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Hi - I'm somewhat new to woodworking and just started buying the tools needed to get some projects done. I don't know if this is a stupid question or not but what type of pipe is better for a pipe clamp. I just picked up a set of Jorgenson half inch pipe clamps and on the packaging it states to use black pipe. I was thinking wouldn't a galvanized be better or does the zinc coating effect the way the clamp jaws work or does it just not matter. Just wondering why they recommend black pipe. If anyone could clue me it that would be great. Thanks
 

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Hi,

Just a guess here but black pipe is cheaper......
I have some galvanized on some of my clamps and it works just fine. Black pipe will stain some woods so you wax paper or ???? to keep the pipe from touching the wood (oak I think does this).

Also I think it Rockler has some new zink-plated iron pipe but in 3/4".

Ed
 

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i think the main reason is that the galvanize on the pipe is not that uniform in its thickness and could create a holding issue with the clamp plates.

another reason not to use galvinzed pipe is that the clamp platess can cause the galvanize to flake off and cause a safty situiation. (cuts from galvanize flakes)

there is cost issue also. (black cheaper)

3/4" dia. pipe for over 24" long clamping seems to work better.(less pipe deflection)
 

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I've used plain old 'black pipe' for years, seems to hold OK for me.

I've not had any staining problems, don't let the pipe touch the wood....
 

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For years the standard warning was always use black pipe, galvanized isn't consistant, flakes,etc. Gary Rogowski wrote in Fine Woodworking mag. that he has used galv. pipe for over 30yrs with no problems. I know atleast two other woodworkers that use galv. I don't have any pipe clamps,but when i did use them i don't remember any issues with either kind. my advise would be use what ever pipe you want to.

regards

jerry
 
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