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There are enough clamp styles available to woodworkers that it's tough to know which tools you absolutely need to have in your shop. Whether you're a beginning woodworker who needs a full clamp setup or a veteran looking to re-evaluate a career's worth of basic clamps, separating the necessary from the nice-to-have isn't easy. Here are five basic clamp styles that every artisan or craftsperson should have in their workshop. Basic Clamps
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http://www.routerforums.com/articles/5-basic-clamps-for-every-woodworking-shop/
 

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Always good to get back to basics...thanks...
 

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The list about says it all. However, I don't use many "C" clamps. I find, that, it is too easy to damage a project unless you are really careful how you use/apply them. I really like parallel wood clamps. Once you learn how to use them properly they are great, versatile tools to use. However, can be a little bulky and hard to position in some instances.
 

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The clamps I use as often as any other are the quick-grip type of one-handed clamps. The good ones are pricey though. There are some real junk ones at the cheap end of the market, though I did recently buy some sold under the "Craftright" brand that are usable.
 

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The clamps I use as often as any other are the quick-grip type of one-handed clamps. The good ones are pricey though. There are some real junk ones at the cheap end of the market, though I did recently buy some sold under the "Craftright" brand that are usable.
These are must-have for me... on nearly every project I use them: drawers, boxes, tables etc.
 

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There are many more clamps than the original 5 listed. The first photo shows some plastic ones that are similar to vise grips. They are also used one handed like the pistol grip type but sometimes I find the pistol grip style awkward to squeeze. These have a much more limited range but they are often more ergonomic to use.

Also an important one that is missing is the aluminum beam clamp made from an aluminum tube. These are great in lengths of 36" and up. I've seen 72" but mine is a 60". At that length pipe or bar clamps start getting pretty heavy. The aluminum clamps can be managed one handed which gives you a chance to get your parts held together so that you can get some heavier clamps in place using both hands.

There are some small plastic screw clamps in the photo made by DeStaco. I got these on sale from LV once. They see limited use but once in a while they fit the jog well. One good thing about them is that the tips don't bind if you have the clamp on a little crooked.

Then of course are all the myriad of DeStaco toggle clamps or someone elses version of them. Some push out, some down, some pull. Virtually anything you could need one for they make.

I forgot to add in the first photo a Bessey Clipix. The jaws on these will slide up and down to fit your thickness but stay put once pressure is on. They are spring loaded like spring clamps. They come with one or two moveable jaws. I can't remember how much they were but Besseys are never at the cheap end but you do get a quality tool from them.

One other I forgot about and didn't take a picture of is strap clamps mike the tie down ratchet straps (which also work). Great for pulling chair rungs together.

There are still others. I know luthiers use a cam type clamp. If anyone has those please post a picture.
 

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The list about says it all. However, I don't use many "C" clamps. I find, that, it is too easy to damage a project unless you are really careful how you use/apply them. I really like parallel wood clamps. Once you learn how to use them properly they are great, versatile tools to use. However, can be a little bulky and hard to position in some instances.
Agreed. Hand screw clamps seemed out-dated to me when I first started woodworking. Bought a few on a really cheap Rockler sale, kept them dusty for a few years. Then I used one--i'm hooked. As Bill said, versatile...and I find them surprisingly quick if I take a second to get them close. They also hold tightly with seemingly little force.
earl
 

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There are many more clamps than the original 5 listed. The first photo shows some plastic ones that are similar to vise grips. They are also used one handed like the pistol grip type but sometimes I find the pistol grip style awkward to squeeze. These have a much more limited range but they are often more ergonomic to use.

Also an important one that is missing is the aluminum beam clamp made from an aluminum tube. These are great in lengths of 36" and up. I've seen 72" but mine is a 60". At that length pipe or bar clamps start getting pretty heavy. The aluminum clamps can be managed one handed which gives you a chance to get your parts held together so that you can get some heavier clamps in place using both hands.

There are some small plastic screw clamps in the photo made by DeStaco. I got these on sale from LV once. They see limited use but once in a while they fit the jog well. One good thing about them is that the tips don't bind if you have the clamp on a little crooked.

Then of course are all the myriad of DeStaco toggle clamps or someone elses version of them. Some push out, some down, some pull. Virtually anything you could need one for they make.

I forgot to add in the first photo a Bessey Clipix. The jaws on these will slide up and down to fit your thickness but stay put once pressure is on. They are spring loaded like spring clamps. They come with one or two moveable jaws. I can't remember how much they were but Besseys are never at the cheap end but you do get a quality tool from them.

One other I forgot about and didn't take a picture of is strap clamps mike the tie down ratchet straps (which also work). Great for pulling chair rungs together.

There are still others. I know luthiers use a cam type clamp. If anyone has those please post a picture.
The old adage, "...you can never have enough clamps", is true to a certain extent. The problem is, that, there are so many different types of clamps, intended for specific purposes, that it is virtually impossible to have the "best" clamp at all times. I think, that, the average hobbies has a basic variety of clamps like those originally listed. However, there are many more useful types that the average person just doesn't have. Some are better for the intended purpose, but if you don't have them you make do. It doesn't mean that the job doesn't get done properly.

As I stated, earlier, I don't use "C" clamps except on rare occasions. I've had bad experiences with them in the past (mostly due to my own fault(s)) and I prefer not to use them. I find other ways to do the job. Doesn't mean, that, they aren't useful.

Chuck is right, the list is only the start. I'm sure that all of us have at least one band clamp (and ratchet straps...very useful..), a variety of spring clamps, etc. in the shop. Do we use them on a regular basis, probably not, but I wouldn't be without some of them.
 

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Guess this qualifies as a clamp

Maybe this is between a clamp and a vise. Been toying with different ideas for the backsplash in the downstairs bath, couldn't find a tile we liked to match the other colors, didn't have enough laminate to glue to the wall (my preference), so just went with a standard backsplash - a little taller because the sink will double as a utility tub for cleaning paint brushes, etc.

I've used these clamps (made by Wolfcraft, label is still on them) for years to hold the backsplash while filing the edges - attach them to the edge of the workbench and just drop the backsplash in there and snug up the clamp - I have a couple pair so can work on longer pieces, makes the whole job go much quicker.

I've had these for years, don't remember where I bought them but didn't remember seeing them advertised anywhere recently so took a look and couldn't find them listed anywhere, even on eBay so thinking that they're not available any more which is a shame. Guess there just wasn't enough call for them - or there are maybe newer options.
 

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Actually the Workmate you show is a type of clamp too, either squeezing something between the two halves or using dogs with the dog holes in the tops. They can be very handy at times. I've used mine many times to hold boards so that I can do some free hand routing.
 
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Actually the Workmate you show is a type of clamp too, either squeezing something between the two halves or using dogs with the dog holes in the tops. They can be very handy at times. I've used mine many times to hold boards so that I can do some free hand routing.
Exactly, and I've used it like that a lot, particularly for trimming the edge banding on drawer fronts and so on. At least until I figured out that it was easier, and quicker, to set up the fence on the router table and do it there. Plus you're not balancing the trimmer on top of a 3/4" wide surface - although I've done that often enough that it's second nature. And maybe I'll try trimming the laminate on the table nest time too.
 

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I like the old tools, clamps included. That doesn't mean I don't have the newer clamps, I just like picking up the older ones when I see them.
The first is a 3-way edge clamp. The second I don't have a name for, they cost me a buck apeice. They may work in a C-Rail or just a hole drilled in a bench with a longer bolt.
Do a Google for 'woodworking clamps' and you will see many! If your Google has the options, click on 'Homemade' and you may find some thing to make.
 

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Hi Larry and welcome. That second one is definitely a hold down type clamp. Because of the relatively short bolt in it I would say it was bolted to something metallic.
 

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Exactly, and I've used it like that a lot, particularly for trimming the edge banding on drawer fronts and so on. At least until I figured out that it was easier, and quicker, to set up the fence on the router table and do it there. Plus you're not balancing the trimmer on top of a 3/4" wide surface - although I've done that often enough that it's second nature. And maybe I'll try trimming the laminate on the table nest time too.
I just did a bunch of banding trimming Tom. I took my entire fence and set it on a strip of plywood. I never thought of just using one narrow fence on the infeed side. Good idea.
 

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I bought eight Harbor Fraight 60 inch aluminum shaft clamps as in the pix below. Although I like them, they're just too big for my little shop, so I've decided to cut them down to shorter lengths. I'll use a fat wedge to keep the ends from distorting as I cut them, then drill a 1/4 hole in the end an put a bolt through to stop off the end. A little lesson for me, bigger (longer) is not necessarily better. I also have a set of Jet parallel clamps that I really love using. The little lever is a quick release, a really nice feature. Wax the shafts when using for glue ups. No fun scraping glue off.
 

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