How many clamps

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Forum topic by AbeFroman posted 06-18-2011 12:42 AM 4788 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2002 days

06-18-2011 12:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tools clamps quantity

I obviously know that there are so many different sizes and types of clamps. I wanted to know how many bar clamps people typically own?

How many 6”?

How bout one hand bar clamps like the irwin quick grips. Who has the best collection out there! Quantity/type, details wanted!

12 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

17966 posts in 2032 days

#1 posted 06-18-2011 12:49 AM

no bar clamps. I use the pipe clamps. I have several kinds, but will only buy Pony. I wish I had 100 more.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View AbeFroman's profile


4 posts in 2002 days

#2 posted 06-18-2011 12:54 AM

Pipe clamp sizes, how many, and types encouraged too!

View Minorhero's profile


372 posts in 2069 days

#3 posted 06-18-2011 01:02 AM

The amount of clamps changes depending on what size glue-ups you typically do. If you build boxes and cuttingboards you are not going to need as many big clamps versus if you do chests and bed frames.

That being said this is what I have.

About 8 pipe clamps 24 to 48”

Four 12” f-style bar clamps

Six 18” f-style bar clamps

3 Irwin quick clamps 12” long

4 spring clamps

4 corner clamps

I do not have enough clamps right now and frequently will use every clamp of an appropriate size on a work piece and still wish I had more. I build small pieces of furniture and boxes. When I do break down and buy more it will be pipe clamps. Most of my f-style clamps I bought from harbor freight and I am quite happy with them.

View lew's profile


11340 posts in 3219 days

#4 posted 06-18-2011 01:39 AM

The Sausage King of Chicago can have as many clamps as he wants.

I. too, have mostly pipe clamps because of the cost of bar clamps. Mine range in length from about 18” to 48”. I have each end of the pipes threaded so I can use couplers to make them longer, if needed.

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

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Don W

17966 posts in 2032 days

#5 posted 06-18-2011 02:20 AM

I probably have 20ish 3/4 in pipe clamps. (had more but my son wound up with a bunch) Pipes I have an assortment of lengths fro 12” to 6 foot. I try to buy one every few visits to home depot. Ebay never has any deals and used ones at flee markets are usually not cheap. I have several different kinds I have picked up, but unless they are dirt cheap, I stick with Pony. They are $13 ea at home depot and 3/4 is another few bucks.

Whats your objective to the question? What type of clamp largely depends on what you’re holding. Clamps are like any tool, good quality counts. They can get expensive, but you just can not work without them.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View WayneC's profile


12642 posts in 3561 days

#6 posted 06-18-2011 02:21 AM

I’m afraid to count them….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Don W's profile

Don W

17966 posts in 2032 days

#7 posted 06-18-2011 02:23 AM

once you get them finding a place ( and a way) to store them is another challenge. But that’s another blog!!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3208 days

#8 posted 06-18-2011 03:21 AM

A pictures worth a thousand words, here’s 4 thousand.


View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 2515 days

#9 posted 06-18-2011 03:57 AM

I am also curious as to your question’s objective. Are you trying to figure out what sorts of clamps you might need, or do you just want to see “who has the most”?

I have built my clamp collection up over time, as they do get expensive if you’re buying more than a few at once, depending on what they are.

I’ve probably got somewhere around 30-40-clamps depending on how you count or don’t count little spring clamps. And there have been times where I wish I had “just 2-more” of a certain size, depending on the project. When that’s happened, I’ll use the next size up, if they’re available.

I have basically bought them as I’ve needed them, or think I will need them.

I have no idea if you are trying to build your collection, or if you’re going to blow us away with a shot of 300-clamps in your shop. With that being said, I would encourage you to always do a dry clamp up before applying the glue. That’ll let you know where issues might lie, and if you have enough clamps for the job, or not. If not, you can always go buy a couple more, or maybe borrow a couple from someone. It’s definitely better to figure that out before the glue is in the joint! I would also recommend the use of cauls if you’re really tightening something down so that you’re more evenly distributing the clamping pressure across the work piece, as well as not damaging/denting the face of the work piece.

And your size and scope of projects will certainly dictate your need for a certain number and types of clamps.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View KBX500's profile


35 posts in 2026 days

#10 posted 06-18-2011 04:48 AM

I have a variety of styles and sizes. Not necessarily by choice, but as a result of buying what was on sale, and what I could afford, at the time. Four Craftsman f-body style, four Craftsman pistol grip, eight wooden hand screw, two corner clamps, twenty or so C-clamps that I use with cauls when gluing up and lots of spring clamps.

I mostly glue up shelves, entertainment centers, toy boxes, window seats, some cabinets, etc., so I probably have 25 or more 3/4” Jorgensen Pony pipe clamps, with plenty of pipe in 16”, 28” and 40” lengths. Like Lew, I thread both ends of each pipe for when I need more length.

I’ve long wanted some Bessey K-Body parallel jaw clamps, but they’ve always been out of my price range. After years of looking for used ones and being too late to get to them when I do find them – they really sell fast – I finally bought two 12” and four 24”, all used, and I recently found some used 40” Besseys. 14 of them at $25 each. A lucky find. Now I need to locate some more 12” and 24”.


View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 2515 days

#11 posted 06-18-2011 05:03 AM

I have always tried to buy my clamps on-sale as well. I don’t know that any of my clamps were purchased at regular price, other than 4-spring clamps from HD that were $0.99/each.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View sparks44pay's profile


24 posts in 1998 days

#12 posted 06-19-2011 06:01 AM

Buy the clamps you need to to the project you are planning. Next time you start a project buy more if needed, by clamps that are on clearance if you can afford them even if you don’t have a project for them at the time. Do this and eventually you won’t need anymore clamps. I’ve been doing this for years, some day I might have enough, maybe. There are no golden rules for what tools you should have. You just purchase what you need for the task at hand.

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