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What assortment of clamps would you recommend I buy? (1 Viewer)

Frank Carter

Screenwriter
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Mar 12, 2002
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1,187
I have two AV-15's on order and I'm kind of tired of the sonosub look so I'm thinking of building some tall rectangles 20"x20"x??"(no final design yet). After that I plan to build a GR-Research HT(thinking of 1prAV-3 and 2pr A/V1+). I'm sure I'll get the urge to do other stuff just for fun. You guys have fully infected me with the DIY bug;).

Well I need some clamps for these projects but I'm wondering what lengths and how many would you recommend I buy for the above projects. Also any links to good deals on clamps would be appreciated, right now I'm looking to ebay.
 

Dan Wesnor

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 28, 1999
Messages
389
You will need at the very least 4 clamps. 6 would be better. 12 is best. With 4 clamps, you can clamp together 4 sides of the cube. With 6 clamps, you can get more clamping strength but still only do 4 side.

With 12 clamps, you can clamp all 6 sides together at once. This is your best shot at ensuring the box is square.
 

Aaron_Smith

Stunt Coordinator
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Jul 22, 2002
Messages
105
Check out Harbor Freight... decent clamps, very cheap. I've found 36" Bessey-style clamps to be the most useful, you can always adjust them smaller but not bigger. You can never have too many really...
While many of the people on this board do not advocate the use of screws with MDF, I have found that with a pocket hole jig and two good clamps I can assemble an entire large enclosure in an afternoon, and the construction is rock-solid and very accurate.
 

Darren_T

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 1, 2001
Messages
494
You've asked the question that so far nobody has ever been able to answer :) You NEVER have enough clamps. I currently have more than 60 clamps and still can't clamp more than two small enclosures :D

If your cuts are true then you will need fewer clamps but I'd second Dan's suggestion that 12 should cover it.

I'd buy six 24" or 36" bar clamps 24" bar clamp and six 48" pipe clamps bar clamp

Just get the pipe from Home depot in 48" lengths or similar. Search the net for deals, you can get much better deals that what I listed but those are the type of clamps I'd consider.





Darren
 

Frank Carter

Screenwriter
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Mar 12, 2002
Messages
1,187
Thanks for the reply guys. I figured the more the better but I just kind of wanted to know how many to work comfortably.

One more thing, is one able to get adequate clamping pressure with those squeeze grip clamps or are bar clamps favored? Does it really matter?
 

Dan Wesnor

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 28, 1999
Messages
389
One more thing, is one able to get adequate clamping pressure with those squeeze grip clamps
Adequate? Maybe. But they are expensive and no quicker/easier than the standard bar clamps. I have a pair and don't even bother with them any more.
 
A

Anthony_Gomez

here is what "I" would get for a starter kit of course, the more the better):
4-12 30" bar clamps...with these larger subs, the 24" just isn't always enough
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=34389

Spring clamp set
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=45975

4-12 12" bar clamps
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=5975

2-8 corner clamps
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=1852


while working on my sub yesterday, I used 10 >24" clamps and 2 12" clamps...and I would have used more, but I didn't have any more of the large ones:frowning:
 
A

Anthony_Gomez

Squeeze clamps have their place, but I don't use them for most glue ups. They are one hand operations, so They work nice to get things "pre-clamped". I also use them for other aspects of wood working such as holding a speaker to a work stand with clamps and stop blocks.
 
A

Anthony_Gomez

CLAMP CONSTEST!!!!!

go through your "wood shed" and see how many glue clamps you actually have!

Spring clamps=16
Squeeze clamps (like the spring clamps)=8
12" squeeze clamps=4
12" bar clamps=4
12" wood clamp=4
18" bar clamps=4
18" pipe clamps=2
36" bar clamps=4
36" pipe clamps=4
48" pipe clamp=2
60" pipe clamp=2
Corner Clamp=8
C-Clamps=4
Strap/framing clamps (?)=3

Total clamps=69
(I am sure there are more hiding!)

...and I still need more :)
 

Chuck Bogie

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Messages
397
Oh gheesh - I've got more c-clamps than I can count (and they'll sure come in handy in a little while, when I plan on doing some double-layer 3/4" MDF stuff...).

I like the el-cheapo Harbor Freight pipe clamps. Buy whatever lengths of pipe you need. You can always buy longer pipes too.
 

Greg_R

Screenwriter
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Apr 9, 2000
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1,996
Location
Portland, OR
Real Name
Greg
small C - 4
large C - 2
corner / band - 2
12" wood - 2
spring - 11
12" bar - 8
16"x7" throat - 2
24" bar - 16
36" bar - 10
42" pipe - 8
60" pipe - 8

73 (some are always in hiding). The majority of these are either Harbor Freight or PennState Industry's el-cheapo clamps (I prefer the PSI). All of my 12" bar clamps are Bessey tradesman (my favorite). I have 6 larger Bessey K-Body clamps and two of the "quick-grip" variety. The quickgrip's are nice to temporarily hold something in place while you attach the better clamps. It should be mentioned that woodworking is one of my other hobbies (I don't need that many clamps for a speaker project!).

I'd say 4 24" clamps will be enough to get you started. More clamps would allow you to attach more pieces (i.e. work faster).
 

Hank Frankenberg

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 13, 1998
Messages
2,573
Tony, those aren't clamps, THESE are clamps:
http://shop.woodcraft.com/Woodcraft/...44D9843CA228F4
Jorgensen Cabinetmaster clamps are the best I've seen. Better, IMO, than Bessy K-Body clamps. Just kiddin' you, Tony, but seriously, these new Jorgensen's are great - I have 4. I also have some squeeze clamps(don't knock 'em - they apply plenty of pressure), some regular, deep-throat (watch it, Brian!) bar clamps, etc. Quality cabinet clamps, like the Jorgensen's and Bessey's are seemingly expensive compared to the Harbor Freight clamps, but if you think you'll do speakers/woodworking as a permanent hobby, they're worth the bucks.
 
A

Anthony_Gomez

those definately are nicer..but more $$ I was trying to be budget minded:) I'll have to get those sometime!

....and since I am not brian...
I don't want to hear you using deep-throat whatevers on wood! keep that smut off of the forum :D !!!!
 

Frank Carter

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
1,187
Is it terribly bad to go with the cheap clamps on ebay? I mean, how bad can a clamp be made?

I was looking at:
6 48" bar clamps
8 30" bar clamps
7 3" c-clamps
7 2" c-clamps
7 1" c-clamps
________________________
All for $60 plus $28 S&H

What do ya think?
 

Hank Frankenberg

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 13, 1998
Messages
2,573
Tony, as soon as I hit *enter*, I knew in my heart that since I'd warned Brian, that YOU would probably come back with a smart-_ss reply;) You're getting predictable.
Frank: Harbor Freight has some absolute junk and some worthwhile stuff - I've bought both. I have not bought ther clamps, so can't comment on them. As I said, if you're going to do speaker cabinet building or woodworking for a long time, then the more expensive clamps, as any tool, are worth it. It's your decision. Now, go make some MDF dust :)
 

Jack Gilvey

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 13, 1999
Messages
4,948
I'd agree on having a least a few good clamps in addition to a bunch of cheapies. I have a few Bessey K-body clamps and, although I probably wouldn't have splurged for them had I not had a credit at Sears at the time, they've proven to be worth their cost. The Besseys get corner duty on a glue-up, holding everything absolutely square at very high pressure...the cheaper clamps are used to apply pressure along the joint.
 

Jeff Meininger

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 5, 2002
Messages
481
I'll comment on the Harbor Freight bar clamps since I bought all 11 of mine there.

I bought six 16" bar clamps from them for $5.99 a pair. These are the ones with the red-painted wood twist handle and black painted metal clamping bits. They look very cheaply made. The little clear plastic caps that cover the clamping surfaces are always falling off. The round surface that gets twisted down onto your cabinet is not solid... it's hollow. If the little plastic thing wears through (it will) or falls off and gets lost (it will), it leaves a nasty ring-shaped gouge in your wood. However, if you use a piece of heavy card paper between this disc and your MDF, you're fine. These clamps, despite their cheap construction, work great and can apply a good deal of pressure.

I bought five 24" bar clamps for $3.50 each. These are the ones with the natural-wood finished twist handle and dark gray painted metal clamping bits. They have a ratcheting style quick-release mechanism. They look well made, and are sold as "Pittsburgh" brand clamps (a Harbor Freight store brand I think). The pads on the clamping surfaces are nice thick black rubbery plastic. They aren't constantly falling off. The disc surface is solid rather than hollow, so I don't think clamping without the plastic pad would leave such a bad mark on your MDF. HOWEVER, the bar itself is not that sturdy. The cheapo-looking clamps have a bar that's over an inch deep, and these have a bar that's under an inch deep. When you're torqing these things down hard, the bar bows considerably and I think lowers the maximum clamping pressure that can be achieved. These clamps, despite their pretty appearance, don't work as well and I would have probably been happier buying the 24" crapola-clamps.

I've also bought several C clamps from harbor freight, and a couple from Home Depot for more than twice the price. One of the harbor freight clamps broke (!) as I was torqing something down. Still, though, I'd rather have too many crappy clamps than not enough good clamps. I imagine if you have a tablesaw and make really excellent straight cuts, having fewer nicer clamps would be nice. But I needed pressure applied over as many points as possible to keep my boxes gap-free.
 

Frank Carter

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
1,187
I think I'll probably end up using them a bit so I'm going to take Hank's advise and buy decent clamps.

So if the Harbor Freight clamps are regarded as being low quality, where should I look for better clamps that aren't too expensive?
 

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