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Forum topic by LucasWoods posted 10-21-2014 12:13 AM 2759 views 0 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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LucasWoods

220 posts in 800 days


10-21-2014 12:13 AM

So I am looking into bar clamps and I need everyone’s opinion on best brand? I am looking for 48in or 36in clamps because I will hopefully be glueing up a workbench top soon. I think my top will be somewhere between 24 in and 36 in wide.

I have hear a lot about jorgensens are good?
Where do you get your bar clamps from? eBay? Harbour freight?
Steel or aluminum? Is there a difference?

-- Colorado Springs, CO


47 replies so far

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3025 posts in 1264 days


#1 posted 10-21-2014 12:23 AM

might be helpful if you could specify a little more. For instance, pipe clamps are the cheapest and strongest, but have their disadvantages. For most glue-ups, I find parallel clamps the best, but they’re, by far, the most expensive. A lot of folks use f-style clamps, but I don’t like them and only use in particular applications. There are some pretty cool aluminum bar clamps out now.

My thoughts
Best parallel clamps: Jet, but only buy them in December when they’re on half price sale. Peachtree has some Bessey clones that are a good price.
Pipe Clamps: I like the Bessey with the feet, but the Harbor Freight ones are really inexpensive. Nice to be able to have chance to do really long clamping without spending a fortune
Quick grip clamps: Irwins are really convenient to have for a lot of applications, but not glue ups.
aluminum: I might invest in these Dubuque Aluminum Clamps when I next need some new bar clamps.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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LucasWoods

220 posts in 800 days


#2 posted 10-21-2014 12:38 AM

Ok I have heard pipe and bar clamps. I wishi could give a better explanation but I am new to woodworking and haven’t picked what bench I want to go with yet except I will be about 2 feet wide and about 5 feet long. And idk what the top will be something that is hard and inexpensive

-- Colorado Springs, CO

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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1264 days


#3 posted 10-21-2014 12:52 AM

If the clamp has to clamp the 5’ length (instead of just across the 2’ width), then pipe clamps are the way to go. You have more options for 2’.

Good pipe clamp
Get some 3/4 black pipe at the hardware store, get one (or both) ends threaded, and you’re in business.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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paxorion

1102 posts in 1512 days


#4 posted 10-21-2014 01:04 AM

CharlesA is right. For the sizing you are looking for, pipe clamps are the most inexpensive way to go. I have 8 of them but be warned, they sit unused. Aluminum bar clamps would be lighter to use. Paul Sellers uses them in his workbench series. F-style clamps aren’t necessarily going to exert the pressure you need.

A good thread for you follow is one that had a lot of discussion about go-to clamps.

-- paxorion

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LucasWoods

220 posts in 800 days


#5 posted 10-21-2014 01:04 AM

I just clamps to go the width. I also don’t have a very large budget. How many clamps would I need to go the width but put even pressure along a 60” length?

-- Colorado Springs, CO

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exelectrician

2327 posts in 1894 days


#6 posted 10-21-2014 01:05 AM

One word needed here, Bessey.

I have used others and the difference is night and day, life is too short to work with tools that simply do not get the job done right the first time.

I have never paid full price for one of my Bessey clamps, I shop CL constantly, and took advantage of the great Lowe’s clearance sale.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2575 posts in 1724 days


#7 posted 10-21-2014 01:06 AM

If I ever need any more bar clamps, I will buy the Dubuques that Charles suggested. However, if money is tight and you are only doing a work bench top, then pipe clamps may be your better option at this point in time.

-- Art

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waho6o9

7179 posts in 2043 days


#8 posted 10-21-2014 01:16 AM

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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1264 days


#9 posted 10-21-2014 01:21 AM

I’m not sure “new to woodworking” and “building your own bar clamps” necessarily go together. Or, at least for me, when I was new, I wanted to make some stuff instead of constantly making stuff to make stuff. But to each his own . . .

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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paxorion

1102 posts in 1512 days


#10 posted 10-21-2014 01:25 AM



I m not sure “new to woodworking” and “building your own bar clamps” necessarily go together. Or, at least for me, when I was new, I wanted to make some stuff instead of constantly making stuff to make stuff. But to each his own . . .

- CharlesA

Yes…sometimes it makes WAY more sense to pay rather than put in time to offset pay.

-- paxorion

View LucasWoods's profile

LucasWoods

220 posts in 800 days


#11 posted 10-21-2014 01:48 AM

So I would buy the pipe clamps then go to like Home Depot and buy a pipe with the length I want and size?

-- Colorado Springs, CO

View Tugboater78's profile (online now)

Tugboater78

2450 posts in 1658 days


#12 posted 10-21-2014 01:54 AM

Harbor frieght aluminum bar clamps are decent for most applications and are fairly cheap. They come in 24”+ sizes but pipe clamps are a decent goto.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3044 days


#13 posted 10-21-2014 01:56 AM

As others have said Pipe clamps give you the most bang for the buck. You might get black pipe about 40” long threaded on both ends,this way you can get a pipe coupler and join to pipes together for longer clamping operations.
you will need about 6 clamps to clamp up a work bench .

http://www.harborfreight.com/2-piece-3-4-quarter-inch-heavy-duty-cast-iron-pipe-clamp-31255.html

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Grandpa

3256 posts in 2142 days


#14 posted 10-21-2014 01:57 AM

you buy pipe clamps without the pipe. I have never seen new pipe clamps with pipe. Not saying they are not available but have never seen them. I buy clamps then go to ACE and buy the pipe. My ACE will thread it reasonable. I buy a 21 ft. joint of 3/4 inch pipe and have it cut and threaded. I don’t pay to get all mine threaded on both ends because you usually need just a few long clamps. I get black pipe because it works the best. The clamp people recommend black steel pipe. Be aware that the pipes can leave a black mark on your wood. I like Pony clamps the best but own different kinds. Harbor Freight markets some. Lots of people sell them. Bar clamps are made with a bar that looks somewhat like a small I-beam with notches on the sides. The sliding end locks into these notches. They are the best because they don’t flex but they cost the most too. You usually pay for what you get.

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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1264 days


#15 posted 10-21-2014 02:05 AM

HD carries the pipe and the clamps. http://t.homedepot.com/s/Pipe%20clamps?searchtype=text

I usually get my pipe from my local hardware.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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