I have to buy sash clamps to keep on with Mr. Sellers commonwoodworking beginner projects (I’m liking it a lot and have buyed some of the reccomended tools).
He reccomends the Silverlines clamps but now the prices have raised so much that I can buy Jorgensens for basically the same price.
Would you reccomend the Jorgensen’s or the new ones are just like the Silverlines quality wise?
With a little more $ I can get the Dubuques, also.
This will come down to personal preference, but my personal take on clamps is that I like them as cheap as possible. The sash clamps I’ve used for 6-7 years now were from Harbor Freight and astoundingly cheap. I followed Paul’s video on how to “upgrade” these clamps with scraps of pine and a little fettling, and they work flawlessly. I love that I don’t need to baby them or worry about getting glue on them because they’re inexpensively replaced should the worst happen. On the other side of the argument, I have friends that are heavily invested by thousands of dollars in Bessey clamps and they swear by them.
So, your call. Certainly, the Jorgensen or Dubuque clamps will require less fettling than the cheapest-of-cheap harbor freight clamps, so there’s a benefit to consider.
I’m just remember that the name on the clamp doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better than the other they all have various grades of clamps and the introduction model of Jorgensen‘s may be as good or not as good as the silver lines. Just get what you can afford because they’re probably all be about the same unless you start spending 50 or 60 bucks a clamp
I have used pipe clamps for a long time. You buy the heads, and then go to Obi or Baumax or somewhere similar and buy the pipe. You can get the pipe easily enough in various standard lengths, and you can swap the heads between short pipe and long pipe very easily. If you want to clamp them in a vise, you make a couple of false faces with a notch in. Go for the larger, three quarter inch versions, they flex less. These are also easier to add to a bench bull, as the pipe is round, rather than rectangular.
Check out the Fine Woodworking ‘New Fangled Workbench’ to get some inspiration.
There seems to be varied experiences with the cheap clamps. I bought a bunch of aluminum bar clamps at Harbor Freight maybe 6 to 8 years ago, did the P.Sellers upgrades, and they are absolute trash. Some work, some don’t, and it is random. The problem is that sometimes the moving head will cant over, bite into the aluminum bar, and then you cannot apply pressure. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I’ve tried many things to fix them, but I just cannot have a question mark on whether clamps will work during glue up, so I’ve abandoned them. They are really nice because they are so light, but I cannot depend on them. Other people, though, have found them completely reliable. I suppose it is quality control and, if you get decent ones, they are great.
I bought in Amazon five Faithfull sash clamps a pair of years ago. I retrofitted them following Paul’s recommendations and yes, they made better, but they keep being bad clamps. Yes, they are light, they are “relatively” cheap and dont require the investment of these made-for-rich-people-clamps, but they aren’t clamps for a solid work, at least in my opinion. About the Silverline brand, all tools that I have tried from that brand were, with no doubt, junk. Trash. Wasted money.
I prefer the classic english style sash clamps heads, combined with a timber of laminated wood as beam for extra strenght. I use these (the green ones at the end of the page), bought at Fine Tools, in Germany. Just one thing: for a mysterious reason, the same clamping set that I bought for 16 euro/set, costs almost 43 euro now. I shouldn’t probably buy them for this price, but with a laminated timber of 1 inch thick, they are strong as a rock.
I ended up buying Dubuque clamps. The trick with clamps is to buy them one or two at a time over an extended period to lessen the pinch. The savings on the cheap Pittsburgh clamps were actually nearly a complete waste. I cannot imagine what I would do if I lost a project at glue up, though, and if I didn’t have spares hanging around when the Pittsburgh’s failed randomly, I know I would have. Luckily, I had a couple pipe clamps and they saved me that day.
Those jorgensen 23 euro clamps look exactly like the harbor freight aluminium bar clamps I bought, except the paint color. I think they were $10 several years ago. I suspect they come out of the same factory.
I bought 6 36 inch clamps and reinforced them with a thin strip of high quality 19mm plywood, which slips in just right.
I like them well enough for glue ups. The light weight is nice. They definately could break if one tried to exhert high pressure.
I certainly wouldn’t call them ‘high quality’, but I think I like having 6 of these more than 2 higher quality ones, which was my choice at the time.
I’m in Spain. I don’t mind spending some reasonable amount of cash for good quality clamps I could use for a long time.
I plan of jointing small panels, this site projects glue ups, etc.
My main concern or choice here was about those Jorgensen clamps vs the Silverlines given the similar prices.
I can buy them from fine-tools or dictum the former and from amazon the latter.
For around 9 euros more I can buy Dubuque or Juuma, that I understand are clearly better made, so maybe that’s my answer?
P.S. I’d prefer not having to make them myself at this point.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Scotty72.
I understand that you want to buy some clamps, and I would still say pipe clamps are a good alternative to sash clamps. However, I will also push the home made again, as these builds are really not complicated.
For small panels, using wedges is a very good alternative, and helps to spread the force more evenly. Google ‘Wedge Clamping Jig’ to see what I mean. If you have prepared the edges well, you don’t need a lot of force to get a good joint.
That same search will also start you off on home made longer clamps as well as other ways to glue frame and panel doors etc. It’s very rewarding building these things, and it builds problem solving skills too.
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