pipe clamps

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Forum topic by Muddler posted 2711 days ago 1979 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Muddler's profile


32 posts in 2725 days

2711 days ago

hey guys, I gotta newbie question for ya -

I’ve got a couple of projects coming up that will require some long-ish clamps, but am not ready to fork out the coin on the higher end parallels. I was going to get a couple sets of pipe clamps but have heard about the staining issue with the iron pipe. Is there a better pipe to use with the pipe clamp fixtures or do you just have to mind your P’s and Q’s during the glue-up? I’d rather buy locally but I know Rockler is selling the zinc plated pipe sections for an option.

thanks in advance for any advice…

-- ...straight lines or tight lines, either will make me happy! Muddler

13 replies so far

View Drew1House's profile


425 posts in 2711 days

#1 posted 2711 days ago

I know you can get zinc pipe at any plumbing supply house but wonder if the rough surface will prevent the clamp heads from sticking in one spot (may help actually) but it seems if this were the case many would be useing them already rather than the black iron pipes. I was also thinking about taking some degreaser to the black iron pipe letting it rust a bit and coating them with hammerite spray paint or even just doing it direct (I was thinking the rust would make the paint stick better. May have to experiment here.


-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Karson's profile


34869 posts in 3024 days

#2 posted 2711 days ago

Just put a piece of wax paper under the clamp and no rust.

The woodwhisper talks about clamps in the current issue #12 I think. The one where he is wearing the LumberJock shirt.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Max's profile


55956 posts in 2897 days

#3 posted 2711 days ago

I agree with Karson, using some wax paper on top of the clamps works well. Also I would use a block of wood on each pad of the clamp (wider than the pad). It will help stop the indentations that the pipe clamps can leave.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Dollarbill's profile


91 posts in 2762 days

#4 posted 2711 days ago

Karson is correct though wax paper cost money. If you go to almost any contractors office, they have dozens of rolls of plans that they bid on and didn’t get the job and the large rolls are thrown away. Works great, I just tear them off the wood when dry and hit the glue and paper spot with my paint scraper (got to do that anyway).

If you are gluing up panels, I have found that most cheap clamps ( I can’t afford Bessie) do not
push at a perfect 90 degrees so you can end up with a bowed or cupped panel. To solve this problem I put a dowel the same thickness as the boards that I am using at the front and back of each clamp jaw and the dowel pushes from the center.

I have used pipe clamps on lots and lots of panels and with the dowels I get a great job with NO cupping or bowing and no clamp pads to fool with. Bill

-- Make Dust

View scottb's profile


3647 posts in 2951 days

#5 posted 2711 days ago

Dowels! Yes!, thanks for that tip. could have used it yesterday… but better now than never.

can also use saran wrap or blue tape on the clamps to keep the glue from leaching black stains up into the wood.

But when your in the plumbing dept picking up new pipe, check out the other pipe against the black iron. an extra dollar now will save money, time and possible frustration in the meantime.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2938 days

#6 posted 2711 days ago

I have one galvanized pipe clamp…I’ve never used it because as soon as you tighten it the end slips. It just will not tighten. I always plane my wood after a glue up so haven’t had any stain problem.

View BassBully's profile


259 posts in 2721 days

#7 posted 2711 days ago

Degrease the clamps and put masking tape on them. Very easy.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View Corndog's profile


30 posts in 2749 days

#8 posted 2711 days ago

Why do we have to make our lives difficult?
BassBully nailed it…simple an’ quick. No muss.No fuss.

-- I've got a bandsaw in my kitchen...

View Dollarbill's profile


91 posts in 2762 days

#9 posted 2711 days ago

I use “galvanized pipe and have never had a stain. No muss, no fuss, no tape.


-- Make Dust

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 2861 days

#10 posted 2711 days ago

I have 6 pipe clamps and use galvanized pipe

I also have some funky galvanized pipe that wants to slip too, but i just hold the little anti-slip thingies on the pipe clamps so they bite the pipe a little tighter and they quit slipping.

View tooljunky's profile


34 posts in 2734 days

#11 posted 2710 days ago

I have just waxed them before and not hade much trouble with stains. You can also spray on some clear sealer but it sratches off fast.


View clarkcustoms's profile


9 posts in 2717 days

#12 posted 2710 days ago

I use a brand of plasic thats found in grocery stores of all places called Seran wrap on my pipe clamps. You can wrap it around the pipes and the stuff stays put. Also it’s easy to sand off if if the glue sticks it to your project. I’m sure like me you’ll find several other uses around the shop for it.
Good Luck,
Jim at
Clark Customs

-- James Clark

View Shawn's profile


225 posts in 2777 days

#13 posted 2710 days ago

“I use “galvanized pipe and have never had a stain. No muss, no fuss, no tape.” – Bill

What he said

-- Cheers

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