How to spread with jet clamps?

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Forum topic by toddbeaulieu posted 12-15-2013 01:33 PM 1575 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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814 posts in 3005 days

12-15-2013 01:33 PM

Admittedly this is a rare need but it’s bugging me that I can’t figure out what is probably ridiculously simple:

How do you reverse the head on a jet clamp to use it for spreading? Yesterday I spent over 15 minutes trying to figure it out with no luck. Getting the head off is simple, but I couldn’t get it on backwards. I googled it. Went to their website. Searched here. wtf?


7 replies so far

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2515 days

#1 posted 12-15-2013 02:08 PM

On Amazon, one reviewer says he was able to switch around the threaded end to turn it into a spreader. My only guess is he was able to loosen and take off the stop, take off the threaded head, reverse it and put it back on the bar.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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1222 posts in 2438 days

#2 posted 12-15-2013 02:16 PM

Remove the stop from the end, slide off the movable jaw and reverse. Make sure you’re pulling up on the slide lever when you slide it back on.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View toddbeaulieu's profile


814 posts in 3005 days

#3 posted 12-16-2013 07:38 PM

Tom, I tried! I really did! I tried all sorts of variations of holding the head at different angles, lifting the lever, not lifting the lever.

The bar goes part way in, but then either gets hung up on a large piece of the movable mechanism or one or more of the springs that the lever engages. I tried poking and prodding inside to try to get it past. Tried levering the springs out of the way, or that big piece. I even reset the whole thing a couple of times by putting it back on the right way … which of course slides right on. ! got nowhere.

View Hammerthumb's profile


2844 posts in 1976 days

#4 posted 12-16-2013 09:52 PM

Take another clamp and slide the head on the second clamp the right direction. Line up the bars of both clamps and slide the head from one clamp to the other using the second clamp as a guide to keep the mechanism open. Hope you can understand this.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View wiwildcat's profile


58 posts in 1963 days

#5 posted 12-16-2013 10:10 PM

I have done it. Requires a little jiggling the clamp when you slide it on. Sometimes i have to depress the lever and tilt the head of the clamp (part you revove and install backward). Some that you have to fool with until the ah ha moment. Very hard to explain in writing.

-- Wisconsin Wildcat

View justahobby's profile


19 posts in 2578 days

#6 posted 12-17-2013 12:27 AM


It’s not the easiest thing to do. My first try at switching the head around to spreader action took at least ten minutes of trying on a few different clamps, without success. Then I tried using a long-handled 3/16” straight screwdriver, as you seem to have. I edged the spring coils over first (driver not req’d, but helpful), then with the last coil of the spring just on the bar, move the driver blade to the other side of the bar to lever the solid catch and outlet end past the bar edge. I’ve tried Paul’s end-to-end method and can’t seem to master keeping the bars in line. I’m down to ~30 seconds with the flat screwdriver. Back to compressive mode is a little faster, and does not require the driver.

I’d also note that no review or demo video I could find shows this operation, smoothly or otherwise. :-)

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814 posts in 3005 days

#7 posted 12-17-2013 10:28 PM

I was FINALLY able to get it!

I tried the back to back bar trick without luck.

I can now get the head on in 30 seconds or less with the Wildcat Method™. I insert it part way, lift the lever and then lightly wiggle the lever while wiggling the the whole thing loosely. It just makes it way through the maze.

Thanks for the help all.

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