10 posted 04-16-2016 03:08 AM

Sorry to hear about the clamps. I’ve had mixed results with Bessey clamps. I’ve had a couple of their (rather expensive) clamps fail on me and Bessey wouldn’t replace them. But I’ve had one of their thicker medium duty bar clamps and that one works great. And a couple of their 6 inch C clamps are still going strong.

Oddly, I’ve only had one Harbor Freight bar clamp fail on me. Out of more than a dozen and several years. Their deep throat C clamps on the other hand…

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3665 posts in 1180 days


#11 posted 04-16-2016 03:12 AM

I’ll agree, they’re heavy but I’ve experienced none of the other problems you speak of. My harbor freight quick clamps won’t clamp, the clutch plates in the handle just won’t hold, a few of them I’ve modified work a little better but no where near what I would consider good. I have some rockwell clamps too, similar to the bessey f bodies and the bar is good, the internal ridges on the castings are crap, they will let go at the most inopportune times and what really stinks is unlike the harbor freight clamps, they were expensive.

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

914 posts in 1553 days


#12 posted 04-16-2016 05:09 AM

bigblockyeti: If the Harbor Freight bar clamps aren’t working properly just return them to the store. They’ve been good at replacing broken clamps.

I should add that I’ve also used their plastic jawed clamps are awful. Their regular C-clamps are pretty good but their deep throat (like the 8 and inch throat) clamps inevitably bend and then snap.

My favorite clamp is this really thick Irwin bar clamp I got somewhere. Heavy as hell but very tough.

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

728 posts in 2525 days


#13 posted 04-16-2016 11:43 AM

Besseys are my go to for square and accurate glue ups. In my opinion they are the best available for my purposes. Their ability to remain parallel and give great clamping pressure overrides any minor insignificant flaws either real or perceived. I am glad that you found a clamp you like with the Harbor Freight. For me and my 40 various Bessey products, I think I’m OK where I am.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View xeddog's profile

xeddog

113 posts in 2467 days


#14 posted 04-16-2016 05:16 PM

I use the big Bessey parallel jaw clamps, and yeah, they take a little practice to get a good technique going for you, and an understanding of just how they work. Hold the screw handle away from the bar to slide the moveable clamp, hold it towards the bar to engage and tighten. Once you get your technique down they are not as hard to manage. If you need a good, strong, square, reliable clamp, these parallel jaw clamps are the way to go.

I also have 6 Bessey 18” Quick Clamps that I got at a big box store close-out a few years ago. Paid $5 apiece for them. For a project that fits their size, they are GREAT and I wish I had at least 6 more (at least!!).

Lately I decided to try the Rockler Aluminum bar clamps so I got 4 of the 3’ clamps when they were on sale. I have to say that I am starting to use them more often now. Especially on the mid-sized projects that are sized between my Quick-Clamps and the big boys. But overall, the Besseys are still the goto clamp.

I have tried Jorgenson HD F-style clamps too, but found that I don’t use them until I run out of all of the others which, with the addition of the Rockler Aluminum clamps, is much less often.

I am with the others that will take them off your hands if you don’t want them. Gladly.

Wayne

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3926 posts in 2703 days


#15 posted 04-16-2016 06:08 PM



Parallel or F style bar clamps? Which model? The more I use them, I favor the Revo Jr. clamps. They are smaller and easier to engage than the big K body Revo s.
For some jobs though, the larger clamp pad and rubber handles win the day and I use the Revo s.

If you lever the handle toward the bar as you tighten them they engage more quickly, but I know what you mean about them being temperamental.

- pintodeluxe


I have 4 of the K body clamps and two of the Revo Jr. clamps. All my other clamps are HF and Jorgenson F style clamps plus 2 pipe clamps. I have no issue with the latter clamps. Most of my clamping work is light to medium force clamping, but heavy clamping is sometimes needed. My favorite clamps are the Jorgensons. I have had them for about 50 years when I bought them during my boat building period. I have some of the “trigger” style clamps, but to me they are worthless for serious clamping.

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