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Thread: Made In USA Bar Clamp

  1. #1

    Made In USA Bar Clamp

    Hello,
    I have been a long time lurker of this forum but just recently became a member. I am looking into manufacturing bar clamps made completely here in the states. I think we have all had our fair share of the flexing chinese made ones. Im looking to make a 4 inch throut depth 2 foot and 3 foot model (longer if needed). The only issue is there is no competing with the chinese prices. Most likely why most USA clamp companies are no longer in business. Would you have/do you think there would be interest from people in a USA made clamp? If so, what price range would be willing to pay for one.
    Much Appreciated!
    Colton
    PS Moderators, If this is in the wrong Sub-Forum please move it.
    Last edited by Colton Miller; 12-14-2017 at 7:39 PM. Reason: Formatting Error

  2. You're probably not going to find a lot of interest, I think Dubuqe Clamp is the last U.S. made clamp company around after Pony went under last year. They can't compete and most people aren't going to pay the prices for U.S. made clamps when they can get cheap Chinese crap for 1/3 the price. I mean, Dubuqe sells a 24-inch pair of bar clamps for $52.95 and you can run to Harbor Freight and get a pair for less than $20. Less if you have a coupon. Are they the same quality? No. Will they do in a pinch? Absolutely. Even Bessey makes their clamps in Germany.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    1,467
    Bessey works great for me!
    If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

  4. #4
    If they were on par with old wetzlers and hargraves there should be a market. Starting to get slim pickings at auctions for good clamps.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Henderson View Post
    after Pony went under last year.
    Did they go under, or pull the plug?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Kamiah, ID
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    99
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Henderson View Post
    Even Bessey makes their clamps in Germany.
    Last Bessey I bought was a pipe clamp fixture...made in CHINA

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    43,293
    There would have to be something unique or extraordinary to garner any real market share for this kind of undertaking...society has truly embraced a price-centric disposition and while quality of current offerings on the market may not be the same as "back in the day", what's available is very usable and reasonably good for the prices asked. So you'll have to "find your niche". I don't honestly believe that "Made in the USA" is going to provide enough incentive by itself.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    2,484
    Where are wilton ibars made? They are some honkin clamps but spendy.

    I'd gladly be interested in quality domestic but I agree with Jim that unfortunately the consumers who are looking and willing to pay are likely in the low single digit percentages of the total hobby/industry. I mean Powermatic, the supposed gold standard, doesn't make a thing and is all imported.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    2,958
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Henderson View Post
    You're probably not going to find a lot of interest, I think Dubuqe Clamp is the last U.S. made clamp company around after Pony went under last year. They can't compete and most people aren't going to pay the prices for U.S. made clamps when they can get cheap Chinese crap for 1/3 the price. I mean, Dubuqe sells a 24-inch pair of bar clamps for $52.95 and you can run to Harbor Freight and get a pair for less than $20. Less if you have a coupon. Are they the same quality? No. Will they do in a pinch? Absolutely. Even Bessey makes their clamps in Germany.
    I don't know if they can compete or not, but they are all I use. I tried some HF and gave them away because they just bend if you apply any pressure to them.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Lippman View Post
    I don't know if they can compete or not, but they are all I use. I tried some HF and gave them away because they just bend if you apply any pressure to them.
    I'm with Wade - Dubuques can easily be had for $25 for a single 24" clamp. I bought a set of 10 for $229 6 months ago from The Best Things. I think they'll compete just fine. Try them and you'll see why. They are worth every dime I paid.

    To Mr. Miller: First and foremost - welcome! We're glad to have you posting with us. If your clamps are good quality, I'll pay more to buy them. I dont like the feel of cheap clamps, so I have no HF clamps in my collection. (In spite of the wooden insert fix for them.)

    Good luck Sir!
    Fred
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 12-14-2017 at 9:16 PM.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  11. #11
    Thank you for the replies, I really appreciate it!
    Im looking to have two series, an aluminum series for smaller duty work, and a steel series with a very similar stiffness and load rating to Weltzler's clamps for heavy duty work. They will most likely have similar price points as well. I would also be able to make custom length and throat depth clamps if someone needs. Its great to see a company like Dubuque making nice clamps in the states. The only downfall is that they dont have a large throat depth. I will hopefully to be able to fill in that median.
    Thanks!
    -Colton

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Bueler View Post
    Last Bessey I bought was a pipe clamp fixture...made in CHINA
    Yeah, they have both at HD. The German made ones are much beefier and look to be better quality.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    1,279
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Henderson View Post
    Even Bessey makes their clamps in Germany.
    Revos / Jr. clamps are actually assembled in USA I think from German parts.

    Not woodworking per se but Kant Twist's and Wright Tool C clamps are also made in USA.

  14. #14
    Quality will get you so far. Brand image...there's your profit.
    Clamps are hard to glamorize but I'd have said the same thing about coolers But look at Yeti selling $200 ice boxes. Yes, the beer is still cold Sunday morning but it was Yeti's marketing skills that built the perceived value

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
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    68
    Aloha Colton, AS others have stated, you'll need to find a niche market. Many who have used HF clamps will save up and buy some good ones. My thought to add is for the space conscious with really small shops... If the clamp and the bar were sold separately, then you could just get a bunch of clamps mechs then a bunch of bars of various lengths. It would save me a whole bunch of space. I have some 24" Dewalt clamps that work well and have decent sized faces, but sometimes they are just too long or too short. Since They take so much space, I won't go buy larger clamps until I really need them, but if I could just get a 36" bar for the Dewalts, I would have 6 of them in a drawer.

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