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Thread: Jorgensen vs Dubuque Aluminum clamps

  1. #1
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    Jorgensen vs Dubuque Aluminum clamps

    Somebody asked in the "clamps" thread how the Dubuque aluminum clamps compare to the Jorgensen version. I replied that the Dubuques seemed stiffer and more heavily built. I've had a chance to measure now, and the Dubuques are indeed signficantly heavier in all relevant respects.
    • The Dubuques have 0.125" walls, vs 0.85" wall thickness in the Jorgensen. This is probably why the Dubuques are much more resistant to twisting.
    • The Dubuques have 0.096" deep detents to lock the moving head in position, vs 0.042" in Jorgensen. The steel part that engages the detent is also correspondingly beefier on the Dubuque. IMO this may be the most significant practical difference of all, as those detents handle the most concentrated point loads in the entire design.
    • The Dubuques have noticeably beefier heads/screws/rivets/etc in the fixed part.

    As a mechanical engineer I would guesstimate that the Dubuques can reliably handle at least double the load, and probably more. The Aluminum bars in either can handle O(thousands) of lbf in tension, so the fittings (and particularly those stops/detents) will be the practical limiter, and Dubuque has big advantages there.

    As always, you get what you pay for. I think that the HF and (to a much lesser extent) Jorgensen clamps are why some people are skeptical of Aluminum bar clamps for heavy work. The Dubuques are in an entirely different league, and I don't hesitate to load the living daylights out of mine.
    Last edited by Patrick Chase; 02-13-2018 at 2:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Patrick,

    No experience with Jorgensen but there are a couple or three HF in the junk pile, not good enough to give away, and you are correct about the Dubuque’s being very good.

    ken

  3. #3
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    I have the Dubuques and I agree with you. The only quibble I have with them is the butterfly screw. When they are close together they hit each other so you have to offset them. A sliding bar in place of the butterfly would eliminate that.

  4. #4
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    Ralph,
    I don't have any Dubuque clamps but I'm thinking about it. Would it be possible to cut the wings off the butterfly screw, drill a hole in the hub and insert a sliding rod? I'm just asking, not suggesting.
    Chet

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chet R Parks View Post
    Ralph,
    I don't have any Dubuque clamps but I'm thinking about it. Would it be possible to cut the wings off the butterfly screw, drill a hole in the hub and insert a sliding rod? I'm just asking, not suggesting.
    Chet
    Or just hack the butterfly off. The screw has 1-3/8" of travel, with 19/32" of shaft exposed between the nut and the butterfly when the screw is all the way in (almost 3" exposed when out). You could cut the butterfly off and still have enough shaft length left to drill for a rod, or accept a brazed-on extension if you have mad skillz and want to get fancy. For that matter the Jorgensen only has about 1/2" of shaft exposed when all the way in, so you'd end up with a similar configuration.

    In addition the notches on the bar are spaced by 5/8", so the 1-3/8" screw travel is overkill for most work. You only need ~7/8" of travel to be able to reach every possible clamping position along the bar's length, unless whatever you're clamping is highly compressible.
    Last edited by Patrick Chase; 02-13-2018 at 8:57 PM.

  6. #6
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    Good idea, thanks Patrick

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Boumenot View Post
    I have the Dubuques and I agree with you. The only quibble I have with them is the butterfly screw. When they are close together they hit each other so you have to offset them. A sliding bar in place of the butterfly would eliminate that.
    I have a decent collection of Dubuques collection, replacing all my previous HF sort of cheapos (not wanting to spend time beefing up them with Paul Sellers' method). I've not come across a glue-up that the butterfly screws would get in the way with each other. I certainly do not want to modify any of my clamps in any way as I plan to sell them in their original design when I hang up my woodworking boots.

    So if the screws are in each other's way, I would use a spacer block on one of the clamps to keep the screws from hitting themselves.

    Simon

  8. #8
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    Yes that is a possibility and I have thought of doing it but haven't.

  9. #9
    Pat Barry: Wood magazine rated the Jorgensens as 4.8 out of 5, better than the Dubuque.



    It is the other way around:

    https://www.woodmagazine.com/review/...num-bar-clamps
    https://www.woodmagazine.com/review/...num-bar-clamps

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 02-14-2018 at 7:30 PM.

  10. #10
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    I'm a big fan of the Dubuque clamps. Have bought quite a few over the years - and have the same complaint about the butterfly screws banging into each other. I have never taken the time to solve the problem...

    On another note: Has anyone tried Paul Seller's suggestion to add a wooden spine inside the aluminum bar? I have fitted a couple of my clamps out with 1x2 strips of pine. It gives them a lot more stiffness and not much additional weight. This modification allows me to clamp the bar in my bench's face clamp without any risk of damaging the clamp bar. Gives you several very handy work holding options.

    TedP

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon MacGowen View Post
    Pat Barry: Wood magazine rated the Jorgensens as 4.8 out of 5, better than the Dubuque.



    It is the other way around:

    https://www.woodmagazine.com/review/...num-bar-clamps
    https://www.woodmagazine.com/review/...num-bar-clamps

    Simon
    You probably didn't see that I deleted my post having found the same info.

  12. #12
    Go with the Debuques. The HF's fortified work but, The bother versus just buying a superior product is questionable. I glued up some long scrap strips and milled them to fit.
    HF bar clamp fix (3).jpg . HF bar clamp fix (2).jpg . HF bar clamp fix (4).jpg

    Definite improvement but, the weight removes one of the main reasons for using aluminum clamps in the first place. Not surprisingly, these get used almost never.
    Happy family, pale applause, each to his revolving doors.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Go with the Debuques. The HF's fortified work but, The bother versus just buying a superior product is questionable. I glued up some long scrap strips and milled them to fit.
    HF bar clamp fix (3).jpg . HF bar clamp fix (2).jpg . HF bar clamp fix (4).jpg

    Definite improvement but, the weight removes one of the main reasons for using aluminum clamps in the first place. Not surprisingly, these get used almost never.
    It seems pretty stupid that you have to "fix" a clamp that is being touted as being superior. If anything, what you have identified is a a huge deficiency of these clamps.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    It seems pretty stupid that you have to "fix" a clamp that is being touted as being superior. If anything, what you have identified is a a huge deficiency of these clamps.
    Those are photos of the Harbor Freight cheapies.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Johnson View Post
    Those are photos of the Harbor Freight cheapies.
    Sorry then, I guess it wasn't obvious enough for me

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