Author Topic: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps  (Read 18825 times)

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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« on: March 03, 2013, 04:39 PM »
Hello Everyone

I bought my first Bessey K body clamps in Germany after seeing my friend, Norm Abram, using them. I spent 5 years away from home and retained my sanity by watching 'my friend', Norm, on the TV.

In my first Bessey video I describe the K Body Revo clamps. I have 16 (or so) of the original K Body clamps and have recently got 4 of the new Revo ones. I thought that I might make a video of them before they get covered in glue, scratched and splashed with stain.

Here is the link:



I have bought most of my Bessey clamps from Axminster Power Tools and they have never given me any clamps free of charge (their prices are quite good though which is why they had a mention in the original video).

Peter

Edit:

I made a small error on the film and have replaced it with a corrected copy. PP
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 12:34 PM by Peter Parfitt »

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Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 06:00 PM »
Yup. Those are nice. I  got a pair a few years ago specifically for the angle attachment.

Seth

ericbuggeln

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 06:18 PM »
Good review, but I always found that with the older Parallel clamps from Bessey that the silver piece that engages the clamp was never where I wanted it to be or that it wouldn't engage and I would have to back it out. For me it's all about the Ponies, Eric

Offline Timtool

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 04:44 PM »
I have been lurking at these for a while, how do you feel they compare with T-bar clamps in ways of sturdiness and pressure you can apply with the handle compare to the lever of T bar clamps.

Would you use these for gluing up large table tops and things like assembling furniture or gates/doors?
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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 04:57 PM »
I have been lurking at these for a while, how do you feel they compare with T-bar clamps in ways of sturdiness and pressure you can apply with the handle compare to the lever of T bar clamps.

Would you use these for gluing up large table tops and things like assembling furniture or gates/doors?

I had some old 'T' bar clamps before my Bessey days. They were quite sturdy but I never really needed to exert tons of force in my woodwork and I hope that most people would find that the K Body clamps had ample power to spare. I have done a couple of table tops a while ago and the Besseys were easily up to the task. I did a gate, less than a year ago and published on the front cover of a national magazine, using extra large dominos which I had machined a fraction too large. I had some hydraulic locking with the glue due to the tight fit but the old K bodies still managed.

If a woodworker needs to apply more force than these clamps can provide them maybe there are other issues that need to be addressed. I know that with green oak work that a bit of brute force can be useful but maybe that is not what you have in mind.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 05:07 PM by Peter Parfitt »

Offline johne

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2013, 12:56 PM »
Excellent clamps,

Great for cabinet glue ups tabletops etc. I have some of the vario K version (the ones that let you position the head freely)
If i remember correctly they are rated at 1500 lbs clamping force

edit:

Another interesting accesory for these clamps are these corner blocks, that apparently you can use to glue mitres
Haven't tried it but how hard can those blocks be to make? ;)

83633-0

83635-1

« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 01:15 PM by johne »

Offline Upscale

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2013, 02:42 PM »
Another interesting accessory for these clamps are these corner blocks, that apparently you can use to glue mitres. Haven't tried it but how hard can those blocks be to make? ;)

I have a set of the KP blocks. In answer to your question, If you're talking about making them out of wood, my observation would be that the upright dividing prongs would be prone to breaking off.

My KP blocks are relatively strong and not subject to wear at all. That is one of their advantages as far as I can see.

Offline johne

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2013, 03:06 PM »
Hello Upscale

How does the mitre clamping work with the blocks? Any Good?

Offline Chems

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 11:27 AM »
I had some hydraulic locking with the glue due to the tight fit but the old K bodies still managed.

That's what I like to hear, mostly I do cabinets that don't need major force. But occasionally I'll get something that needs a bit of extra to close the joint. As always after watching your videos my shopping list increases!

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 04:11 PM »
Hi James,

Now when you drop in for tea, soon I hope, I will show you how brilliant they are - worth every penny.

Peter

Offline Chems

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 05:32 PM »
I'm very much looking forward to it!

Now for your next review, I'm really close to caving and buying a Kapex. I see you've got one. Is it truly worth the money and how does it rack up across the board in terms of mitres for frames, skirting boards, compound cuts and perhaps mitred trenching for beaded faceframes - a masons mitre I think its called? I know there is a wealth of info about the Kapex online but I'd love to get your take on it if you had any time.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2013, 01:40 AM »
I'm very much looking forward to it!

Now for your next review, I'm really close to caving and buying a Kapex. I see you've got one. Is it truly worth the money and how does it rack up across the board in terms of mitres for frames, skirting boards, compound cuts and perhaps mitred trenching for beaded faceframes - a masons mitre I think its called? I know there is a wealth of info about the Kapex online but I'd love to get your take on it if you had any time.

I really must do a review of the Kapex - it was my first Festool purchase and the one that I researched the most (I spent over 2 months looking at everything on the market and debating whether to wait for the big Bosch). I do not have a lot of knowledge of mitre saws as I went from Radial Arm Saw to Kapex with nothing in between. I have used a couple of mitre saws a while ago (one was Makita and I think the other was Dewalt) and they struck me as noisy, dusty and not especially clever. The Kapex 120 is super. The cut surfaces are so smooth they appear as though they have been sanded at 400 grit or better - sometimes I worry that they are so smooth that the glue might not be as effective (not really an issue). Dust collection beats anything I have ever tried. The 120 is the machine to get as you never know when you will need that extra capacity.

In some of my videos I make remarks about how square things are at the very start of a glue-up. It is true and never ceases to amaze me and the Kapex is the biggest contributor to that but Bessey help pull things together right as well. Mitres, compound cuts and so on are really accurate and I have no hesitation designing things with odd angles because I know that I can cut them easily. I think you might have the wrong joint in mind as I think that the Mason's Mitre is probably best achieved using a router and a jig - I may be wrong (I have not yet made my early morning cup of tea!).

The only disappointment, which I have not got used to, is the trenching. Take a look at some of the other Kapex threads, I think there may be one about trenching alone, and you will see that it is inconsistent and limited. Festool know about this (how could they miss it) but I do not know if they can or wish to make any changes. I suspect that we are stuck with that minor issue for some time to come. It is nowhere near a show stopper - I work around it with no problems at all.

Bottom line: Get one and try and get the 120.

Peter

Offline Upscale

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2013, 05:33 AM »
How does the mitre clamping work with the blocks? Any Good?

It works all right. The blocks are extremely convenient as a staging area which is exactly what they were designed for. As far as clamping goes, the trick is to not apply too much pressure and also to make sure the clamping pressure is even all the way around or the mitre(s) or they have a tendency to slide.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 05:36 AM by Upscale »

Offline ali

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2014, 09:28 AM »
A question for Bessey K body revo owners, I've received a pair of revos badly damaged and missing a few parts. Am awaiting delivery of some KR-JP pads but wondered if the pads on the top Jaw are stuck on? The pads on the sliding jaw are removable it seems but not the top fixed jaw. Please let me know before I get destructive with the pad  [scared]

Offline rvieceli

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2014, 09:40 AM »
On mine the pads on the top and the bottom of the jaw without the hand screw are the same and they both slide on and off.

the jaws are mostly the same, there is a small lip in the red plastic that the black piece engages with and slide onto.

If someone damaged that lip they may have stuck those pads on with some adhesive, but they should just slide.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 09:47 AM by rvieceli »

Offline ali

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2014, 10:25 AM »
thanks rvieceli, that's what I thought. I think someone has glued the pads on to hid the damage. Better sort this out!

Offline woodie

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2014, 10:46 AM »
Some of the pads have a tendency to stick more than others. A quick blow with a block of wood usually liberates them.
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Offline sicd_steve

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2014, 11:50 PM »
I have a  case of Bessey disease as they are the Festools of clamps. I have the revo K clamps which are the best as you can get great square up clamping and are very versatile, yes both rubber pads come off,  another great feature is you can buy joiners and clamp really big cupboards  I. Have the 300/600/1000/1500  and 8 off each one that way you have plenty of clamps to clamp up a cupboard. When you join them you can get as long as 3m and they are really well built the joiners are very robust .

So between darn Festoolitis and the dreaded Bessey disease......I am now sweating on getting a Excaliber 21" scroll saw to make toys for my grand daughters.....
"An average woodworker blames his tools and if they are a Festool he is just a crap woodworker"

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2014, 03:19 AM »
Some of the pads have a tendency to stick more than others. A quick blow with a block of wood usually liberates them.

There is a simple way to remove 'stuck' pads...

Push the clamp up against the side/edge of a bench so that pressure is only exerted on the black slide-on insert. Then carefully push and the insert should slide off. The joint between the clamp and the insert is like a sliding dovetail.

Peter

Offline wow

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2014, 04:46 AM »
Years ago a local woodworking group made a group buy from Bessey. I was able to get in on it, and - like slcd_steve I picked up 8 of most clamps and even got 4 of the 8-footers. I love the fact that they hold everything absolutely square for flawless assembly.

The Besseys are one of those cases - like Festool - where the tool really does make you a better / more efficient professional.

Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2014, 05:34 AM »
Years ago a local woodworking group made a group buy from Bessey. I was able to get in on it, and - like slcd_steve I picked up 8 of most clamps and even got 4 of the 8-footers. I love the fact that they hold everything absolutely square for flawless assembly.

The Besseys are one of those cases - like Festool - where the tool really does make you a better / more efficient professional.



Wow, I totally agree. Bessey, Festool, Veritas planes (and more if I think about it)

Peter

Offline SittingElf

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2014, 10:14 AM »
Years ago a local woodworking group made a group buy from Bessey. I was able to get in on it, and - like slcd_steve I picked up 8 of most clamps and even got 4 of the 8-footers. I love the fact that they hold everything absolutely square for flawless assembly.

The Besseys are one of those cases - like Festool - where the tool really does make you a better / more efficient professional.



Wow, I totally agree. Bessey, Festool, Veritas planes (and more if I think about it)

Peter

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Offline GregBradley

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2014, 09:11 PM »
Don't get suckered into thinking that a brand name guarantees quality.

Bessey has been moving toward the bottom for some time now. At this point, their tradesman clamps are still made in Germany and are very good. The very good K-Body clamps were replaced by the K-Body Revos, which are a Gross-Stabil design cheapened after Bessey bought Gross-Stabil. NOT as good as the Gross-Stabil parallel clamps and NOT as good as the Bessey K-Bodys. Not bad but not great either. It is simply sad that Bessey bought Gross-Stabil in order to quash their competition. At this point the Gross-Stabil parallel clamps are long gone but Harry Epstein still has some of the excellent Gross-Stabil metalworking and heavy duty clamps available. This does not help a woodworker much.

Bessey is really a mixed bag of quality at this point. The good stuff is gradually being replaced by mostly stuff that relies on the good reputation of Bessey in order to sell. I would grab as much of the made-in-Germany tradesman clamps as you think you will ever need before they bring that line to the bottom. Lowes, in their infinite stupidity, is discontinuing Bessey products in most stores and some of it is available at good prices. You can pretty much tell the good stuff by looking where it is made.

Bessey vises have hit the absolute bottom, even while they have brought out a new line of Bessey Industrial vises. These are made in Germany but are not quite up to the standard of the Heurer Vises or the ones sold in the US under the Ridgid name. All of the above made in the same factory in Germany but made to different standards. Do not confuse a Ridgid F series vise with the junk sold under the Ridgid name by Home Depot.

Additionally, there are lots of junk Canon DSLRs and L-series lenses. Grex has a nice series of pinners in the P-6xx series but makes a bunch of crap also. Some of the Grex nailers have been complete junk. Grex makes nothing and some of their vendors have made products that are not even acceptable. OK, Famag only makes great stuff so I guess they are better than Festool, who has made a few, even if it is very few, turkeys........
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 09:33 PM by GregBradley »

Offline Upscale

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2014, 02:38 AM »
Bessey has been moving toward the bottom for some time now. At this point, their tradesman clamps are still made in Germany and are very good. The very good K-Body clamps were replaced by the K-Body Revos, which are a Gross-Stabil design cheapened after Bessey bought Gross-Stabil.

Not the only reason, but partly why I started buying Jorgensen Cabinet Master clamps. And, I'm very impressed with them.

Offline Reiska

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2014, 08:17 AM »
Peter, if you ever make a second part to this or revisit the topic you might want to mention the K-body Revo Vario (KRV) (Link to Bessey) clamps which have a movable front face.

I bought four of the 1,5m variety and love them when you can centre the workpiece on the clamp by moving the front face down the rail and have perfect balance along the clamp.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2014, 08:44 AM »
Peter, if you ever make a second part to this or revisit the topic you might want to mention the K-body Revo Vario (KRV) (Link to Bessey) clamps which have a movable front face.

I bought four of the 1,5m variety and love them when you can centre the workpiece on the clamp by moving the front face down the rail and have perfect balance along the clamp.

I will keep it in mind. I have seen them but have never used them. I can see the advantage of balance.

I wonder whether it might (one day) be possible to buy (say) a 2m bar and, as it might be only used from time to time, one transfers the parts from a smaller clamp. I have several 1.5m K Body clamps and recently needed something about 1.8 m long - something that only happens about once a year.

Peter

Offline GregBradley

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2014, 10:27 AM »
Covering a complete range of sizes with a smaller inventory of pieces was a selling point for the Vario. A store could cover a range of sizes by stocking several of each bar length. A customer could buy one sliding end, one clamping end, and the bar of whatever length they wanted.

The only store I ever saw selling them that way stopped doing that. I think Bessey doesn't even mention that feature in their brochure: http://www.besseytools.com/pdfs/sales_sheets/en/BESSEYKBodyREVOVarioENGJan2012.pdf

Being able to center the jaws seems like a big advantage in balancing heavy clamps, particularly in the longer lengths.

Offline Reiska

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2014, 06:24 PM »
For an extension to the length you could buy the clamp bar connectors (Link to Bessey) and join your 1500mm one and an 600mm one to land at something long enough.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Bessey K Body Revo Clamps
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2014, 02:15 AM »
For an extension to the length you could buy the clamp bar connectors (Link to Bessey) and join your 1500mm one and an 600mm one to land at something long enough.

Thanks Reiska. I will look out for a couple the next time I am at my Axminster store.

Peter