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Thread: Pony, Bessey or ?????

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Funk View Post
    I get the issue with glue on the bars (although it's never been an issue for me) but why would one use a tape measure to lay out clamps?
    I often use a tape measure on a glue up, especially on cope & stile doors with floating panels. You measure the diagonals to make sure they're square. If your opposing corners are say 30" one way and 31⅛" the other way, you know that your door is not square. Less likely to happen with a few parallel clamps in use, but it can still happen.

    But like others have said, I can grab a dozen 30" Tradesmen clamps for the same weight as 4 or 5 parallel clamps.

    I'm tempted to get some Bessey Uni clamps, as they're said to be lighter.

  2. #32
    I have some of essentially all of the clamps mentioned so far in this thread and find a use for all of them at some point. It really depends on what the task at hand is and how often you find yourself doing it as to how much value certain types of clamps have. I do a fairly wide range of work it seems and I feel like you really need a wide variety of styles on hand to choose from depending on what you need.

    Some random thoughts after reading this thread -

    Bessey K body clamps are valuable for their parallel jaw clamping feature but are not always my go to. The clutch (lack of) operation has had me screaming at these clamps more than I care to remember because it wouldn’t grab in the moment I needed it to and required resetting, etc. They are obviously quality made and can useful but they are expensive when bought new and at quantity.

    My favorite clamps for medium to heavy duty applications are the older Jorgensen steel I beams - I have several in the 36” length. They do not deflect even under tremendous pressure and I don’t really have to worry about glue build up. They are heavy which means that they’re typically reserved for flat clamping jobs. The Dubuque aluminum bar clamps are nice as well but are very easy to deflect and are reserved for light duty tasks - nicely made, though.

    3/4” pipe clamps are very dependable, versatile, economical and strong, though not always parallel clamping or having enough depth of reach. I wouldn’t want to be without mine and I even have some shorter 1/2” diameter ones that I got for very cheap that come in handy for light duty tasks, though they are much easier to deflect over lengths of ~24”. I can’t understand why pipe clamps would not be an option (among many) in a woodworker’s shop. People like to rag on them in favor of parallel clamps but I find both welcome and necessary in my work.

    Another all time favorite clamp style is the Wetzler steel bar F style clamp. I have a handful of lengths and depths, but the 12-18” x 5” deep ones get used often and the extra depth is very much appreciated sometimes when having to clamp things to a bench top, etc and have even used them for narrower panel glue ups if the other options were already exhausted. Top quality and incredible clamping force power.

    Because someone mentioned them just above - I have (4) of the Bessey Uni Klamps in 24” length and they are great for light to mid duty work, though much lighter build than the K body. I use them a lot though and it’s nice to have the parallel clamping option in a much lighter duty package. Wouldn’t mind having more.
    Still waters run deep.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Redmond, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    Stick with your routine of avoiding parallels. Trust me. You got in on a super cheap barrier to entry. Populate your shop with clamps you can buy as economically as possible (so you have 3-4 for every parallel you would have bought) and dont buy into the hype.

    Your 25 total lucky buy in likely wont get you half of a single clamp but would buy you 1.5 or more of a more well rounded clamp.

    Honestly. Plow your shop chuck full of robust affordable clamps and you wont look back. Parallels look nice hanging on the wall but thats about it. Its kinda like a Gucci belt or a pair of $300 sunglasses. They all do the same job as the gas station glasses or a piece of rope but they just make you stand a bit taller. Sadly the parallels only let you stand taller in public because in private,... youll be let down. But keeping ones chin up when they've layed down thousands in clamps is imperative.
    I bought into the hype with 4 Jorgenson and 2 Bessy clamps and like Mark I don't get all that much use out of them. I have many HF clamps that I reach for before ever getting to the parallel clamps. I find the HF aluminum bar clamps work great and their light weight makes them much easier to maneuver. When I need clamping power I reach for the old pipe clamps. There are times when the high price tools do rule but I haven't found clamps to be that way.

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