LumberJocks

3/4" vs 1/2" pipe clamps

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Matt in Franklin posted 01-15-2014 07:53 PM 5975 views 2 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Matt in Franklin's profile

Matt in Franklin

294 posts in 1079 days


01-15-2014 07:53 PM

For woodworking, can somebody explain to me the practical difference between using 1/2” pipe clamps vs 3/4” pipe clamps?

I can understand if you happen to find some 3/4” pipe and you wanted to use it for clamps then you would need to have the 3/4” clamps, but if you were buying new pipe and new clamps, why would you choose to buy 3/4” over 1/2”? or would you?

I would be using pipe clamps for longer clamping applications (4-6 feet or more) and would prefer the lighter 1/2” pipe if there is no other good reason to use 3/4”.

Thanks in advance!

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks , http://instagram.com/mwawoodworks/, https://www.facebook.com/MWAWoodworks


39 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3114 days


#1 posted 01-15-2014 07:55 PM

3/4” pipes are stronger, more rigid and will flex less – especially in longer runs. they can exert more clamping pressure than the 1/2” pipes.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1222 posts in 1903 days


#2 posted 01-15-2014 08:01 PM

Also, depending on the make of the heads, there is more clampnig depth. Make sure you use black pipe. The galvanized pipe doesn’t allow for a good grip on the movable head.

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

View basswood's profile

basswood

261 posts in 1086 days


#3 posted 01-15-2014 08:11 PM

You can use 3/4” clamps for considerable loads. Not just in the jaws of the clamps, but also loads on top of the pipes.

I use pipe clamps by “double ending” them and clamping sawhorses together. One way I use this set up is as a portable table saw stand. The clamps allow me to level the saw on uneven terrain, etc.

-- http://www.basswoodmodular.com/Tri-Horse-Builder-Plans-p/thbp.htm

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3114 days


#4 posted 01-15-2014 08:20 PM

basswood – that is a pretty cool job-site setup you got there!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#5 posted 01-15-2014 08:27 PM

The 1/2” are certainly lighter and easier to handle. I’ve acquired enough
bar clamps I don’t use pipe clamps often anymore. Most of mine
are 3/4”. The 3/4” are good for gluing up table tops and things
like that where you may need to put some muscle on to close
the joints.

For assembling cases and furniture joinery the 1/2” are generally
adequate.

View basswood's profile

basswood

261 posts in 1086 days


#6 posted 01-15-2014 08:46 PM

@PurpLev, Thanks. That was my “things are slow in the shop” project last winter.

I started wanting to build a 3-legged sawhorse that would not wobble on uneven surfaces… and got a little carried away!

-- http://www.basswoodmodular.com/Tri-Horse-Builder-Plans-p/thbp.htm

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2084 days


#7 posted 01-15-2014 09:05 PM

Man, basswood, I love those horses! Took a look at your projects, not to be found. Hope you post on those, great idea!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View jeffwedekind's profile

jeffwedekind

139 posts in 2158 days


#8 posted 01-15-2014 09:13 PM

Matt, I use both and find the difference negligible. Good points by all though. Of course you can really “lay on” the pressure with 3/4, but when do we really need that. I too like the decreased weight of the 1/2’‘

Basswood, those are some cool horses. Love to see them in a project post. VERY ingenious!!

-- Jeff, eastern Wa

View basswood's profile

basswood

261 posts in 1086 days


#9 posted 01-15-2014 09:14 PM

@Smitty,

I haven’t put it in “projects” in my profile, but here is a thread about it, so I don’t take this thread too far off topic, it can be found here:

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/56778

-- http://www.basswoodmodular.com/Tri-Horse-Builder-Plans-p/thbp.htm

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2084 days


#10 posted 01-15-2014 09:40 PM

Matt;

The majority of the clamps I have are pipe clamps of ‘orange persuasion,’ and only one pair is 1/2” pipe. They’re a longer (5’ – ish) length, got them cheap. They do flex alot. So much that they’ll be my only pair of that size. I just prefer the 3/4” pipe for rigidity.

(Thanks, Basswood)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Matt in Franklin's profile

Matt in Franklin

294 posts in 1079 days


#11 posted 01-15-2014 09:45 PM

Thanks for all the input!

My primary purpose for these, as mentioned in my first post would be on longer applications where I dont have more expensive bar clamps with that kind of reach. Things like table tops or lengthwise on cabinets/casework.

I have one set of 3/4” Bessey H-style clamps (the one’s with the feet). So I’m committed to at least one 3/4” pipe.

I may buy a set of the half inch clamps and try the 1/2” pipe out. Maybe I’ll do 6 feet on each and just see how each one performs for my purposes.

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks , http://instagram.com/mwawoodworks/, https://www.facebook.com/MWAWoodworks

View Matt in Franklin's profile

Matt in Franklin

294 posts in 1079 days


#12 posted 01-15-2014 09:49 PM

Also, one other question…..

In terms of performance/safety, is it perfectly acceptable to have your pipe cut into, say 3 foot lengths and thread both ends so that you can couple two or three of them together? Or would it be better to have one solid length of pipe?

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks , http://instagram.com/mwawoodworks/, https://www.facebook.com/MWAWoodworks

View okwoodshop's profile

okwoodshop

448 posts in 2641 days


#13 posted 01-15-2014 10:14 PM

Matt, I have several pipe clamps on short pipe that I can thread together with couplers. They work just fine and never had a safety problem with them. Only thing the couplers won’t allow the material you are clamping to lie flat on the pipe. I have clamped together some big table tops and used both 3/4 and 1/2 clamps and they both work fine. If I was buying I would get the 1/2 just to save money and reduce weight. Luckily I found an old dairy that went out of business and the new owner allows me to take the old pipes out for free. some are 1/2 and some 3/4 so I just try to find either clamp on sale. You can never have to many clamps they say.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#14 posted 01-15-2014 10:18 PM

If you crank the clamps, watch for the couplers denting the
work as the pipe flexes. That’s the only issue I have
encountered with couplers. I just stick a wood pad under there.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1827 days


#15 posted 01-15-2014 10:45 PM

1/2” clamps will do everything that needs doing.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

showing 1 through 15 of 39 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com