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Thread: F style clamps

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    51

    F style clamps

    A question If I may. I need some bar clamps. Are the bar clamps without the clutch better or get the cheaper style with the clutch. Main use will be for clamping cauls. Thanks

  2. #2
    Just buy pony/yost F clamps. The heaviest you can afford. Dont mess with Bessey or other voodoo..
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  3. #3
    I have dozens of Jorgensen clutch style f clamps, 2 1/2", 3 1/2" and 5" throat. The old ones are still great, but the half dozen 2 1/2" #35s I bought a few years ago are a real pain to use. The clutches don't slide on the bar easily when released. I prefer the clutch style if well made, but I wouldn't buy any more of these without checking them out first. I have used Bessey non-clutch clamps without any problems and can't imagine what makes them "voodoo".

    Heavy clamps are good when needed but the 2 1/2" light duty clamps get the most use in my shop.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Posts
    68
    I have many of both, and always reach for the simpler, non-clutch, variety. I chose Bessey for nearly every clamp and like them a lot. Bessey F clamps (TGK part numbers) are still made in Germany.
    Timberlight Designs

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    536
    I’d recommend non-clutch clamps.

    I use Bessey f-style in 3 diff sizes and K-Bodies. I didn’t want to have to adjust s clutch while in the middle of a glue-up.

    Love em.

    But as time goes by, if I did need to add longer-reach clamps I think I’d give Dubuque clamps a try. If you buy short-enough ones they’ll hold your calls in place just fine and they’re much lighter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    59,371
    Non-clutch for me and I'm also a fan of Bessey f-clamps, despite the fact that they are not inexpensive.
    --

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

  7. #7
    I prefer the clutch clamps because the heads will maintain position while being put in place. With the other kind I sometimes wish I had a third hand. They are simpler though.

    Mike, "clamping cauls" covers a lot of ground. Can you elaborate?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    51
    I need to use the cauls on the ends of cutting boards during glue up.

  9. #9
    For that type of application (clamping cauls down) I have a few of the deep throated (5 1/2”?) Bessey 12” clamps (no clutch) and a slew of similarly sized Wetzlers that also have no clutches. They are heavy but the best and strongest type of F style bar clamp I’ve ever used. For clamping down cauls I’ve found it nice to have deeper throat clamps that give me more wiggle room in terms of placement and catching the underside of the overhang of the assembly table or whatever it is that your clamping down to.

    Old Jorgensen bar clamps with the clutches are nice too if you don’t need to clamp the snot out of it or your length of clamp needed isn’t very tall. I have a bunch of the older 6” clutch Jorgensen bar clamps and they are heavy duty enough to be clearly superior in strength than the modern days Bessey equivalents (steel of the bar and clamp head is thicker and better I’m sure.)
    Still waters run deep.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    For that type of application (clamping cauls down) I have a few of the deep throated (5 1/2”?) Bessey 12” clamps (no clutch) and a slew of similarly sized Wetzlers that also have no clutches. They are heavy but the best and strongest type of F style bar clamp I’ve ever used. For clamping down cauls I’ve found it nice to have deeper throat clamps that give me more wiggle room in terms of placement and catching the underside of the overhang of the assembly table or whatever it is that your clamping down to.

    Old Jorgensen bar clamps with the clutches are nice too if you don’t need to clamp the snot out of it or your length of clamp needed isn’t very tall. I have a bunch of the older 6” clutch Jorgensen bar clamps and they are heavy duty enough to be clearly superior in strength than the modern days Bessey equivalents (steel of the bar and clamp head is thicker and better I’m sure.)
    I have eight 5" x 18" Jorgensens and they are bomber but wicked heavy. The 3 1/2" throat ones are a good compromise. The 2 1/2" though are fine for most of my tasks and light enough to not distort most assemblies. I've done a lot of curved laminations where closely spaced clamps were required, thick cauls to spread the pressure were impractical and heavy clamps wouldn't have made sense, and we didn't have enough in any case.

    I haven't used very many clamps that wouldn't do the job. The problem usually tends to be insufficient numbers.

    Mike, if you do a lot of this work you might want to look at this device https://www.jamesltaylor.com/product...nel-flattener/ They also make a pneumatic model.

  11. #11
    A slew of Bessey 6 and 12".

    When I need more, I buy the Harbor Freight ones (nothing over 12"). They have better handles and work just as good.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    I have eight 5" x 18" Jorgensens and they are bomber but wicked heavy. The 3 1/2" throat ones are a good compromise. The 2 1/2" though are fine for most of my tasks and light enough to not distort most assemblies. I've done a lot of curved laminations where closely spaced clamps were required, thick cauls to spread the pressure were impractical and heavy clamps wouldn't have made sense, and we didn't have enough in any case.

    I haven't used very many clamps that wouldn't do the job. The problem usually tends to be insufficient numbers.

    Mike, if you do a lot of this work you might want to look at this device https://www.jamesltaylor.com/product...nel-flattener/ They also make a pneumatic model.
    I can certainly agree with that - takes a ton of clamps for bent lam work. I wouldn’t mind having some more 3 1/2 - 4” deep F clamps. And yes, the deep throat Wetzlers, etc are wicked heavy, but dependable as the rising sun.
    Still waters run deep.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    437
    Many times over the past years I've really needed the fixed end of my K bodies due to a lack of clearance for a pipe clamp on the glue up.

    For cutting board glue ups, I bought a few pairs of Fulton 4-way clamps. I am in the process of assembling them to some 24" strips of BB ply, so I have not actually used them yet, but they feel pretty stout. I am hopeful they serve as a panel clamp and caul.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,066
    Hmmm...for that glueup I'd set a pair of Besseys on the bench, toes up, add cauls then a piece of plywood a little smaller than the cutting board. Add a layer of plastic then assemble the cutting board, then a pair of cauls to hold it tight to the plywood.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Ogden, UT
    Posts
    830
    I'm not sure if the brand of mine is Bessey, but I have 4 of these (for welding, at first) that are super nice. They're expensive, but they are so much better than the std F clamps that bend when you tighten them. I use them all the time. Just used them for pocket screwing a face frame and they worked like a charm.

    https://www.zoro.com/bessey-12-in-ba...ature-product?

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