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Pipe clamp lenghts?

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Forum topic by Beginningwoodworker posted 05-10-2011 03:07 AM 2532 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2417 days


05-10-2011 03:07 AM

I am going to start buying some pipe clamps, I am wondering sizes should I start off with? I am going to buy 10 ft black pipe from the home center.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker


12 replies so far

View juniorjock's profile

juniorjock

1930 posts in 2510 days


#1 posted 05-10-2011 03:16 AM

The last time I bought pipe for clamps, I got the 4’ sections of pipe and picked up a few couplings. That way I didn’t have just one big long clamp. I can use them at the 4’ mark or fit them together for an 8’ piece.
- JJ

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lew

10152 posts in 2500 days


#2 posted 05-10-2011 03:16 AM

CJ,
My longest pipe clamp is about 5’. I took all my various lengths to the plumbing supply place and had them put threads on BOTH ends of the pipes. Then I got a bunch of “nipples” or couplers so I can screw the pipes together and make longer clamps, when I need them. My pipes range in length from 2’ to 5’ long.
Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View drewnahant's profile

drewnahant

222 posts in 1833 days


#3 posted 05-10-2011 03:26 AM

I think it really depends on what types of projects you want to do. If you plan to do a lot of cabinet face frames, or large table tops, the big ones are great. If you plan to glue up a lot of small panels, you want a ton of 2 and 4 foot clamps. I have all 2, 4 and 6 foot clamps, and have only needed longer ones a couple times, then I just couple two together.

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WayneC

12302 posts in 2842 days


#4 posted 05-10-2011 03:32 AM

View therookie's profile

therookie

887 posts in 1572 days


#5 posted 05-10-2011 03:56 AM

I just bought some from harbor freight and have (4) 5’ clamps with the feet to keep them off of the bench for glue ups then I am getting more with out feet for top clamps.

-- http://aewoodworks.webs.com

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Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2417 days


#6 posted 05-10-2011 04:00 AM

I mostly just build furniture.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View BTKS's profile

BTKS

1971 posts in 2209 days


#7 posted 05-10-2011 04:19 AM

Like some of the others have said. Thread both ends of your pipe and couple them when you need longer clamps. I’ve noticed I rarely use a clamp much longer than 4’. Most of the time 1 and 2 foot bar clamps work the best for what I do in the shop. On project sites 3 and 4’ are much more common. I prefer 3/4in pipe instead of 1/2. Much stronger and not much heavier.
Most box stores or plumbing stores will thread the ends as a service, ie no charge. I have gone to steel yards and picked up 20’ lengths cheaper then had a machine / welding shop cut and thread various lengths for me pretty cheap. Two stops but it saved some money and I got to see some guys I knew.
Hope this helps, Later BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

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docholladay

1287 posts in 1803 days


#8 posted 05-10-2011 04:51 AM

Personally, I would recommend to go with the 3/4” size and don’t even bother with the 1/2” variety. The 3/4” will not flex as much as 1/2” pipe. As for lengths, for my purposes, a pair of 3’ and a pair of 5’ length clamps will cover 99 percent of all cabinet projects. For shorter applications, I prefer the F-style bar clamps and the Irwin quick clamps. For larger projects, you may want some longer, but that combination will cover a lot of applications.

Doc

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

12320 posts in 1850 days


#9 posted 05-10-2011 04:54 AM

I have found , like the others here, that buying shorter pieces of pipe with both ends threaded is the best way to go. Just add a coupler and you have a longer clamp. I made 2- 24” and 4- 48” clamps. Then, when I need a longer one I often take the ends off one of the other clamps and turn the other end around and add the coupler and I have a longer clamp made from the standard one. I use the Harbor Freight clamp ends with the 3/4” black pipe (because it will not slip like galvanized). I have found that after a bit of use, the little grabber starts to slip on the HF clamps because they are not hardened and the teeth flatten out. I sharpen the teeth with a 3 corner file and I’m good to go for a few more years.

If you are going to buy pipe in 10 ft sections, buy 2, have each it cut to 2-4’ and 1- 2’ section and have all the ends threaded. I have found that a 5’ clamp will stick into my little workspace too much. I use the 2’ clamps the most.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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rustfever

639 posts in 2054 days


#10 posted 05-10-2011 05:19 AM

Simple way to make longer clamps, use chain.

Start with 2 pieces of 3/4” pipe about 3’ long. On one, place the screw asssembly. On the other, the adjustable ‘foot’. Then drop a piece of chain thru both pipes. Stick a bolt thru the chain at each end so it cannot slip. By changing the location of the bolt, you change the length of the clamp.

I’ve used this system to clamp system to pull cabinets over 30’ long into position .

The only secret is finding the chain. Your local big box store probably will NOT have the chain you will need. My supply house has several chains that will fit.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1728 days


#11 posted 05-10-2011 05:34 AM

I have 52”, 40” and 30” pipe clamps this covers 48”,36”and 24” for most general clamping. Plus I can couple pipes for longer lengths. I cut them the longer lengths to take into account for the pipe clamps ends.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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hairy

2108 posts in 2276 days


#12 posted 05-10-2011 03:02 PM

I use this foam insulation on black pipe, the black can come off and get on your project.

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

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