Frugal WoodWorkers Clamp HF - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Default Frugal WoodWorkers Clamp Harbor Freight

I would not consider myself cheap or frugal but I like to save a dollar or two and use that to buy more tools, router bits or ???

Recently I bought several of those "squeeze" clamps from Harbor Freight, and with a coupon there are like $1.99 ea for the 12" clamp. Long story short you can't really put the squeeze on them and not have them break. They're made in China and are plastic, most of it is.

So this is my fix. this will work on all the different lengths that they carry and since this works, I'll be getting more of these clamps.

The drill I used was 1/4" but you can sneak up on it starting with the 3/16" then the 13/64".

The squeeze handle rides on two plastic "nubs" and will not stand any pressure. So I figured out how to take care of this while not getting in the way of my hand - I tend to bleed from boo boo's.

What I'm using are "binding" posts made of steel, I tried one from Lowes that was aluminum and it bent on me and it was $1.09.

I will probably have quite a few of these left, so if you want to do this and need some binding posts there are $0.50 for the post and screw and a little to cover shipping.
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Last edited by lemonyx; 04-19-2010 at 01:15 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 01:18 PM
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Nice!

I just got an email from them for $1.99 12" clamps. Maybe I'll have to check it out.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 01:19 PM
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A most excellent fix Charles! Thanks for sharing your tip with us.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 01:33 PM
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I posted a similar fix a while back, and used a #10 machine screw. Now before I use them I drill a #10 hole through the handle and case and put a screw in with nut and some loctite. Little cheaper then the binding post.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 05:57 PM
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I did that to mine a few months ago, except I used 8-32 screws as I had a whole box on hand. This fix works fine for the squeeze handle pivot, now I have trouble with the little spring loaded plates grabbing the bar tight enough. Haven't quite figured that one out yet.

John Schaben

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 08:10 PM
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I suspect that they are the same clamps that the Canadian Tire sell here under the name of "Jobmate". They are the same colour and all.

The problem with ours is that one of the arms breaks, 95% of the time the fixed one. I found that the clamps can still be used if, after you break two of them, you simply attach the moving jaw of one to the other instead of the fixed jaw. Now you have two moving jaws opposite each other.

OTOH I now avoid buying them altgether. Other companies occasionally have sales on their clamps which seem much better quality (e.g. Samona).
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 08:43 PM
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I like the MTI clamps at ACO hardware. Made in Michigan, and are heavier than the HF ones. They are made to 48".
Clamps - 6" Speedy Grip Bar Clamp

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 05:35 PM
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Samona Clamps are excellent quality, and way cheaper than the big names (eg Irwin & Bessey) But they are the exact same clamps. Some of there wood clamps like the Heavy Duty Quick Action Clamp even has the Din 5117 Standard (European Standard) just like Bessey and yet it retails for around 5-30 dollars depending on the size. The Quick release ratcheting clamps are great as well, and they also have a heavy duty version. These run around 8-20 dollars depending on size. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have the same problem with the Samona ratcheting clamps that you would with the ones above!
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