New to woodworking and would like some input...

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Forum topic by SheboyganWI posted 05-19-2011 10:32 AM 1545 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SheboyganWI's profile


12 posts in 2570 days

05-19-2011 10:32 AM

Hi everyone…

I have built things but i would like to get more into building/creating some cool things for around the house.

This is by far the BEST website/group out there. I have only been a member for a short time but every time i log on i just love seeing the projects others are completing and have gained a lot of inspiration. I also ienjoy reading the tips others have to offer..GOOD STUFF..

Now..The reason for my post/question. I have spent a lot of money within the past couple months on some new/ new used woodworking tools..My wife has put a stop to that..

I would like to purchase some cabinet clamps but can not afford all of the ones i want. They have some local at a big box store that are 24” 36” and 48” Jorgensen cabinet clamps. My question for you all is out of the three if you were to buy only one set to start which size would you recommend and why?

Thank you for your time,

19 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3786 days

#1 posted 05-19-2011 12:43 PM

Ron, in answer to your question I find that I use my 24” clamps the most. I find that I will invariably use most of them whenever I start glue ups on a cabinet. If you are going to build cabinets and larger furniture projects you will definitely need longer clamps at times.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2781 posts in 3401 days

#2 posted 05-19-2011 01:17 PM

ditto scott’s comments. Harbor freight has some bar clamps that work surprisingly well. If I had the cash and could do it again though I’d invest in a bunch of K body clamps. Not all but a bunch. They are so convenient for edge to edge glue-ups.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View KnickKnack's profile


1088 posts in 3530 days

#3 posted 05-19-2011 02:19 PM

I’m always shocked by the price of clamps.
You could consider making your own – it’s fun, good practice, cheaper, and you can make whatever size/quantity you want. There are a number of projects here of clamps, some of which I’ve linked to from the clamps that I made.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View cornflake's profile


36 posts in 2654 days

#4 posted 05-19-2011 02:30 PM

also the harbor freight pipe clamps are ony like 10 bucks and you can buy any size pipe you want.

see the recent tool reviews for these clamps

View Xtreme90's profile


193 posts in 3156 days

#5 posted 05-19-2011 02:34 PM

I deff agree above. 24” seems to be pretty common use for today’s woodworking. I would also consider sticking with your brand name clamps too. Irwin, jorgenson’s, woodriver. Not that the harbor freight are junk, I just certainly don’t get the clamp pressure and results like my big brand name clamps. :)!! Just my 2 cents..

-- "I don't cut wood. I machine it!" G.M. The wood machinest

View brtech's profile


1028 posts in 2886 days

#6 posted 05-19-2011 04:12 PM

The parallel clamps go on sale. Wait for a sale. For example, Woodcraft has their Woodriver 40” on sale for $33.50. Rockler often has a sale on the K body.

I’ll offer a slightly different opinion on size. You can always clamp something small with a longer clamp, but you can’t always clamp something large with a shorter clamp. So, when you start, buy big, then get small ones.

View skippyland's profile


158 posts in 2655 days

#7 posted 05-19-2011 04:34 PM

I suppose this echoes the above replies but, it really depends on your type of projects….maybe as a rookie, you’ll not be doing real large assemblies, so 24/36” should handle your needs. If you’re like me , when you don’t need the 48” clamps, that’s when they go on sale!! Good luck, Ron, and welcome to Jocks!

-- Skip from Batavia, purveyor of fine and exotic sawdust & chips.

View TimL's profile


36 posts in 2738 days

#8 posted 05-19-2011 05:04 PM

Bar clamps that use pipe are the way to go. The clamping pressure is constant and to change from a 24 inch clamp length to a 60 inch clamp is a 6 dollar pipe upgrade. This will come in handy especially if your better half has put the “clamps” on your spending. Totally agree with the brand name thing purely for the release mechanisms and iron used in the casting process. Nothing will ruin an evening like a trip to the store in the middle of a glue up cause you bent a cheap I-Beam style clamp of broke the casting on your roadside tent sale clamp. Small clamps have a place and are a needed items, but for anything over 12 inches the pressure you need to transfer requires a little more oomph. So to answer your question pipe clamps with 3 and a half foot pipe.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3155 days

#9 posted 05-19-2011 05:36 PM

I find that 24” will get the most use. However, it’s surprising how often I need a 25” clamp :(

As for brand, I bought one of several different brands to see which I preferred before spending a lot. I found that I really liked the Jet clamps best, with Bessey’s second. I really didn’t like the Jorgensens, they would frequently get jammed. It happens so often that Jorgensen even has a FAQ on their site on how to unjam them. However, I saw some Jorgensens recently that looked different, they may have a new, improved version out.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 2635 days

#10 posted 05-19-2011 05:40 PM

The Jorgensen Cabinet clamps are currently on sale at Menards. Don’t have a Menards nearby? No problem! Take the Menards sale flyer (I believe the clamps are on page 12. I just took in the front page and page 12) to your local Home Depot, and they will match the price and take off an additional 10%! I believe the 24” are $20, and the 36” are $25 in the flyer. Make sure you also take a copy of the Home Depot price match policy, which states they will match the price of any competitor (But does not specify local only). I used it at my local HD, and the closest Menards is several hundred miles away.

View SheboyganWI's profile


12 posts in 2570 days

#11 posted 05-19-2011 05:55 PM

Thank you for the input. I Appreciate it…

I guess i was vague on the style. The ones i were referring to are the Jorgensen Cabinet Master Clamps…
They start at $20.00 per 24” clamp and go up to $29.99 per 48”. They are on sale and i would like to start with a set of these and was wondering on the size all would recommend..

I will though how ever, take the advise from all and purchase some different size pipe clamps to have on hand.

I will be building some cabinets in the new future.

Thank you…

View SheboyganWI's profile


12 posts in 2570 days

#12 posted 05-19-2011 05:58 PM


Funny that you mention that. Thats the store i was referring to and the style clamps.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2781 posts in 3401 days

#13 posted 05-19-2011 06:34 PM

I’ll have to try that

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View SheboyganWI's profile


12 posts in 2570 days

#14 posted 05-19-2011 06:39 PM

I shared the link to show the style of the clamp since i was vague before..

They are the same clamps that are on sale locally and i wanted some input as to what size one would recommend purchasing as a first set..

I would really like to buy two 24” and two 48” but that will cost me around 100 dollars that i don’t have at the moment..Self employed and its been slow and i have some invoices out there that are not getting paid to fast..Have to watch what i do have until they come in.

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3541 days

#15 posted 05-19-2011 06:44 PM

I own 250 plus clamps I would guess that half are Harbor freight pipe clamps .I buy the 3/4” clamps when their on sale sometimes as low as $3.95 each then I buy 20 or so at a time. Their your best bang for the buck.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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