pipe clamps

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Forum topic by sweets posted 05-29-2009 07:38 PM 1523 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 3293 days

05-29-2009 07:38 PM

Sorry to start a new topic, but some of you already responded to my last question regarding clamps. It sounds as though pipe clamps are the way to go. Are these from ebay worth it or are they just junk? I’ve never used any pipe clamps before and am not familiar with types or brands so I have no idea. I’m hoping to buy a drill press soon and some other equipment for a project so I’m trying to keep my expenses down.

Thanks again in advance for a guy trying to learn a thing or two.

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana

23 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4181 days

#1 posted 05-29-2009 07:49 PM

Buying cheap tools like that on eBay is kind of a crap shoot. Sometimes the stuff works well enough that it turns out to be a real bargain. Other times, the quality is so bad that it is practically useless. I bought a set of 12 f-clamps from eBay several years ago. They are pretty flimsy, but get the job done for most applications. So overall I’m happy with that purchase.

I’d say take a shot if you are willing to take the risk that they just might turn out to be junk.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View lew's profile


12017 posts in 3718 days

#2 posted 05-29-2009 07:50 PM

These are similar to the ones sold by Sears, some time age. The Sears one work well but they are more difficult to adjust the “silder” end when compared to the more popular “Pony” style. To adjust the ones you have referenced, you need to lift up on the slider handle. It is spring loaded and sometimes takes two hands to move it- which can be inconvienent.

Check here to see the difference.

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

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3611 days

#3 posted 05-29-2009 07:56 PM

I think Rockler is running a sale on their 3/4” pipe clamps this week/end for $12 each. they are large and perform great. good investment as well for the future.

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

View sweets's profile


42 posts in 3293 days

#4 posted 05-29-2009 08:01 PM

I understand that you just use whatever length pipe to get the job done, but does the pipe have two be threaded on one or both ends? I know that the pipe is metal, but what kind do you usually use… black pipe or something else?


I saw those, should I bite the bullet and just get a few? I plan to make my kids a table and chairs soon, the table length will be approx 45 inches long, about how many would I need, 4-6?

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana

View lew's profile


12017 posts in 3718 days

#5 posted 05-29-2009 08:22 PM

They tell you to use black pipe but I have found that galvanized pipe also works OK. I like to have the pipe threaded on both ends because you can use a coupler to make the clamp longer. The pipes must be threaded on at least one end.

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

View Haydar's profile


16 posts in 3262 days

#6 posted 05-29-2009 10:52 PM

I have a question to go along with this. What’s the advantage of 3/4 or the 1/2 size? Is it the length of pipe that can be used while still remaining stable?

It seems to me that 1/2 inch would be preferable since the clamps would be cheaper and the resulting pipe weight would be less.

-- Danger: Novice Woodworker here.

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3611 days

#7 posted 05-29-2009 10:59 PM

1/2” pipe (has nothing to do with the clamp itself – but the PIPE) is more flexible than the 3/4” which is pretty beefy and stays true. the price difference between the 1/2” and the 3/4” doesnt justifies cheaping out on the 3/4”....

sweets – go with the rocklers, they are higher than the pony’s and more stable and bigger. get at least 6 if you wanna do 46” long table – it should work well for that – about every 8” or so.

lew – Gary Fixler just posted a comment on sweets other thread – where he experienced the galvanized material flaking off the pipes -I personally have black pipe so can’t comment directly – but worth googling around a bit more.

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

View a1Jim's profile


117060 posts in 3540 days

#8 posted 05-29-2009 11:54 PM

Hey Sweets
I ‘m a believer in quality tools but sometimes the price difference doesn’t justify there differences in quality.
I have 200 pipe clamps about half are brand names and the other half are harbor freight 3/4” pipe clamps.
Many times HF has them on sale for $1.50 each . Are the perfect NO but when I buy them I buy 20 or so and out off that 20 probably 16 work fine the others are hard to crank up and down but I’ve learn when I first get them I need to put some Vaseline on the threads and that make most of them work fine. Are pony and other brands 8 times better ? I don’t think so. By the way these clamps are guaranteed so if you can’t make them work then send them back and they will replace them. I don’t bother. Are all of harbor freight tools good absolutely not , but they do have some Items worth having and there clamps for the price are great. I do recommend using black pipe not galvanized pipe

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Gary's profile


9322 posts in 3396 days

#9 posted 05-30-2009 12:32 AM

I rarely buy cheap tools. I just can’t get away with it. They always seem to fail when I need them most. I just don’t take the chance anymore. I watch for specials like Rockler’s or Lee Valley and snatch what I want. But, there are 10,000 people here so you’ll get lots of different opinions.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View sweets's profile


42 posts in 3293 days

#10 posted 06-01-2009 04:07 PM

I found some 3/4 inch bessey’s at the big blue store for about the same price as rockler, so I’ll probably go with those so I won’t have to pay for shipping.

I plan to blog the children’s table build for more advice, but that will be a few months away.

Thanks for all of your help.

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3304 days

#11 posted 06-01-2009 04:19 PM

i use pony in 3/4 black and pads threaded both ends and have female couplings to make them longer ,
have made them to 20’ .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3611 days

#12 posted 06-01-2009 04:22 PM

congrats sweets – they are all good. it all boils down to price. if you would have to pay for shipping – then getting something local would make more sense.

bentlyj – sorry, I didn’t know you work for pony – so I didn’t mean to personally insult you … peace … LOL

yes- I have both, and both work just as well. but if I had a choice -I’d pick the ones with the bigger feet… yup, personal choice of MINE, nothing against anyone elses…

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

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

714 posts in 3581 days

#13 posted 06-01-2009 07:16 PM

Clamps don’t bite as well in galvanized pipe. Get both ends threaded for versatility.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3327 days

#14 posted 06-01-2009 07:36 PM

I use 3/4’ black iron with the pony. Tip: Find a local plumber or plumbing supply dealer, alot of time they have some fall offs 16” 24” long they will be happy to give you a deal and alot of times they are already threaded on one end.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View FEDSAWDAVE's profile


293 posts in 3395 days

#15 posted 06-02-2009 03:15 AM

Ditto bentlyj. Buy a Pony clamp and your grandchildren will be using them. Buy 4 pipe clamps for $14.99 (Made in friggin China) and YOU’RE…the problem with this country.


I am so tired of this “did I get a good deal” BS then the same folks complain about gas prices, and layoffs and service on their saws and my router died mid-job and ….you get the picture!

Sincerely, Reality

-- David,

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