Author Topic: Clamp advice?  (Read 2974 times)

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Offline Oceans05

  • Posts: 15
Clamp advice?
« on: February 18, 2018, 02:28 PM »
Hello!

I am new and looking for advice on parallel clamps.. I currently have a 10" wooden clamp, a pair of festool click clamps, mft clamp set, selection of bessey 12 and 6" clutch clamps and some spring clamps.

I was thinkig about pipe clamps but see many woodworkers using the revo style clamps and was wondering what size would be more suitable starting out? Interested in making cabinets and furniture.
Thank you for your suggestions!

Stephan

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Offline Runhard

  • Posts: 803
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2018, 02:56 PM »
Hi Stephan,

As you already know, you will need a variety of sizes and amounts, depending on how many projects or cabinets you are working on. I have sizes from 12”-82”. 24” and 40” are popular sizes but it all depends on the scale of the project. Personally, I would suggest getting 4 each, 31” and 60” to start with because I prefer having the clamps a little longer than needed. I also want to buy a few of the vario movable heads, they seem very usefull.
Daniel

Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 235
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2018, 04:02 PM »
Parallel jaw clamps are heavy and expensive.  I have several.

I get a lot of use out of the smaller Bessey Uniklamps.  I have the longer ones that are not longer sold.  Perhaps users broke and returned them too often, but I have not had any problems.   

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2642
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2018, 04:48 PM »
I have a lot of Bessey clamps, but if I ever purchase more clamps, I'll go with something lighter like these Dubuque Aliminum Bar Clamps.
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline rumble-chicken

  • Posts: 17
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2018, 05:46 PM »
I ended up landing on the Jet Parallel Clamps, the selling features are best explained starting at 6min 15sec into the video. 

Clamp Guide

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 681
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2018, 07:47 PM »
Another vote for the Dubuque; I also go with these anti-slip clamps from Lee Valley: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=72719&cat=1,43838,43844


Online Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 397
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2018, 08:00 PM »
A long time ago I was in the same position.  I decided to buy the long 48 or 52" Bessey K clamps and a few Jet clamps.  My reasoning was that the longer clamps could do anything the shorter ones could, but not the other way around.....I regretted that decision many times and wound up buying shorter clamps.  They were just too long and heavy for most of what I was building at that time such as 12-18" x 24-30" doors and drawers and often got in the way in my smaller shop.

I did use the longer clamps for base cabinets, but not nearly as much as shorter versions.  Think about what you will be primarily building and size accordingly because one thing is for certain......you can never have too many clamps, and will be buying more as you progress [big grin]

Offline Bohdan

  • Posts: 890
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2018, 08:23 PM »
I have some Bessey clamps but I tend to use my bar clamps more. I have a range of pipe lengths for the bar clamps and just change the hardware to the best length that I need.

Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 235
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2018, 08:33 PM »
I'll add that I have some 12" k-body clamps and while I do use them I think 18" would be a more useful size with a minor increase in weight and decrease in maneuverability. 

I'd say the sweet spot for bar clamps is 18-40" long. 

Online TinyShop

  • Posts: 185
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2018, 01:17 AM »
@Oceans05 - if you're leaning toward any of the Bessey offerings, keep in mind that the Revo has already been superseded by the supposedly improved version known as the "Revolution", the latter of which has already been released in Europe and which will be released in the U.S. in March. The updated "Revolution" model has a slightly different body but, more importantly, it solves the major complaint with the Revo; namely, the inability to stand the clamp on end without the clamping head slamming down under the force of gravity. Additionally, the Revolution series is capable of producing a clamping force of 1700lbs (200lbs more than the Revos) and features a hex bolt in the handle that one can use (with an appropriate hex wrench) to increase the leverage during clamping (the latter of which, I'm guessing, is Bessey's less than elegant response to Taiwanese clamp manufacturer Ehoma's innovative high-torque pivoting handle). FWIW Ehoma fixed-head parallel clamps w/the pivoting handle can be purchased from Lee Valley (sold under the vague and less than inspiring title of "Anti-Slip Parallel Jaw Clamps" or from japanwoodworker (they carry the non-pivoting handle version), to name a couple U.S. suppliers.

Of course, what this means (and you may have already arrived at the same conclusion if you've searched on this forum) is that the deep discounts on Revo clamps that were offered by several mega retailers only a short while ago may have had something to do with the need to reduce stocks of the soon-to-be obsolete Revo's in preparation for the arrival of the new and improved Revolution's. And, more importantly for you, it may be that all remaining stock of the Revo's will be dumped in the coming month or two. So, if you can live with the guillotine clamping head and "only" 1500lbs of clamping force, you might find some good deals appearing any day now. 

FWIW I'm also in the market for a selection of parallel clamps (I have a couple of kitchens to build and the fit-out of the interior of a tiny house to accomplish, all coming up in a few months) and have decided to go with either a mix of the Bessey Revolution "Vario" clamps - the 'floating'-head (not fixed-head) version (KREV is the model code) - and the fixed-head 'standard' Revolution (KRE is the model code) - or a full compliment of the version of the fixed-head Ehoma which features the high-torque pivoting handle. For me, it will all boil down to whether the Bessey is being manufactured in Germany (or assembled in the U.S. from German components) or not. Until I hear otherwise from Bessey (I contacted them several days ago and am still waiting for a reply), there is some debate as to whether the Ehoma offerings are Bessey-copies (i.e. "knock-offs") or if Ehoma is actually Bessey's newest component supplier. If the Revolution turns out to be nothing more that a rebranded Ehoma, and if the Ehoma's remakably similar-looking hourglass rail is compatible with Bessey's K-body accessories (a major selling point of Bessey K-body clamps), then I'll likely go with the lower-priced Ehomas and a selection of Bessey's K-body accessories.

Good luck on your impending decision. :)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 01:26 AM by TinyShop »

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1083
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2018, 01:37 PM »
Bessey "Revolution"
They look to be identical to the REVO except the part with the turn handle.
The table clamp for them seems to be new.
Quote
have decided to go with either a mix of the Bessey Revolution "Vario" clamps - the 'floating'-head (not fixed-head) version (KREV is the model code) - and the fixed-head 'standard' Revolution (KRE is the model code)
I have done that (with the REVO back then) and can only suggest to go vario all the way: skip the fixed ones.

You can set the vario to emulate the fixed version (moveable clamp block flush to the end of the rod) if you need to - but you can also use them in vario mode. You can strip some to gain rods for use with the rod extension blocks in case you need really long ones. For transport you can also strip them to bundle the rods (and the rest in a systainer), that massively reduces the volume needed (and reduce chance of damage in rough conditions) when you have a good load of them.

Added options are worth the higher price, IMHO. I'll won't ever buy additional fixed ones, in case I could inexpensively swap the ones I have for vario ones I would do it without further thought.

Online TinyShop

  • Posts: 185
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2018, 04:13 PM »
@Gregor - As I understand it, the TK-6 Table Clamps, like the other related accessories, have been available for many years (for as long as the Revos have been produced).

Now, regarding your advice to focus on the Vario clamps, thank you (!) for validating what i assumed to be true: that their increased versatility makes their extra expense well worthwhile. The only drawback I can foresee is that Bessey only produces them in four lengths! I wonder why they don't at least make one shorter length available? As far as i am concerned, I wish they were available in all of the otherwise standard lengths (like 24" (600mm) especially). Moreover, I don't know why they don't simply upgrade all of their heavy-duty parallel clamps to the "vario" style (just get rid of the limited fixed-head design altogether). By doing so, they'd likely reduce their overall production costs (at least by the savings of not having to produce two different designs) and I can't imagine that there would be much additional cost to the public once the efficiencies of mass production took effect; meaning, that the retail cost of their clamps could maybe stay the same or only increase by a little bit. Then, they'd be the only manufacturer providing this benefit to consumers (at all and as standard).

So, I will heed your wise advice, though I'll wait to see what happens with prices with the impending roll-out of the new Revolutions.

Thanks so much! :)   
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 04:16 PM by TinyShop »

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1083
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 03:42 AM »
@Gregor - As I understand it, the TK-6 Table Clamps, like the other related accessories, have been available for many years (for as long as the Revos have been produced).
Then I must have missed them the whole time, sorry for that.
Quote
The only drawback I can foresee is that Bessey only produces them in four lengths! I wonder why they don't at least make one shorter length available? As far as i am concerned, I wish they were available in all of the otherwise standard lengths (like 24" (600mm) especially).
Get a longer one and a metal saw? ;)
In case the longer one is long enough to yield multiple lengths: all other parts are available as spare parts.
Quote
Moreover, I don't know why they don't simply upgrade all of their heavy-duty parallel clamps to the "vario" style (just get rid of the limited fixed-head design altogether). By doing so, they'd likely reduce their overall production costs (at least by the savings of not having to produce two different designs) and I can't imagine that there would be much additional cost to the public once the efficiencies of mass production took effect; meaning, that the retail cost of their clamps could maybe stay the same or only increase by a little bit. Then, they'd be the only manufacturer providing this benefit to consumers (at all and as standard).
Most likely the same reason why there are CTL and CTM (which differ, my estimate, <1% in production cost) instead of only CTM - some MBA calculated that there would/could/is more money in having the two versions.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 03:44 AM by Gregor »

Offline RDMuller

  • Posts: 302
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2018, 02:27 PM »
I have owned old old style bar clamps, old sears style pipe clamps, Jorgenson pipe, old Besseys, newer besseys and now some of the Rockler Sure Foot pipe clamps.  The Sure Foots are not your grandpa's clamps.  I love them for the price and how they work and feel.  Extremelly powerful if you want them to be.

In interest of disclosure, I did work at one time for Rockler

Offline jacko9

  • Posts: 2378
Re: Clamp advice?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2018, 02:46 PM »
Bessey KBar Revo I would suggest two 24", two 48" to start.  I have them in sizes from 12" to 60" and I also have the extender for longer clamping.

I like the 18" and 24" size for the weight and doing cabinet doors and panel glue up's this size is pretty handy.